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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am starting my planted tank, and i want to work from bottom up. my forst thing i want to work on is the substance. i have read that people have different layers of substance in their tanks. i am low on money so i am using half a cm of the gravel i have now(because it is full of the bacteria i need) and then on top of that i want to put typical play sand. i have read that there is a sort of fertilizer people use. it sounds expensive. is there a cheap alternative? what exactly is co2? can anybody give me the general information on substrates for planted tanks, and some secrets they use to maintain them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok. thanks.
 

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1. i am low on money
2. i have read that there is a sort of fertilizer people use. it sounds expensive.
3. is there a cheap alternative?
4. what exactly is co2?
5. can anybody give me the general information on substrates for planted tanks
6. and some secrets they use to maintain them?
I hope I can shed some light and help.
1. Arent we all..maybe some of my pointers can lead you to a decision.
2. Some is, some are a hit to the bank in the beginning, but in the long run is cheaper. Liquid Ferts that you get from Box Stores is really like 1% compared to DRY FERTS. There is also ROOT TABS which can be place under or beside the plant (in the substrate)
3. DRY FERTS and ROOT TABS in my opinion are the best way to go. You will spend about 25-30$ on Dry Ferts but those should last you almost a year, compared to a bottle of Liquid Ferts which might last you a month.
4. Co2 is CARBON DIOXIDE...what you expell when you breathe out. Trees - plants consume Co2 and release oxygen (opposite of Humans) Trees and plants is where we get AIR from. It is used in the planted world because plants NEED Co2. The alternative to setting up a Co2 system is EXCEL (made by Seachem) or DIY Co2 (diy is tank sized based)
5. Just like plants in the garden or outside in the yard they need nutients, and the fish can only provide so much. So some look to plant specific substrates (eco-complete or many others) to fulfill the needs of the plants.

6. SECRETS???? YES
OVERVIEW = Look into Dirting your tank, since you're on a budget and more than likely going to need to go "LOW TECH" search that forum for ideas and tips. Miracle Grow Organic is a great alternative to plant specific substrates IF YOU FOLLOW THE directions.
First Decide what plants you want to try to grow (low, med, HIGH)
Then determine the needs of each plant.
get the equipment needed to provide what these plants and Fauna need to survive. (lights, Filtration, heat) Ferts.

There are MANY great resources here, and most of us have made the mistakes for YOU so you dont have to. LOL
 
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