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Daz

what plant substrate to use

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Just set up a 40L planted tank and was wondering what types of substrate I could use?

I have fine black gravel in it for the time being. But has no nutritional value for the plants.

I will be running two t8 tubes. Probably power glo. Maby in the 6500 - 10000k range.

might do 1 white and 1 more on the pink side.

But from al the reading I have done a good substrate is going to improve plant grwoth alot more than great lights.

any info would be much appreciated

thanks

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Definately use some nutrient rich substrate. You can try buy some organic potting mix(no added ferts) and wash them for a few times. (add water, let dirt settle, remove water, repeat)

now put the washed dirt at the bottom of your tank(3-4cm), (some people add some red clay for extra iron), then Cap it with your fine gravel. plants will grow like crazy!

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Definately use some nutrient rich substrate. You can try buy some organic potting mix(no added ferts) and wash them for a few times. (add water, let dirt settle, remove water, repeat)

now put the washed dirt at the bottom of your tank(3-4cm), (some people add some red clay for extra iron), then Cap it with your fine gravel. plants will grow like crazy!

Thanks.

Is that the best way to do it? Is it expensive ect..

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Yes that's the most economical way. To buy comersial nutrient substrates you're looking at $50-100. And buying potting mix only costs $5. Both should be giving you similar results. but it gets dirty when you want to break down your tank

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but it gets dirty when you want to break down your tank

Or want to move any decor or remove a single plant.

I've found JBL Aquabasis under a layer of sand to be effective, as is Seachem Fluorite. There's no substitute for a good aquatic plant base.

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Ive got regular flourite in my 150L and flourite dark in my 135L. Before the flourite I had some plants which were basically melting away from the bottom up. I stuck them in the flourite then went to pull them up about a month later...and they all had a rediculous amount of roots so I replanted. Plus I know its safe for the fish and it doesn't stir up much, don't need to worry about layers etc etc. I got it for $42ish per 7kg bag so it wasn't too expensive, especially as i have my tanks pretty heavily planted.

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Fluorite good as can use on its own, add root tabs for heavy root feeders. Clay type substrates capped with gravel can get really messy really fast if your not delicate with planting and moving things around.

With fluorite range select carefully as the nutritional values vary. Some are heavier on iron that others and same for other nutrients. Oh and wash them heaps.

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Personally with the first tank I set up with flourite i rinsed it tons and still had cloudiness but no foamy stuff on the surface of water after it settled.

Second tank i dumped it in dry without rinsing, filled with water by laying old fish bags on the surface to avoid too much turbulence and pouring onto a plate on top of the bags, waited 24 hours then used an icecream container to skim the surface and vacuumed the gravel to get most of the dust off.

I wouldn't just dump it in without rinsing if you have to have fish in the tank immediately, but for a LOT less work I have the exact same result. The flourite in both tanks still stirs up if i plant new stuff or rip out old plants, but it settles down again pretty quickly.

I had more cloudiness in my first (rinsed) tank and filled my filter with cosmetic cotton balls to get the dust out of the water after 2 days of no change. (which then took care of the cloudiness in about 2 hours... and i threw out some VERY brown cotton :D )

2nd tank I had far fewer cloudiness issues - after the vacuum it took only 4-5hours to clear again by itself.

Barking Buddies has the cheapest flourite that i've found. (And the cheapest for most seachem products).

http://www.barkingbuddies.co.nz/

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