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What substrate(s) do you recommend for planted tank?
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.16(Fri)17:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have probably supported half the employees of Drs Foster/Smith since May of last year when I setup my 50 gal. Laughing

Since yours is on backorder, I will check on availability when I order. The eco complete sounds like a lot less mess and the established bacteria sounds good, too.

I think shipping is $4.50 a bag, if I remember correctly, for most of their substrates.

I'm so excited...I got a new 37 gal. tall today. Exclamation Also bought a few live plants (java moss, a couple Mellon Swords). Swords still in their pots, and my fish are checking it all out. Won't remove them until I get the substrate.

Very Happy taxlady
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Tenecor 50 gal flat-back hex - various inmates & plants in Flourite. 40 gal tall - mated pair of Angels & plants in Flourite.
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sjogren1
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Joined: 28 Dec 2003
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.16(Fri)17:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote goes with Eco-Complete - easy, attractive, and holds plants as well as Flourite. Only Onyx Sand held better. Onyx Sand and Flourite are beasts to rinse. Here's a quote from Rex Grigg:
OK, here is the way I wash substrates that need to be washed. Go to the local home improvement store and get a paint strainer that fits over a 5 gallon bucket, if you don't have a 5 gallon bucket get one of those also. Take the strainer and place it over the bucket. Pour about 5 lbs of the substrate in question into the strainer. Use the hose to wash the substrate. Don't use a high pressure sprayer. You don't want or need to break it up just get it clean. Now pull the strainer off the bucket, dump the water and repeat till the water is fairly clear. Using this method will save the "fines" but get rid of the dust. Substrates that benefit from this method are Flourite, Onyx, and plain old sand or gravel. Don't wash Eco-Complete.
This works well. Using one bag of Onyx Sand on top of (how ever much) Eco-Complete works very well for planting and provides a little buffering (if needed).
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.16(Fri)19:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks y'all for your help.

I am now leaning toward the EcoComplete (decisions, decisions!) ...

The only concern I have is if it would have an affect on my pH, etc.?

Smile taxlady
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Tenecor 50 gal flat-back hex - various inmates & plants in Flourite. 40 gal tall - mated pair of Angels & plants in Flourite.
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daavikes
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Joined: 03 Apr 2003
Location: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

PostPosted: 2004.01.16(Fri)21:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put 3 bags of the eco complete in my 55 gallon and put 25 pounds of normal gravel on top of it. Hasn't affected my pH at all, don't expect it too either.
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.16(Fri)21:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, daavikes...

The plants would be able to reach the substrate...another good idea!

Do you use CO2? Or just supplement?

taxlady
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Tenecor 50 gal flat-back hex - various inmates & plants in Flourite. 40 gal tall - mated pair of Angels & plants in Flourite.
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daavikes
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Joined: 03 Apr 2003
Location: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

PostPosted: 2004.01.17(Sat)12:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently injecting C02 but plan later to stop once my plants have grown and fill the tank. I am also using liquid fertilizer to help growth.
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Plantbrain
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Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Location: The swamp

PostPosted: 2004.01.17(Sat)16:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the main differences is the color. Onyx, bluish grey.
Eco Complete, black.
Flourite brick red/bla.

They are essentially the same. The Eco Complete does not need rised, but it does cost more.

I've never cared for mixing sand with these subnstrates, I think it looks better and the look last if you use all Eco complete or Flourite etc.

You should put about 2-3 handfuls of ground peat tot he bottom of the substrate. And also some mulm from an established tank, just vacuume out the old tank, save the "dirt" that settles in the bottom of the bucket, add this to the bottom of the new tank, add peat, then add Eco complete/Flourite/onyx/Florabase.
These are all pretty much the same so the choice is yours.

If you do these two steps, the tank will start up like an established tank fro day one and you can add fish after you have planted the tank and filled it up(Algae eaters).
Wait 1-4 weeks to add the main fish.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.18(Sun)9:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,

Quote:
You should put about 2-3 handfuls of ground peat tot he bottom of the substrate. And also some mulm from an established tank, just vacuume out the old tank, save the "dirt" that settles in the bottom of the bucket, add this to the bottom of the new tank, add peat, then add Eco complete/Flourite/onyx/Florabase.


If I might ask, what is the purpose of the peat? Smile

Thanks!
taxlady
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Tenecor 50 gal flat-back hex - various inmates & plants in Flourite. 40 gal tall - mated pair of Angels & plants in Flourite.
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Plantbrain
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Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Location: The swamp

PostPosted: 2004.01.18(Sun)13:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Provides slow to decay organic material, some reduction in the substrate before the substrate has had time to do this naturally.

Basically => speeds up/enhances the processes to develop an old mature substrate so that there is no new tank syndrome.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.18(Sun)15:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Basically => speeds up/enhances the processes to develop an old mature substrate so that there is no new tank syndrome.


Thanks again, Tom!

I will do this...really appreciate your help. I fear I am being way too "anal"ytical about all this; just want to do it "right" for my fishies and plants.

Very Happy taxlady
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