Lets talk substrate

Discussion in 'Plant Problems' started by GDJ, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    The problem is the relatively small amount of water that we have in an aquarium compared to the almost limitless volume of the Amazon. I would be careful of adding too much organic material to a substrate. Organic matter will rot and you can expect Nitrogen spikes. I am not saying it cant be done, just that you should be careful.
     
  2. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    With organic matter, it starts to decay and release a whole host of potential nasties. Nitrate, amonia, methane, phosphate,hydrogen sulfide and excess Fe are some of the organic compounds released during the decay of organic materials. Small amounts might be fine, but have too much and you will only serve to kill and pollute anything trying to live in your tank.
     
  3. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    I guess it all comes down to balance... The plants will take up most of the nutrients produced by the decaying matter, but then you'll have to have quite a few plants in the tank to do this successfully. Too little nutrients, and the plants won't grow as well, too much and the fish won't make it. I guess if we all knew how to have the perfect, holistic and balanced ecosystem in our tanks, we won't be here, hey?;)
     
  4. vic+andrea
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    vic+andrea Algae harvester

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    @ Hotdog? You really did kind off put your foot strait into it without knowing it! It is called the nitrogen cycle! I am sure you have read about it before but do yourself a big favour! Read into it a bit more and you will understand what it is all about. With al the who ha that was going around the last few days, the nitrogen cycle was used a few times as an example. Why? Because it is a basic thing that needs to be understood. We all do water changes all the time (I hope). Why? Nitrogen cycle! It is a realy basic thing but trust me!!! Get it wrong and you lose a lot of fish and have problems with algae like you won?t believe!
     
  5. vic+andrea
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    vic+andrea Algae harvester

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    Holly mother I want a set-up like that!! Love the way the plants lifted off the substrate and made those open areas at the back!! Nice one silikube!
     
  6. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    Very nice Sillikube. (One day when I am all grown up I'll have a tank like that ;) )
    Frenzy recently gave me a book Aquarium Plant Paradise - Takashi Amano, Aqua Design Amano and you must see some of he setups in it. Fantastic to say the least.
     
  7. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    Thanks guys, but one thing the last 12 years of fishkeeping has tought me, is the nitrogen cycle!;D I mean a real balance. No ferts, no trimming, only natural filtration ie. no filter wool or any synthetic filter materials (Like you can get in some marine tanks with only a DSB and some liverock in your filter). Is it possible to have such a FW tank?
     
  8. City bowl
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    City bowl Noob

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    "no trimming" not unless you are doing something wrong! :sunny:
     
  9. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    Not unless you have some creature doing the trimming for you... Can a complete balance be achieved? Flower power! :hippy:
     
  10. City bowl
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    City bowl Noob

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    There is no creature other than yourself that will know what, where, and when to trim,
    it would be like replacing your gardener with a cow.
    You could get to the stage where all you do is trim once every two or three weeks,
    I have a tank that is like that.
     
  11. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    i dont mean from a layout and design point of view, i mean from a contents point of view...

    that guy mentioned flourit,lat?rit,aquabasis,sand of loire.

    also pretty simple, no organics, potting soil etc.
     
  12. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    It is possible, if you build yourself a dam and put a manatee in there :)

    Gerald is right, if you do not trim, the fastest growing plant will soon take over.
     
  13. vic+andrea
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    vic+andrea Algae harvester

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    And if you want your swords to grow better you need to trim it back a bit every now and then! I only trim back about two leaves every two to three weeks. But it does help alot.
     
  14. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    If you look at Diana Walstad's balanced aquariums she still trims plants to remove excess nitrates. When you cut the plants back they grow out stronger using up the nitrate excess. She also reckons you should then dry the plant leaves and use it as composs.
    Remember most of her tanks dont have filters of any kind...
     
  15. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    Found some fluorite today at a LFS for R173 for 7kg, and the Fluorite Red for R248 a bag, not too bad. Thinking of using two bags below my sand in my new 250l setup... Is it possible to use it as a top layer/only substrate? Or does it cause a lot of sediment?
     
  16. Zombie
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    Zombie Noob

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    You can use it on its own, just wash well to make sure all the dust is off, nice thing about it is that it does not brake down into a sediment as well as being a good substrate for your plants
     
  17. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    hey dood, which LFS has flourite for R173?
     
  18. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    Animal Kingdom in Pretoria... The Fluorite Red is a bit more expensive, but it all looks the same. Is that a good price?
     
  19. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    Aaah, went back in the thread and saw you already mentioned AK in PTA... All the Fluorite are at the bottom of the stack with the more expensive Fluorite Red on top...
     
  20. vic+andrea
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    vic+andrea Algae harvester

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    Hill fox also has some for about the same price.
     

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