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Old 08-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #1 
BeautifulBetta
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Planted tanks and substrates?

Hey all, I've decided too 'build' a planted tank for all my females, but I need to know what I'll need for substrates. I've been trying to find info but the internet isnt turning up much for helpfulness. I wanna try sand and dirt on the bottom instead of gravel. I understand that you gotta put the sand on top of the dirt to keep it down, but i was wondering what type of dirt to use thats safe for the fishies?? Also, what kind of sand to use. I know I used to use sand in my bearded dragons tank but I didnt know if it was the same stuff as they used in tanks. Anyone tried play sand?
I know a bit about plants so thats fine, I just need to know substrate stuff LOL
Thanks for any info.
Alora
PS: this is what im hoping to do, kinda.

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Old 08-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #2 
tpocicat
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OFL should be able to help you.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:04 PM   #3 
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Hopefully :D
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #4 
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For dirt a lot of people use organic miracle gro potting mix or mineralized top soil. Sand can be aquarium sand, play sand, pool filter sand. if you google NPT or look on the planted tank forum there are lots of threads about this.
Are you going to have rooted plants in the tank?
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:57 PM   #5 
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I was going to have rooted plants, yes. But I was gunna put gravel over where they are. I'd rather have sand but if I have to have something else, thats cool. I got some hairgrass coming, that probably wouldnt root well in sand would it? Hmm...Didnt think of that LOL. Java moss I bought is gunna be all over some rock structures I've made. Maybe I'd better just stick with gravels and have a "pathway" of sand or something. I have too many ideas!! haha
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:24 PM   #6 
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you can do dirt and sand for hairgrass it is fine. I was asking if you will have root plants because there is no point in putting soil in a tank that wont really benefit because there are no rooted plants or plants that mainly take nutrients from the substrate. If you do gravel you will want to use some root tabs.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:33 PM   #7 
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Seachem Flourite and Eco Complete are very good substrate for planted aquariums. They don't come cheap though.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:59 PM   #8 
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ADA aquasoils (Amazonia is the most nutrient rich) are proven performers and are used by a lot of people with planted tanks like the one shown in your picture.

However, be aware, they will cause an ammonia spike (sometimes up to around 8ppm) due to leeching when first put in. However, by using a seeded filter and doing plenty of water changes you are usually able to speed up the process.

It is best to plant heavily with stems and floaters at first and then gradually phase these out, as more delicate plants can melt when exposed to high levels of ammonia.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:50 PM   #9 
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Wow thats quite the spike lol. Thanks for the warning!! Ill look into it more when I have time to :D
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:08 PM   #10 
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Yeah it's because it has a lot of nutrients haha. Africana and Malaya do not have as much of a spike (mine seemed to peak around 1-2ppm) but they do not contain quite a much nutrients.

I believe all you really need to dose for is potassium (which is why ADA sells Brighty K) as the soil contains the rest.

Their range of decorative sands is also top notch and look great as a topping over the aquasoil substrate.

Of course they are pricey, but they do work and have been proven over and over again.
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