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Do I Need A Nutrient Substrate / Ferts?

Discussion in 'Lighting, CO2, Ferts & Flow' started by Luketendo, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. garuf

    garuf Member

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    it does indeed, why don't you go El Natural diana walstead style would cost next to nothing everything is easily available
     
  2. Luketendo

    Luketendo BLENNY :O

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    Good Idea, how do you do it?
     
  3. garuf

    garuf Member

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    Go look for ecology of the planted aquarium by diana walstead or research the el natural style, i was recommended it and own the book but havent really studied the theory behind it.
     
  4. Underwurlde

    Underwurlde Always look on the bright side of life..

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    a.) That book costs about £35.
    b.) I wouldn't recommend that for a 14yr old to read anyway.

    I semi-answered that one in Post #46

    Response:
    I guess your 'stuff it' response was in relation to the time it takes to condition the soil - that I can understand. Soil is the best substrate to use for this method but like I said you could use something like Tropica Plant Substrate, but after all, the best stuff is free - you dig it up.

    That's it really, bung a good soil substrate it, cover it with a gravelly sand, add lots & lots of plants. In go your fish & feed them well. 1.0 - 1.5W/Gal is fine:
    Limitied choice of plants (I & others here can if you wish provide a list of them)
    DON'T vac the substrate (don't clean it).
    DON'T change the water - only say 25% - 50% ONCE every 6 (six) months.
    Encourage 'Ariel' growth if you can (so that the leaves of the plants come out of the water thus allowing access to CO2 in the atmosphere).
    Expect a little algae perhaps.

    Like I said initially, an 'El Natural' setup would suit your tank's equipment as it is.....

    Andy
     
  5. Luketendo

    Luketendo BLENNY :O

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    Sorry for being a bit stuck up I've been a bit funny in mood lately.

    Seeing as I need to wait for my 2nd tank to set up to transfer my fish, I could sort the soil out in that time. Do I just dig it up from my garden and let it soak outside in a bucket or something for a month?

    Is there no need to cycle then?
    I guess I don't dose ferts or anything special, but that just decreases the cost :). Could I cover the soil with Argos Playsand?

    It probably would help If I knew the plants I could get.

    Thanks.

    Also Algae probably would be bearable now as I discovered a metal scrapper in my LFS and it is very good, I also plan on keeping a few shrimp. Also would be External Filter pose any problems? It also over filters by about 35 liters which is quite big compared to my tank which is 65 liters, It can filter up to 100 liters.
     
  6. nry

    nry Member

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    Check out your other thread for pictures of my tank with 1wpg and no CO2.

    To be truthful I'd choose the following if I was setting up your tank:

    Tropica Substrate
    Sand on top
    Low-ish fish stock

    Tropica Plant Nutrition + dosed as per the bottle alongside Flourish Excel dosed daily based on max. weekly amount/7
    Aim for 20-25% water change every fortnight, possibly every month if nitrAtes stay low (mine used to stay ~5ppm due to loads of plants)

    I am going to be using a TetraTec EX600 on my 54-litre soon. Most externals should have flow control so they are fine for smaller tanks like yours and mine.
     
  7. Underwurlde

    Underwurlde Always look on the bright side of life..

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    I understand - this thread of yours must be making you quite frustrated - gotta do this, gotta do that, can't do this, can't do that and to top it all I'm skint.

    Right, scrap the soil - it is cheapest and best, but it does require a lot of insight into what soils are / do and the use of them is for too erratic for me to suggest to spend all your money on something to have it based on soil, so forget I said that.

    KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the golden rule. Get some 'Tropica Aquacare Plant Substrate'. It behaves much in the same manner as that of soil - that is to say it can remove nutrition from the water and store it.

    DONT overstock on fish, just feed them well

    Substrate
    Mulm first
    Then 1" of Tropica Aquacare Plant Substrate
    Then 1 -2" of gravelly sand. It is recommended that a grain size is used that includes 1mm to 3mm sizes. I cannot remember where to get that from but I don't think Argos playsand is ideal here - I could be wrong.

    Suitable low light 'El Natural' plants
    Alternanthera Reineckii 'Rosaefolia'
    Anubias Barteri var. 'nana'
    Anubias Barteri var. 'nana petite'
    Anubias Congensis
    Azolla Filiculoides – (Water Fern)
    Azolla Filiculoides var. Rubra
    Azolla Pinnata – (Feathered Mosquito Fern)
    Bacopa sp. 'Araguaia'
    Bacopa Caralimiana
    Cabomba Aquatica
    Cabomba Caroliniana – (Carolina Fanwort)
    Ceratophyllum Demersum - (Hornwort / Coontail)
    Chara Corallina
    Crassula Helmsii – (New Zealand Pigmyweed)
    Cryptocoryne Lucens (Crypt)
    Cryptocoryne Wendtii – (Tiny Crypt)
    Didiplis Diandra – (Water Hedge)
    Echinodorus Angustifolius
    Echinodorus Bleheri
    Echinodorus Horemanii ‘Red’
    Echinodorus Latifolius (Chain Sword / Pygmy Chain Sword)
    Echinodorus Parviflorus – (Black Amazon Swordplant)
    Echinodorus Tenellus – (Thin Leaf Running Sword)
    Elatine Gratioloides – (Water Wort)
    Eleocharis Accicularis – (Dwarf Hairgrass)
    Eleocharis Pusilla
    Egeria species (any)
    Elodea Densa
    Eriocaulon sp. 'Guang Zhou' – (Pipewort)
    Glossostigma Elatinoides – (Glosso)
    Hemianthus Micranthemoides – (‘HM’)
    Heteranthera Zosterifolia – (Stargrass)
    Hydrilla Verticillata - (Waterthyme)
    Hydrocotyle Leucocephala – (Brazilian Pennywort)
    Hydrocotyle Verticillata – (Whorled / Marsh Pennywort)
    Hygrophila Corymbosa var. 'Narrow Leaf' – (Starhorn)
    Hygrophila Difformis – (Water Wisteria)
    Hygrophila Lacustris
    Hygrophila Polysperma "Rosanervig" – (Dwarf Hygro)
    Landoltia Punctata – (Dotted Duckweed)
    Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis – (Brazilian Microsword)
    Lilaeopsis Polyantha
    Limnobium Laevigatum – (Amazon Frogbits)
    Limnophila Sessiliflora – (Asian Mashweed)
    Ludwigia Arcuata
    Ludwigia Peploides s. Montevidensis – (Floating Primrose Yellow)
    Ludwigia Repens – (Red Leaf Ludwigia / Red Repens)
    Lysimachia Nummularia – (Moneywort / Creeping Jenny)
    Marsilea Crenata – (Aquatic Clover)
    Marsilea Drummondii – (Clover Fern)
    Marsilea Mutica – (Water Clover)
    Mayaca Fluviatilis – (Bog Moss)
    Microsorum Pteropus – (Java Fern)
    Myriophyllum Aquaticum – (Parrot Feather / Water Milfoil)
    Myriophyllum Caput Medusae – (Coarse Milfoil)
    Myriophyllum Crispatum – (Common Water Milfoil)
    Myriophyllum Papillosum – (Water Milfoil)
    Myriophyllum Salsugineum – (Lake Water Milfoil)
    Myriophyllum Simulans – (Amphibious Water Milfoil)
    Myriophyllum Variifolium – (Varied Water Milfoil)
    Najas species
    Nitella species
    Nymphoides Crenata – (Wavy Marsh Wort)
    Pogostemon Helferi – (Downoi)
    Potamogeton Australiensis
    Potamogeton Crispus – (Curly Pondweed)
    Ranunculus Amphitrichus – (Water Buttercup)
    Riccia Fluitans– (Crystal Wort)
    Ricciocarpus Natans – (Liverwort)
    Rotala sp. 'Colorata'
    Rotala Hippuris
    Rotala Macrandra 'Green' (mix in with the ‘Colorata’!).
    Rotala sp. 'Mni'
    Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
    Rotala Rotundifolia
    Rotala sp. 'Vietnam'
    Sagittaria Subulata
    Spirodela Polyrhiza – (Greater Duckweed)
    Triglochin Procera – (Water Ribbons)
    Utricularia Gibba s. Exoleta – (Floating Bladderwort)
    Utricularia Graminifolia
    Vallisneria Americana var. Gigantea – (Water Tape Grass)
    Vallisneria Spiralis – (Eel Grass)
    Vallisneria Torta
    Vesicularia Dubyana – (Java Moss)

    So there you have it. No faffing about, no added ferts no change to lighting fixtures (no DIY), no Excel, no trace blah blah blah. HOWEVER, if your plants DO show signs of difficencies, think of then adding the ferts etc.

    Andy
     
  8. Luketendo

    Luketendo BLENNY :O

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    Ok cool thanks a lot :).

    Where do I get the mulm from?

    So 25%-50% water change every 6 months.
    And do I have to cycle my tank first before I add fish?

    Also I found some good sand for my tank:

    http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?...roducts_id=1208

    Hagen Black River Sand it says grain size is 2-3mm.
     
  9. Underwurlde

    Underwurlde Always look on the bright side of life..

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    You have an existing matured tank no?

    It will therefore take next to no time to cycle your new tank - and yes, I would cycle it, just to be on the safe side, before adding plants and fish to it.

    Glad you asked that as it is also just what you need to cycle your new filter:

    Mulm is Nitrifying bacteria along with its carbon based food source, decayed plant material, fish waste detritus, invertebrates, diatoms, other algae, BGA etc. It is loaded with organic matter, bacteria and fungi, as well as a source of food for them. It can therefore be considered as active living thing and adds precisely what's missing from an established tank to a new one.

    Deep Vacuum a substrate, let the water settle in the bucket, then take your filter and clean that in the same old tank water you vac'd out - the dirt on the bottom? That's Mulm. The dirt in the filter sponge is Mulm. This is the wet "dirt" left on the bottom of a water change bucket after vacuuming the gravel. You wait about 2-5 minutes and pour off the clear water, save the wet soupy stuff left over and add this to the bottom of a new tank setup.

    Adding Mulm to the substrate will also help to prevent new tank syndrome – this goes for planted and non-planted tanks.

    Some of the bacteria will die as soon as you remove them but not much: if you keep the bacteria in a breathable bag or something just like you might with fish, they are fine for up to 2 hours.


    So, to 'seed' your new filter, add some of that mulm to it - get in right in there - squish & squeeze it in.
    With the mulm left over, 'seed' your new substrate by first laying a thin film of it on the bottom of your tank and then lay the substrate on top.

    Your filter should cycle in under a week - keep the filter on and add drops of pure ammonia (to keep your bacteria fed) and monitor the ammonia / nitrite levels to see when it is cycled.

    Good find that, just right IMO, and you wanted a black look didn't you?

    Cheers,

    Andy
     
  10. Luketendo

    Luketendo BLENNY :O

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    Ok so I need to buy a gravel vac now. Any type I should be looking for? I saw some on my lfs but I'm not sure what they're like, I think they're hagen. Also I'd have to empty my tank and refill it on the same day then?

    This Is the vac I think:

    http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?...;products_id=39

    Well ok before I do all of this I need to cycle my small 35L for my current fish to live in until I can afford to redo their tank.
     
  11. Underwurlde

    Underwurlde Always look on the bright side of life..

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    Sorry, I assumed you already had a vac as most ppl do.

    You don't have to buy that vac, just a hose will do.

    I would if I were you, otherwise you will loose the cycled bacteria in your filter. Keep the filter floating in old tank water for a maximum of 1-2 hours. They need to be aerated - i.e. have flowing oxygenated water flowing through them (in other words the filter).

    Andy

    PS. Something you said about needed to cycle threw me a bit - I read it that you were buying a NEW tank :rolleyes:
     
  12. Luketendo

    Luketendo BLENNY :O

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    Hah I bought a new 35L to house my fish while I redo my 65L which is already running.

    So I have to leave my External filter in water o.0?
     
  13. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Planted Section

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    When I change my tank I empty all the water out into a very clean dustbin, then I put the fish in there and finally the filter and heater and turn on for the duration of scaping.

    Andy
     
  14. Luketendo

    Luketendo BLENNY :O

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    The only thing I have is a 10 liter bucket which is clean.
     
  15. nry

    nry Member

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    This Hagen Black River Sand is no longer only in my tank :( lol

    It is nice, the grain size is small, 2-3mm is a big over estimate going by the two bags I've used - it is sand so grain size is pretty small, more like 1mm and below. It is a natural mix of dark colours so not 'black' like the quartz sands etc but I think it is really good, very dark and plants root very well with it.
     

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