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Old 05-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #11 
Olympia
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Awesome tank. I kind of want a fluval, something nice in contrast to all the black rimmed standard tanks lol.
Just a note, I read that it's a bad idea to add in pure ammonia when there are live plants in the tank.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:42 PM   #12 
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Amazing looking tank! :) What substrate are you using by the way? It's a very nice color.
Mixture of Fluval Flora Stratum and Petco Black sand.

The sand was placed in edges of tank bottom to create a border, then filled with the Fluval flora stratum. Then capped with the sand. Over time, the two will mix as sand will eventually fall through the stratum, but the reasoning for placing the sand on top was to assist in the planting... much easier to keep new plants "rooted" until they grow significant root structures in the substrate.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:41 AM   #13 
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Ahhh, I see. How is the sand? Is it really fine, or do you think it would be good as a cap for instance in a NPT?
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:25 AM   #14 
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Awesome tank. I kind of want a fluval, something nice in contrast to all the black rimmed standard tanks lol.
Just a note, I read that it's a bad idea to add in pure ammonia when there are live plants in the tank.
I've done a lot of research into the ammonia fishless cycle including planted... It depends on the plant, but for most, they consume the ammonia - this is why planted tanks cycle quicker because with heavily planted tanks, the plants consume more ammonia resulting in a smaller bacteria colony (as it's not needed as much).

Plants prefer ammonia over nitrates because it costs them less energy to incorporate it. Nitrate must first be reduced into ammonia inside the plant before it can be used. That being said, algae likes ammonia more too for the same reason, but algae does have the energy reserves that plants have, so they are proportionally benefitted more. GW, staghorn, and several other algae types are directly linked to ammonia being present.

This is where the CO2 comes into play. Healthy levels of CO2 prevent Staghorn from growing. That leaves Green Water... it's a possibility, but if that happens, I just need to reduce the light, do some water changes... But again, with proper CO2, the plants will out compete any unicellular algae.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:31 AM   #15 
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Ahhh, I see. How is the sand? Is it really fine, or do you think it would be good as a cap for instance in a NPT?
It's small particle and it's a great substrate in any tank planted or non. You can get different colors or just get playsand from the hardware store. Wash it really good to get any dust particles off.

Especially in a non-planted tank.. when you clean it, you basically want to just swirl your gravel vac just above the surface of the sand to pick up any fish waste or uneaten food. That stuff pretty much stays on the surface. Also, you'll want to stir up the sand a bit to prevent any pockets of air that eventually can become toxic.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #16 
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Okay, thanks for the info! :)
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:57 PM   #17 
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Ah, missed the CO2 part. :D That makes more sense.
NH4+ is considered the purist nutrient for plants. Does NH3 provide the same effects? o-O It's interesting that the two are so similar composition-wise but so different in their effects {on fish}. I can't really find anything on using NH3 with plants, so just curious if you know.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:46 PM   #18 
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Ah, missed the CO2 part. :D That makes more sense.
NH4+ is considered the purist nutrient for plants. Does NH3 provide the same effects? o-O It's interesting that the two are so similar composition-wise but so different in their effects {on fish}. I can't really find anything on using NH3 with plants, so just curious if you know.
There are plenty of studies and websites regarding plants and Ammonia (NH3) specifically.

The important key element in all these is Nitrogen.. and it's all about balance in the end. Keeping the ammonia between 3-5ppm is not going to do any harm.. and most of that ammonia is going to be used by the plant. (resulting in a smaller bacteria colony)

Ammonia is used most often in many plant fertilizers (non-aquarium) for things like farming crops. And as with ANY fertilizer, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.. You can certainly over do it - so yeah, if I had overkill on ammonia it would deplete the oxygen in the water, cause rapid growth and then rapid decay of plants due to rapid growth of light blocking algae. (CO2 as previously mentioned deters that)

The difference between plants and fish... plants use Nitrogen (in ANY form).. they consume it in soil, water, any way they can get it from the roots and stomas in the leaves be it Ammonia, Nitrite or Nitrate.) They take in CO2 and exhale O.. Fish are not built the same, as we all should know, they breathe oxygen... ammonia depletes oxygen which is why you see fish gasping for air in high ammonia water. Fish generally suffocate in high ammonia, not discounting chemical burns.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1067198/ is a great scientific study on the differences of using ammonia based growth vs Nitrate based growth. The overall results are that you're less likely to see, some plants grew larger with the Nitrate based (in leaf size and structure) while Ammonia based were the same in appearance, smaller - but no difference to structure.

Keep in mind that this is only temporary - as the tank cycles, ammonia will be replaced with Nitrates and the plants will adapt to consuming that in place of the ammonia, at which point I hypothesize I'll see a booming increase in growth size wise. (larger new leaves).
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #19 
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Yea, good that there's no fish in there. :p but still isn't 3-5ppm too high for plants?
Just a thought, but land plants and aquatic plants are quite different, aquatic plants aborb more since they have higher surface area. O.o
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #20 
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Yea, good that there's no fish in there. :p but still isn't 3-5ppm too high for plants?
Just a thought, but land plants and aquatic plants are quite different, aquatic plants aborb more since they have higher surface area. O.o
I would say no... and I've given you ample information to back up my position on this.
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