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Old 05-17-2013, 12:41 AM   #11 
Greylady
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Thanks Jen!, I'm still new to all these plants so I'll have to go look those up to know what they look like! Lol. Thanks for all the info! Appreciate it!

Yeah the bulb does seems a little dull, but it's a soft light (easier on the migraines) and more white then the horrid yellow some bulbs give off, and the plants seem to do ok. I actually liked the one that came with the tank but it burnt out and there was very little info on the bulb and nothing at all on the box to indentify exactly what kind of bulb it was. Even the manufactureres couldn't tell me how to replace it. I tried three other bulbs before I finally settled on this one.

My substrare is plain white sand from petco. I have used a general all purpose liquid fert when I remember, which is not very often at all actually, I can't remember the name of it at the moment.

I totally agree with you about the co2! Im a wimp too.... i dont feel i know enough yet to not endanger my fish. Im the type that if I cant do it 100% correct then I wait until I have the knowledge to get it right.. my sister on the other hand is the "lets just do it and see what happens!" kind of person, where as I am a "read the directions" type person. Lol :)

I'm trying to decide if I want to go through changing out my substrate to a more plant nutrient one with a small amount of my white sand as a cap or just stick with just the sand and get root tabs.....
What do you guys think?

Last edited by Greylady; 05-17-2013 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:07 AM   #12 
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That may be your issue, fertilizer is pretty important, I dose 2x a week. Seachem's Flourish Comp is one of the few out there that has all (14? I think?) nutrients plants need, and I've had really good results with it. You could probably get away with 1x a week, and that stuff lasts for infinity haha :)

'Enriched' sand/gravel wears out after awhile...be it in a year or 3. I think the same goes for soil though I do believe it lasts longer (feel free to correct me on this anyone!).

I went with Flourite Black Sand simply because I liked the way it looked, but I have had awesome growth in it. I do believe I will eventually have to start using root tabs on my swords and crypts, since they're heavy root feeders.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:33 AM   #13 
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Thanks Jen, I think I will get some root tabs and skip changing the substrate for now. Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:21 PM   #14 
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Play sand isn't choice for the aquarium as the grain size isn't uniform(which causes compaction and lessens aeration) and the sand itself if actually very sharp and can cause microscopic cuts on fish and plants. It's also not very clean, and usually has a lot of dirt or tiny debris in it, which can sometimes change the PH or cause a cycle to drag out.

If you want to use sand definitely go for blasting grit or any other uniform grained sand. Black Diamond Blasting Grit has the benefit of being cheap as well, at only $4-7 for 50 lbs at any tractor supply. Sometimes home depot and lowes carry it as well.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #15 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gallium View Post
Play sand isn't choice for the aquarium as the grain size isn't uniform(which causes compaction and lessens aeration) and the sand itself if actually very sharp and can cause microscopic cuts on fish and plants. It's also not very clean, and usually has a lot of dirt or tiny debris in it, which can sometimes change the PH or cause a cycle to drag out.

If you want to use sand definitely go for blasting grit or any other uniform grained sand. Black Diamond Blasting Grit has the benefit of being cheap as well, at only $4-7 for 50 lbs at any tractor supply. Sometimes home depot and lowes carry it as well.

I'll have to disagree with you there. I use Quikcrete Playsand, which is very fine and soft, as it's made for children. I have seen no issues with my fish on it. Many of us over at TFK use Quikcrete playsand with much success with both fish (including soft bellied bottom feeders) and plants. It just needs to be rinsed a lot as it can be quite dusty. It takes awhile but I think it's worth it for a $4 50lb bag. To my naked eye it looks quite uniform, although there are regional differences.

Blasting grit is made to wear away the surface of something. I'd think it'd be much rougher, and I have heard accounts of it hurting bottom feeders. I have not used this sand myself, however.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #16 
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The coarse blasting grit will damage bottomfeeders and plants, that is usually the main issue with the blasting grit is that people purchase the wrong screen size. BDBG in extra fine is safe for bottomfeeders and roots.
Quikcrete playsand is very soft but I've never bought a bag that wasn't very, very dusty and with uneven grit size and flakes in it. It is a soft sand but for me personally it's not worth all the washing and straining I have to do to get all the flakes and dust out of it before use, but really it's personal preference I suppose. There are good brands of playsand that are not sharp, but very few of them are sized to ensure even grain quality.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:03 AM   #17 
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Do you wash the blasting grit before hand? I will agree that playsand is filthy and a pain to rinse, but it's cheap and I can get it local.

Just curious, do you live in Canada? I'm finding extreme differences with this sand between USA residents and Canadian. I don't suppose you'd happen to have a picture for comparison? :)
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:27 AM   #18 
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I have petco white sand in my tanks. I've had it for over a year in my first tank, the other two tanks have it also. I have MTS to keep it airated and it works great in my opinion.

I was trying to decide if I should put some sort of substrate UNDER the sand I already have so I could possibly grown a wider veriety of plants, ie groundcover.

I do have another question though...while reading up on substrates and trying to decide if or what would be the best to add under my sand, I kept reading that people where recommendIng eco complete, hower eco complete is enert, so what's the point if it has no more benificial qualities than sand? Am I missing something?

Last edited by Greylady; 05-20-2013 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:30 AM   #19 
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I just did a quick google on Eco Complete and one of the Australian sellers has this:

Quote:
Mineralogically complete means it contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur plus over 25 other elements to nourish your aquatic plants.
It doesn't look inert, unless this is not the one you are talking about?
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:36 AM   #20 
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Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
I use java moss or susswassertang when I want a carpet. LBF's suggestion of a mesh is a great one, though I'm too lazy and just let it get a bit crazy. :)
What sort of substrate do you use? Does your java moss grow on top of it? I had bought what I was told was java moss at petco and tied it to a log, for a while it looked great, was green, growing well, then it just died all of a sudden. But like I said I'm not sure it was real java moss.
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