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Hello the crew,
I'm new to this forum and have yet to take in all of it so no surprise if I seem out of sync here.
Had tanks as a teenager but been absent since then until early 2012. I'm lease locked to 10 g or less so I cheat on it
a little. They didn't mention a limit on the number of tanks now did they ? And then you all have a tank in the living
room and one in your bedroom right ?
I used plain fine gravel at first but then got some API First Layer "Pure Laterite". Put that at about well two 20 oz boxes
in a ten g tank and then topped it with Eco complete. I've not had long term exp. so evaluating this is without anything to
compare it to but the plain gravel. Seems to grow a bit better but then also grows BGA better too. I should mention that
this tank is semi-low tech. Gets Excel every few days and Leaf Zone every water change along/w Tetra Pride. Has 2 T8
bulbs of Zoo Med Tropical sun. One T8 is poor and 2 good ones is excess so I'm trying to do something of a balancing act here.
Don't know how odd this is but I don't want "amazing" plant growth. I just want healthy looking full plants. Have not looked
at many of them but the 100% low tech pictures don't look full enough for me...look a bit starved. So some kind of balance is
key for me. Just been replanted so need to give it 60 days or so to get a better idea of how it's doing.
The other Ten g has just had new sub put in. That API Laterite mixed/w Sea Chem Original Flourite. Just been replanted also
and having a bit of trouble getting it started well because I over did the lights. Bought a T5 2 bulb fixture for it.
Hair algae exploded in it at first when the bulbs were a 6500K and a True Lumen Flora.
We'll see cause it may be a while before I balance these bulbs. Was going for some red plants and know I needed more light
but got a bit carried away/w it. The lady at my mom & pop LFS got me some Rotala Magenta I'm trying to get to grow.
Having quite a bit of trouble/w it. But I told here recently that this tank has so much iron in it I'm surprised the water don't
rust...LOL... The original Flourite was picked due to having the highest iron content and it gets Tetra Pride at water changes.
The two bulbs are both Flora bulbs and one was labeled "Roseated" so it looks too red in there right now but the hair algae
died off when I put in an actinic plus the Roseated. So letting it be red for a while till I see how this works on the Rotala.
Going back to 1 6500K bulb would bring back the hair algae so what's next ? I've become very consistent/w daily using
of Excel so that played in it too.
 

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A bit off-topic here, but:



it might be worth requesting (in writing) permission from your landlord to have a bigger tank. -Put in something about your prior experience with fishkeeping, and if you plan on making some sort of leak containment basin or something, add that too. My lease also had a 10-gallon fish tank limit, but I got permission (in writing) to go bigger. I think it's part of a standard form-letter all-purpose lease that a lot of landlords/agencies adopt, when they may not care about the issue at all (or they may, who knows...)

All depends on how your landlord is though...
Thanks but tried already/ corporate owned bull fertilizer stuff...thanks again though.
 

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And speaking of, I had a vision...more like a nightmare..that I would go to my cousins farm, collect some horse poop, dry it
and mix it with plain fine gravel as a substrate to simulate the decaying plant matter in/on the bottom of a pond.
Has anyone ever tried this successfully ? Bet I'm asking for mega algae at the least.

BTW: I cultivate hair algae and green spot algae. It's "natural", uses ammonia/nitrates and I'm actually starting to learn to limit it...sort of...LOL...
 

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Thanks for saving me some time and dead whatever.
 

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It's just a cheap, readily available, inert clay-based substrate, and it has a high CEC (cation exchange capacity), this enables the substrate to temporarily 'hold' nutrients and such, and the plants can then 'take' the nutrients from the substrate.

Just make sure you get a basic, natural type, with no scents/colors/etc. Some types hold up okay, others turn to mush after being wet for a bit. Still good for plants, but can make a mess when disturbed.
I have not used this but do use API First Layer Pure Laterite which, if you read the label is the same basic material.
But at $13 for a 55oz box. But I mentioned it because some plants prefer clay to other soils. I have one such plant in my
tank and it's actually a "bog" plant which I "collected" from the wild and it was growing in clay where I found it.
Of course you would need to Google the plant to see if you wanted to.
 
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