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cheap substrate for planted tanks?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants & Planted Tanks' started by curtshan, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. curtshan

    curtshan Thread Starter Member

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    Help with substrate.

    Hi all, I am starting a planted tank and of course I have all the plants and gravel for a sub. I looked at sub for planted tanks and man was it expensive. Does anyone have any ideas for a cheaper sub or will the gravel work. I was thinking sand and adding the nutrients the plants will need. Any suggestions will be awesome. Thanks... Curtis...
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Hey Curtis. I recommend you go to Home Depot or Lowes and get Play Sand. It's only $3.00/lb and I have 2 55 gallon tanks with it, one of which are planted and doing great.

    The play sand does require a little more thorough rinsing before you put it into the tank.

    If you want to go for a cleaner sand, you can use Pool Sand from walmart. That runs about $6.00/lb. But either sand works fine.

    Nutrients wise you can get these tablets that you bury into the sand. You can also use doses of Seachem Flourish as well.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  3. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    Pool Sand.... go with that! MUCH easier to get in the tank, wont make your filters grind and makes a great sand....

    For ferts... use Flourish Fert Tabs near rooted plants...
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Yeah. If you have the budget for Pool Sand go with that. I went with the Play Sand because it is cheaper, no other reason :)
     
  5. curtshan

    curtshan Thread Starter Member

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    Thanks, I thought sand might work. As far as the flourish, what should I get. I looked and there were several, with iron, with potassium, with nitrogen etc. Also, has any one ever had sucess with a yeast reactor? Or even know what one is? I want all of my little plants to "flourish", no pun intended...Thank you all, Curtis...
     
  6. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    They sell Root Tabs that work GREAT for rooted plants... Flourish Excel is GREAT for plants that feed on the water column

    Root tabs are little things you press in the sand...

    Excel is a liquid fert to add to the water like de-clorinator
     
  7. curtshan

    curtshan Thread Starter Member

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    The lady that gave me the plants said, I would need to add carbon, so flourish or a yeast reactor. I would also need to add iron, especially for one plant inparticular. Anyway, is the carbon CO2?
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Iron is usually for red colored plants. Green plants really don't need those additives.

    As for the yeast reactor, check the DIY section. A lot of the plant specialists here have a lot of tips for such things and how to fabricate them.

    You can also check out LemonDiscus' tanks by clicking his links.. he's got quite a few plants so take any advice he gives and put it to good use [thumbs]

    What is your lighting at the moment?
     
  9. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    What is the plant that she said needs carbon??
     
  10. curtshan

    curtshan Thread Starter Member

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    I have plant and aquarium bulbs on them now...
     
  11. curtshan

    curtshan Thread Starter Member

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    She said all the plants need carbon. The flourish was carbon in a bottle...
     
  12. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    What is the color?!?! Plants grow at about 6700K
     
  13. curtshan

    curtshan Thread Starter Member

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    Very few are red. Most are jungle vals she gave me an amazing assortment of plants
     
  14. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    You dont need Carbon... CO2 is only needed if you are around 4 watts per gallon or more...
     
  15. curtshan

    curtshan Thread Starter Member

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    What do you mean by 4 watts per gallon? I'm kind of a dummy...
     
  16. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    If you have adding your bulbs power together 150 watts and you have a 30 gallon tank you need CO2.... (most stock lighting that comes with tanks WILL NOT get you this power!)

    I have a 125 gallon tank and run about 140 watts right now... that means I am about 1.1 watts per gallon.....
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Generally you need 2 to 3 watts of lighting per gallon of water to sufficiently grow plants. For plants that need high lighting, you'll need Very High Output (VHO) lighting to keep them.

    VHO lighting will be about 4 watts per gallon so you need CO2 to replenish what is left out of the water.

    Look at your light bulbs. Whatever the wattage is of them, if it's not 2-3 times what your tank gallons are, then you should only be able to keep low light plants.
     
  18. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

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    Low light plants with low lighting DO NOT need CO2
     
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    do certain plants do better than others in sand substrate?

    Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:48 pm
    I'm thinking about doing the plant thing but have sand in one tank. Are there any specific plants that would do better then others?
     
  20. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Re: do certain plants do better than others in sand substrate?

    Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:50 pm
    There shouldn't be a problem growing any common plants in sand. You'll more than likely have to use a fertilizer you can place in the sand for plants that get their nutrients from their roots.