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Old 12-29-2012, 09:57 PM   #1 
FishyFishy89
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My 1st planted tank

So for my 75 gallon, I've decided to plant it.

I think I'm going to do the sand/soil/sand substrate on OFL's sticky thread. Can I just plant in sand substrate for plants like Cabomba, Hornwort, Wisteria, Moneywort, Anubius, Anacharis and swords? Using just the waste that the tank receives and some liquid fert that I have? Or would it be best to use the sand/soil/sand that OFL recommended?

If the plants I have don't have any roots, how do I plant them?

If I have to use soil, how big of a bag should I get?


I do NOT want to use root tabs. Any fert I have to use, I want it to be a minimal use.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #2 
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Depends on what the plant is - if its floating, then just leave it floating, but if its like a anubius, then tie it down with string or thread or such to a rock or driftwood until the roots grow and attach

As for the dirt, its all in your gut on how much you think you need :D
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #3 
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When you use soil-usually you will not need any added ferts. The nutrients in the soil itself as well as what the system will make as it matures is usually all that is needed-unless the plants show a nutrient deficiency.

If you use only sand and no dirt-I wouldn't go deeper than 2 inches and you will need to add ferts for both water column and root feeder plants when using inert substrate-like sand or gravel only.

Just to be sure-since you are posting "sand/soil/sand" You want to place the dirt/soil-then cap it with sand-You don't need to lay sand then soil then sand again.

For a 75gal-I would use about 2-3in of dirt and cap that with half as much sand. The cap is just to help hold the soil in place and you don't need as much of it.

When starting a soil based tank-it is important to start out with enough of the right species of plants to avoid problems and possible crash.

What kind of lights do you have, age of bulbs, kelvin, watts and planned photoperiod. I am sure you already have the correct lights since you have read the sticky on NPT's.

Usually stem plants are sold in bunches of 6-12 stems without roots-You can either plant the bare stem directly into the substrate or you can lay an object like a rock on top of it until it roots and anchor itself.
With rosette plants-like swords, crypts, sags, vals...etc....plant them in the substrate with the crown slightly above the substrate line.
Plants like ferns and anubias anchor them to something-you don't want to bury the rhizome-otherwise it will rot.
Floaters-need to float, you don't want to bury or plant the Hornwort-but you can drape it on something so it is more upright.

Look froward to pics....
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:51 PM   #4 
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We haven't purchased any lights yet. Hubby just finished cutting the lid pieces. Next comes the velcro pieces(1 large lid to secure to the tank), the hinges and the light strip to be made.

I want to be sure I'm going for the right bulb. This was the one I was looking at in HD: http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-...1#.UOC3FpXMJdg Do both need to be in at the same time or can just 1 bulb be used?

I don't have any dirt to use. Would I have to purchase that or can I just use soil and then sand?

Okay, so it looks like I'll just tie down my Anubias/or Java Fern, it may actually make my driftwood look a bit nicer.

So if I get some Hortnwort, I should let it float? For the plants that float, they'll still get their nutrients even though they're not planted?

Thanks for answering my questions!

Last edited by FishyFishy89; 12-30-2012 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:33 PM   #5 
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Those are Daylight 6500k bulbs and what I use over all my NPT's.

On my 75gal I use 3 bulbs of those 6500k 40w bulbs, however, I only use 2 bulbs for 12h and turn the 3rd bulb on late afternoon-its on for about 5-6 hours a day-I have had to tweak this due to algae. My tanks are all open top for best light penetration to the plants and the lights are about 2-3 inches-sometimes 4-5in above the water-depending on if I need a top-off...lol...

For dirt-you can buy it or dig it- if your collection location if free of harmful chemicals. If you buy it, look for organic potting or or top soil....you should be able to find both the soil and sand at Home depot or look for pool filter sand instead of playsand-either will work as the cap on the soil.

Yes, floating plants and other plants will get the needed nutrients from the water column from the nutrients released into the water column from the soil and other nutrients created by natural decomp from organic matter in the system.

Correct, hornwort is a floating plant-I like to drape mine over driftwood to give it a more upright appearance and to keep it further from the lights-since mine tends to get hair algae due to being too close to the light source in the tanks I use 40w bulbs in-it doesn't seem to be a problem in the tanks I use 20w bulbs.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:42 PM   #6 
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I have already purchased 2 bags of playsand. 1 of which is already open, I don't know if HD accepts returns on open products like playsand. What is the difference between pool filter sand and playsand?

So is dirt used instead of potting soil? Or is it used WITH potting soil? Because I can get the potting soil.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:49 PM   #7 
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Either or....dirt-soil-mixed...all the same IMO/E..Same with playsand and pool filter sand, however, pool filter sand is a tiny bit large grains-but it doesn't seem to make any difference as far as plant growth IME.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #8 
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Okay.
Thanks again for answering my questions. I really appreciate it! I can't wait to start this tank up. I'm only able to purchase a few items each paycheck, that's gonna drive me crazy xD


ETA: 1 last question. Does it have to be heavily planted or can I just get a 2-3 bushels of each type and use those as my base to plant the tank with? As they grow, just trim/replant.

Last edited by FishyFishy89; 12-30-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:24 AM   #9 
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With soil based tanks-it is safer and recommend to start out with enough of the right species of plants from the get-go....Otherwise you risk a crash...At least 75% of the floor need stem plants and 10-20% floating plants-especially if you add any livestock...
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:01 PM   #10 
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Alright
Now, i saw these Mainstays Clip Lamp, Black: Decor : Walmart.com
Do you think 2-3 of these with atleast 30wat fluorescent bulbs would be enough lighting?
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