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what to do?

959 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  kunerd
I got this 50 gallon tank already up and running. But i am wanting to convert it into a planted tank. I got 50 pounds of sand in there already. I plan on buying 5 bags of flourite.

1)Should I mix the 2 together?

2)Get rid of sand completely and use flourite only?

3)Use flourite and have a thin layer of sand on top?

4)What plants should I be avoiding Since I have Clown Loaches.

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Answers in Bold.

1)Should I mix the 2 together? Mixing any substrate is a bad idea. It comes out ugly and you would waste money and regret you did so.

2)Get rid of sand completely and use flourite only? Use the flourite. Two reasons, easy wc cleaning and has nutrients for the plants.

3)Use flourite and have a thin layer of sand on top? The sand will eventually fall to the bottom. Dont do it.

4)What plants should I be avoiding Since I have Clown Loaches. Well I would try to have the plants established and well rooted. If you plan on planting foreground plants I wish you luck. They will be uprooted for sure. But there is not a specific list on what to watch out for.
Sand can be a great substrate if you fertilize the water column instead.

James is right about #1 in most cases, but sand and eco-complete look wonderful together, trust me (black and white).

You might consider trying plants without spending a lot of money on flourite. Or buy 2-3 bags of ecocomplete and take out about half your sand. Put the eco in the bottom/back and the sand on top/up front. they'll mix a bit, which is fine. Looks real nice in my tank.
I too have a fish only 50 Gal tank I plan to redo as a planted tank. Already have the Charcoal colored SMS Pro; just need to get the lighting. :icon_bigg

I have no experience with sand and I never thought about mixing different color substrates. I would stick to the Fourite. Save the sand for a future project or advertize it on Craigslist and help out another hobbyist.

If clown loaches like to burrow in the substrate, I guess you will have to contend with some replanting. You'll just have to see how big an issue it becomes. It may not be so bad. I would like to see someone else with loaches and plants reply.

I have gold barbs in my 50 that grazed a java fern down to a nub. So I'm afraid to replant with them in it. Thinking about rehoming them actually.

You shouldn't have to worry about rhizone plants that are attached to driftwood or other objects. :icon_bigg
If the sand has been established for sometime and is well mulmed, i wouldn't bother switching substrate at all. Already has enough nutrients for plants to grow. you also easily supplement with root tabs to get things started. Spend you money on plants and stuff instead...
All my tanks have the play sand and fluorite mix in them and the do fine. One is low tech and grows plants fine with no ferts and the other is high tech with co2, ei, and so on. You just need to know what kind of plants you will be able to grow in the different set ups
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