Beginner planter tank…

Myraan

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It's not glutaraldehyde though. That's the whole point I was trying to make. I am sure glutaraldehyde is the main raw material in it's manufacture, but the active ingredient is an isomeric polymer which means biochemically it looks a lot different.

If any study has actually proved it to be dangerous rather than a worry that something that's not even in the product is a disinfectant, I would of course like to know. And if that's the case Seachem need to be prosecuted for lying on their safety data sheet.

All sorts of things overdosed can be harmful.
 

Byron

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It's not glutaraldehyde though. That's the whole point I was trying to make. I am sure glutaraldehyde is the main raw material in it's manufacture, but the active ingredient is an isomeric polymer which means biochemically it looks a lot different.

If any study has actually proved it to be dangerous rather than a worry that something that's not even in the product is a disinfectant, I would of course like to know. And if that's the case Seachem need to be prosecuted for lying on their safety data sheet.

All sorts of things overdosed can be harmful.

True, but that does not mean we should use "x" product. This is a highly dangerous substance. Glutaraldehyde is at the base of whatever Seachem may call the chemical. There was an article on the OscarFish site a few years ago that dealt with this, but I think the site is no longer around, I get a message "this domain is for sale."

Seachem say several of their products are "safe for fish," but in reality some of them are not, strictly speaking. I doubt anyone would get anywhere suing them. Their definition of "safe" seems to mean if you use the product and the fish do not turn belly-up then it is "safe." Rubbish. Any substance in the water that is able to diffuse across the cells with the water which is continually entering the fish is going to have an impact. And we know that some plants will be killed even at the recommended dose.

Some fish species are more susceptible to these products than other species. Characins for instance. Given that Excel is not even necessary for good plant growth only provides more reason to avoid it.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Most of that guide is really good!

There are a couple of inaccuracies though;

"Well, the answer is that the survival of plants is a must. Gravel substrate is out of choice for planted aquarium. There are two main options available.

  • Inert substrate
  • Active substrate"
This isn't true. You can grow easy beginner plants in gravel just as easily as you can in sand. Unless the gravel is really a huge size, more like pebbles than gravel, in which case plants would have a hard time staying rooted. But your normal everyday tank gravel is just as good for growing plants as sand is, both only require the addition of some root tabs now and again for those plants that are heavy root feeders, like Amazon swords and cryptocorynes.

It also says;
"One of the most essential components of a planted aquarium is CO2 supplements. As the plants require CO2 for their growth and survival. In order to provide the necessary amount of CO2 use its supplements."

Also untrue. There's enough CO2 naturally in the tank for most easy, beginner plants. Only some much more difficult, high light/high CO2 needs plants need additional CO2, but I wouldn't recommend messing with that when you're just stepping into having your first plants. It's more advanced planted tank keeping, and mistakes can be deadly to any life in the tank. It truly isn't needed to worry about CO2 levels when you're getting your first, easy to grow basic plants.

I don't use CO2 or liquid CO2 in either of these tanks, never have, and the plants don't mind growing in gravel or sand, and that I rarely remember to add fertilisers!
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So don't fret and feel like you need a special plant substrate, a lot of expensive ferts and knowledge, or to start a CO2 system or anything. If you find you love all that stuff and get really into advanced aquascaping later, then great! But for starting out, don't worry about all that! You can have a healthy, well planted, thriving tank without all of that.

Whether to keep your gravel and switch to sand - I'd make that decision before buying plants. They don't love being moved once established, so if you know you'd like sand, then go ahead and make that switch now :) You can grow plants just fine in sand.

Also what fish do you have, or plan to have? Because some bottom feeding fish especially, require sand, like corydoras or kuhli loaches, so sand does give you more options for fish. It's also much easier to keep clean than gravel is, trust me! Personal experience with having both :)
 

Mikeyboy123

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Some very strong opinions here. I have not advised or recommended that anyone use flourish excel, I’ve just said that I use it, and I will keep on doing so. My fish and shrimps and plants and bacteria are all doing very well. Ammonia and nitrites at zero, nitrates possibly a trace but very little. I hope that the OP is successful with their planted tank.
 

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