The Planted Tank Forum banner

21 - 40 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I know some people do use the Jobes spikes with apparently good results, Ive never tried them though.
Will buy those then. Its about half the price compared to the ista fertilizer balls i linked to you beforehand.id last a good while with 50 sticks.im planning to visit my local garden shops as well see wha items they offer whic might be of help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I use Petco black sand and it's probably made my soil anaerobic. The Petco black sand is clean and smooth, but a little too fine. I should have gone with Black Diamond blasting sand as the cap.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Definitely sounds expensive! And yeah as cheap as osmocote is its absurd why i cant find it here. Theres a bonsai fan who can sell it to me, the 14-14-14 formula i believe, osmocote smart release, for $27 for every 1.1lb, plus id need to get empty veggie capsules to make the root tabs and i havent found a store which sells those. How many root tabs would i be able to make with that 500grams of osmocote?

And another update i just went to the biggest collection of LFS in this country and all i was able to find are cheap inert substrates and the following commercial ones:

Seachem onyx sand 7kg/15.4lbs bag for $27
Seachem fluorite sand 7kg/15.4lbs bag for $31
Ruby High Activity Substrate 9 Liter bag for $31
Ista plant substrate 9 litre bag for $29

I was advised if i were to use each purely I would need about 10 bags to cover my tank. Doing the math means its absurdly expensive. Any bright ideas? Im searching for jobe plant sticks atm i posted this.
Price out Seachem's Grey Coast. It's the same as Onyx Sand (just a slightly more grey color) and typically quite a bit cheaper for whatever reason as it's marketed towards saltwater tanks.

You only need about 1" of the commercial substrate if you are using it as a cap for Mineralized TopSoil. If you go with MTS you shouldn't need to fool with root tabs.

Or you can cap just regular organic potting soil (try to find one without a high manure content if possible) and skip the mineralization process. The substrate won't be as fertile for as long, but that's when you start using the root tabs and ferts. Probably wouldn't need them for at least 6 mos to a year depending on your setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
I use Petco black sand and it's probably made my soil anaerobic. The Petco black sand is clean and smooth, but a little too fine. I should have gone with Black Diamond blasting sand as the cap.
I want to keep corys so i dont want to hurt their barbels, but of course i dont want to risk a very fine sand/gravel that would make the substrate anaerobic.what particle size am i looking for?

Price out Seachem's Grey Coast. It's the same as Onyx Sand (just a slightly more grey color) and typically quite a bit cheaper for whatever reason as it's marketed towards saltwater tanks.

You only need about 1" of the commercial substrate if you are using it as a cap for Mineralized TopSoil. If you go with MTS you shouldn't need to fool with root tabs.

Or you can cap just regular organic potting soil (try to find one without a high manure content if possible) and skip the mineralization process. The substrate won't be as fertile for as long, but that's when you start using the root tabs and ferts. Probably wouldn't need them for at least 6 mos to a year depending on your setup.
Unfortunately i cannot mineralize topsoil since i dont have dolomite and muriate of potash...ill look into potting soil im almost certain garden suppliers have them.i have found soilless pottin mixes here can i use those?

Sorry im really new so i want to learn and get the right info before i start investing in the hobby.im not rich on either money nor time, so i just want to say thanks for your replies here, its really valuable and deeply appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Well you wouldnt need both, at least in the beginning, until the ferts in the substrate expired. Found a couple old threads talking about it (search function) These are pretty old, you could always start another one on the substrate forum may get more response.

Sounds expensive.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=50351
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=27730

Alot of people, including myself, just use inert sand with root tabs. Couldnt find a specific breakdown for that one's ingrediants, but they'd probably be as good as any (idk!). Osmocote+ is very inexpensive, here in the U.S. Wal-mart carries it. People put it in ice cubes or gelatin capsule blanks. Think there's a guy on here that sells them already made up. Seachem and API also make some.

Update! Was able to buy osmocote plus! So damn rare! Anyway i just need veggie capsules and im good to go! Put them in ice? But ice would melt long before i can put it in the substrate at least for the second dose once the tank already has water
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
You can use balls of clay (without plastic polymers in it) rather than ice or gel caps, too.

Any organic potting soil that isn't too high in manure-based compost should work.

I'm not sure about soilless potting mixes, but I would guess that those are high in synthetic products that could be harmful if injested by a fish?

Though I don't fully buy into "rough substrates will damage Cory barbels" that is common around the internet, I'm personally not a fan of Black Diamond. I just don't trust the composition of slag, is really what it boils down to (plus I've seen some under a microscope, and IMO there's a difference between "rough" gravel and needle-like slivers! :eek5:). I REALLY like all black substrates, but even I would go with pool filter sand over Black Diamond.

Pool filter sand is a pretty common (and I'd imagine available and still cheap?) option to cap soil substrates. Or even pea gravel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
You can use balls of clay (without plastic polymers in it) rather than ice or gel caps, too.

Any organic potting soil that isn't too high in manure-based compost should work.

I'm not sure about soilless potting mixes, but I would guess that those are high in synthetic products that could be harmful if injested by a fish?

Though I don't fully buy into "rough substrates will damage Cory barbels" that is common around the internet, I'm personally not a fan of Black Diamond. I just don't trust the composition of slag, is really what it boils down to (plus I've seen some under a microscope, and IMO there's a difference between "rough" gravel and needle-like slivers! :eek5:). I REALLY like all black substrates, but even I would go with pool filter sand over Black Diamond.

Pool filter sand is a pretty common (and I'd imagine available and still cheap?) option to cap soil substrates. Or even pea gravel.

If i do use organic potting soil topped with inert commercial sand would it still be possible to use osmocote 0-size capsules? Whats the recommended capsules/foot of planted area? I dont want to over fertilize.and im still checking where to get local clay here through pottery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Awesome. I hope you post some pics of this thing once you start setting it up. Either here or make a journal or something. Im interested to see it! :red_mouth
Will definitely try to get lots of pics.ive bought the eheim 2217 already and also the driftwood pcs, curing the driftwood now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I was able to buy gel 0 size capsules and they are very easy to use! Now im checking out the cost of one T8 led vs about 4 cfls as to which would be more efficient in saving up on the electric bill. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
You can use balls of clay (without plastic polymers in it) rather than ice or gel caps, too.

Any organic potting soil that isn't too high in manure-based compost should work.

I'm not sure about soilless potting mixes, but I would guess that those are high in synthetic products that could be harmful if injested by a fish?

Though I don't fully buy into "rough substrates will damage Cory barbels" that is common around the internet, I'm personally not a fan of Black Diamond. I just don't trust the composition of slag, is really what it boils down to (plus I've seen some under a microscope, and IMO there's a difference between "rough" gravel and needle-like slivers! :eek5:). I REALLY like all black substrates, but even I would go with pool filter sand over Black Diamond.

Pool filter sand is a pretty common (and I'd imagine available and still cheap?) option to cap soil substrates. Or even pea gravel.

Value your opinion , but have been using the Black Biamond (not knock off's) for a couple year's now with loaches,pleco's,cory's,and shrimp without issues.
Many other's have also used it, or are using it without issues.
Have run my hand's through it ,cory's,loaches burrow across, through it.
Heard lot's of stories about the Black diamond but those I spoke with that actually have been using it reported no problem's .
I was looking for black substrate that would not break the bank covering a couple 300 litre tank's and have been pleased with it.
Carib Sea's tahitian moon sand on the other hand used to specifically say..."not suited for soft bellies of fishes like the cory's "
Don't know if it still warn's of this, but was another black substrate I considered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Value your opinion , but have been using the Black Biamond (not knock off's) for a couple year's now with loaches,pleco's,cory's,and shrimp without issues.
Many other's have also used it, or are using it without issues.
Have run my hand's through it ,cory's,loaches burrow across, through it.
Heard lot's of stories about the Black diamond but those I spoke with that actually have been using it reported no problem's .
I was looking for black substrate that would not break the bank covering a couple 300 litre tank's and have been pleased with it.
Carib Sea's tahitian moon sand on the other hand used to specifically say..."not suited for soft bellies of fishes like the cory's "
Don't know if it still warn's of this, but was another black substrate I considered.
Do you use just black diamond sand? What type of ferts are you using? Due to low cec im checking out the possibility of mixing another substrate with this inert one im plannning on using. Or is that even necessary at this point?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
Do you use just black diamond sand? What type of ferts are you using? Due to low cec im checking out the possibility of mixing another substrate with this inert one im plannning on using. Or is that even necessary at this point?

I use the Black diamond to cover Miracle grow organic choice mixed with some peat.
On top of the soil/peat mix,,,,I place a layer of plain unscented cat litter (ie) "Special Kitty" cat litter found at Walmart.
I then cover it all with the Black diamond.(four inch depth total for all).
For fertz,,, I looked up suggested EI(estimative index) dosing that folk's running high tech tank's use for your size,,my size tank,, and use maybe 1/3 of these once a week or every two week's.
Ferts consist of KNO3,KH2PO4,CSM+B.

Black Diamond 20/40 grit Tractor supply
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Awesome. I hope you post some pics of this thing once you start setting it up. Either here or make a journal or something. Im interested to see it! :red_mouth
Burr im interested to know how youre dosing those root tabs, what substrate you got and if you also dose liq/dry ferts? Just for some reference. Apprecate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I use the Black diamond to cover Miracle grow organic choice mixed with some peat.
On top of the soil/peat mix,,,,I place a layer of plain unscented cat litter (ie) "Special Kitty" cat litter found at Walmart.
I then cover it all with the Black diamond.(four inch depth total for all).
For fertz,,, I looked up suggested EI(estimative index) dosing that folk's running high tech tank's use for your size,,my size tank,, and use maybe 1/3 of these once a week or every two week's.
Ferts consist of KNO3,KH2PO4,CSM+B.

Black Diamond 20/40 grit Tractor supply
Thanks for sharing this. I was thinking of doing this "layering" method to reduce cost but not compromise the efficiency of the substrate in retaining and supplying nutrients.i understand you have high light tanks.if it was lowtech do you think i would still need to dose the water column? I plan to keep java moss, java ferns, crypts and maybe vals.water sprite for a stem plant but thats about it i guess. Maybe some anubias. Any insight?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
Thanks for sharing this. I was thinking of doing this "layering" method to reduce cost but not compromise the efficiency of the substrate in retaining and supplying nutrients.i understand you have high light tanks.if it was lowtech do you think i would still need to dose the water column? I plan to keep java moss, java ferns, crypts and maybe vals.water sprite for a stem plant but thats about it i guess. Maybe some anubias. Any insight?
I did run two 22 inch 65 watt compact flourecent bulb's over the 300 litre, but as val's reached the surface,I began to see thread algae so went back to three 32 watt T8 bulb's(low light). Eight hour photo period.(ten hour's,still thread algae).
Dosing remain's the same.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Put some decent reflectors behind T8s and I think you'll have quite a good light setup, especially compared to the amount of heat that a CFL setup will put off. Heat distributes better off of T8s. Probably don't want to have to invest in a chiller for your tank.

With your plant choices you may not need to dose the water column at all. Keep a relatively high bioload, relatively low light, and your plants should be able to obtain everything they need between your substrate and fish waste.

I set up my own tanks to not need water column dosing, though I do keep Excel on hand to help with the occasional algae outbreaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Put some decent reflectors behind T8s and I think you'll have quite a good light setup, especially compared to the amount of heat that a CFL setup will put off. Heat distributes better off of T8s. Probably don't want to have to invest in a chiller for your tank.

With your plant choices you may not need to dose the water column at all. Keep a relatively high bioload, relatively low light, and your plants should be able to obtain everything they need between your substrate and fish waste.

I set up my own tanks to not need water column dosing, though I do keep Excel on hand to help with the occasional algae outbreaks.
Wow im glad to be back! So i was shopping for LED bulbs when th person told me for an aquarium they now carry a T8 LED. I got one now and it looks great i just need to have the correct hood to use with it.any suggestions? And what substrate do you use laura? Im probably gonna use dirt and cap with gravel.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
What is a T8 LED? :icon_ques

Capped dirt can work really well. Just be sure to get an all organic soil, and try to avoid any that have manure. Also, you'll want a relatively fine grained cap, ideally no more than 3 mm in diameter, to make sure to hold the soil in place. Lots of people use sand, though I personally prefer a bit larger grains- I use Flourite to cap my soil based tanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
What is a T8 LED? :icon_ques

Capped dirt can work really well. Just be sure to get an all organic soil, and try to avoid any that have manure. Also, you'll want a relatively fine grained cap, ideally no more than 3 mm in diameter, to make sure to hold the soil in place. Lots of people use sand, though I personally prefer a bit larger grains- I use Flourite to cap my soil based tanks.
LED lights in the form of a T8 tube.im gonna use one 20W one i was informed its equivalent to around 150W of the usual fluorescent.i used black sand over the soil and its a-ok but i found that my water sprites and my bacopa start to melt.i got no fish in there yet ill add some today probably.i put in some root tabs in there since i do have valisneria and amazon swords.for epiphytyes i got java moss and java fern.thats about the lineup i got.do u think its better if i just go ahead and let my stem plants float? but bacopa doesnt really look good when floating.and yeah the eheim 2217 is very quiet my wife thought it was actually not plugged in! hahaha
 
21 - 40 of 40 Posts
Top