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Substrate For A Planted Tank


Tinkokeshi

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ok so in much excitement for finally being able to set up my 72 gal, i've resumed my planning for what i want to do with the tank. :D

if i do freshwater, i really want to try a hand at keeping a planted tank. since i've never done this before, i'm looking for some suggestions. my thoughts right now are either more fancies, maybe comets, tropicals or i really am thinking about getting an arrowana. :D

but IF i do goldies in a planted tank, i've got my eye on this stuff by caribsea it's called eco complete plant substrate, and it comes in 20 lb bags. i just wanted to know if those of y'all who have used it before would recommend it, and how much i'd need for a 72 gal tank? the only color of the eco complete i've found is black. is black a good color for a substrate? i'm afraid it'll make the tank look too "dark". :unsure:

would it be best to have my tank bottom be completely substrate? or should it mix it in with gravel?

thanks in advance for any suggestions and help! :heart

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First of all congrats on the new tank :D It all sounds very exciting and you are doing very well getting everything prepared and thought over before taking action!

I would think black substrate could look very nice in a huge tank like that. There is a member who keeps panda telescopes with a black substrate, or was it black mixed with white gravel....mmm, anyway that looked fantastic.

A planted tank looks wonderful :heart . I like a color coordinated theme personally. So the fish colors show up well.

What kind of plants are you planning on ?

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If you do a planted tank, you need to pay particular attention to the lighting. Look into compact fluorescent (sometimes called power compact) lighting. This gives you a much higher intensity than regular fluorescent.

As to the substrate, remember that goldfish like to dig or browse the substrate, so make sure that the material isn't so fine that it clouds the tank when they do this. If it does, you might put the plants in small pots (with the substrate) and bury them in gravel.

Good luck with this.

Dennis

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First of all congrats on the new tank :D It all sounds very exciting and you are doing very well getting everything prepared and thought over before taking action!

I would think black substrate could look very nice in a huge tank like that. There is a member who keeps panda telescopes with a black substrate, or was it black mixed with white gravel....mmm, anyway that looked fantastic.

A planted tank looks wonderful :heart . I like a color coordinated theme personally. So the fish colors show up well.

What kind of plants are you planning on ?

yeah i think i've seen pictures of the black and white themed tank. :D i think if i went with black, i'd want to keep it all black. i'm just wondering if you mix the plant substrate with gravel?

haha once upon a time i had a list of the types of plants i wanted in my tank... but since progress on it slowed to less than a trickle, i think i lost that list so i'll have to make a new one. hehe.

If you do a planted tank, you need to pay particular attention to the lighting. Look into compact fluorescent (sometimes called power compact) lighting. This gives you a much higher intensity than regular fluorescent.

As to the substrate, remember that goldfish like to dig or browse the substrate, so make sure that the material isn't so fine that it clouds the tank when they do this. If it does, you might put the plants in small pots (with the substrate) and bury them in gravel.

Good luck with this.

Dennis

yep i think it was bak2it that was recommending some good lighting, filters, and what not a while back when i first started planning all this.

i have a brand new 48" coralife lunar aqualight. here are the details from bigals... The state of the art Lunar Aqualight is a compact light fixture with a Blue-Moon-Glow LED light which creates rhythmic glitter and shimmering effects while promoting spawning cycles on corals and other reef life. These fixtures allow you to recreate the effects that both the sun and moon have on sealife. Includes: two 65 watt 10,000K Daylight and two 65 watt True Actinic 03 Blue compact lamps as well as four 3/4 watt Lunar Blue-Moon-Glow LED lamps.

i forget if it is good for plants, but for starting i think i'm looking at plants that don't require high amounts of light and are difficult to keep. hehe i'ma start off easy and go from there. :)

right now i'm more worried about how much substrate i have to buy to fill that tank. hehe. gotta budget it out since i'm still paying back school loans and such. :unsure:

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Greetings all!,

I'm new to this forum, so far it looks like we all suffer from CGD (Compulsive Goldfish Disease).

Tinkokeshi,

I'd keep fancies (4 or 5), comets will just tear up your aquascape, besides the fancies are nicer to watch move gracefully through the foliage, ahhhhhhhhh! Anyway, I've got a 15 gallon office tank that's got a single lionhead (Bubba) and a bristelnose (she won't suck on the goldies slime coat). I'm using Eco-Complete in that tank. It's been running since February of 2006. Personally, I LOVE the stuff. It's bimodal, which means it separates into two layers. The finer particles go to the bottom (easier for roots to penetrate) and the larger pieces stay on top (easier to hold plants in place). I can move plants around and within minutes (literally) the water is clear. The only thing I've found is that it will compact over time, so run a spoon through it every so often, or better yet, put a thin layer (just cover the bottom)of gravel down first. I'm a little obsessed, so I use jet black gravel, in case any finds it's way to the top. The downside is the price, I'm setting up a 55 gallon planted discus tank (maybe 90, if my buddy's wife talks him into parting with his), I ordered 4 bags from Drs. Foster & Smith, they had the best price w/shipping that I could find, their price was even better than locally +tax.

For your 72, you may need 5 or 6 (or add more black gravel). Maybe run the Eco-complete around the back and sides for planting and gravel in the center for ease of cleaning :idea

For plants, I keep crinum thaianum (water onion, it's actually a lily), Red Tiger Lotus, same java fern and a crytocoryne wendtii (bronze variety). The fish doesn't bother any of them and they all tolerant of the "low light" in the tank. It's only an 15W "flora-glo" bulb, I think the color temp is 2700K. I'll try to take some pics and post them.

As you stated before, the bulbs you have now, are really intended for a marine tank. The 10,000K won't harm your plants, it's just too white for good photosynthesis to occur. The antic blues aren't doing anything, your plants don't even know they're there. Try to get bulbs that are around 6700K, if that's too pink for you try "full spectrum" bulbs or even better the SunPaq Dual Daylight 6700?K/10000?K. They will provide light for the plants and light for you.

Here's a link:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod...=1&N=2004&Nty=1

BTW, a dark subtrate with a black background will make your goldies or calicos or redcaps POP with color! (a black moor,not so much)

Hope I didn't run on tooo much, it's the CGD talking.

Good luck!

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:D thanks so much for the input dr. tankenstein! haha i was looking at the new posts and noticed you were the one who posted, then i couldn't help but to admire your user name. haha. :D

welcome to kokos!!! we're glad you've joined our online family!

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Welcome, Dr. T! A man who knows his stuff...

Discus are a challenge! I've almost always lived in hard water areas so never ventured "there". Really cool fish, though.

"Bubba" is a cool name for a Lionhead, too. heh heh.

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i have 2 planted aquariums and i never used any substrate or any nutrients for my plants and they are doubling in size every few months. i honestly feel that with goldfish, you dont really need to add much substrates for the tank. goldfish produces a lot of waste and the plants will absorb them. the only thing i think that would need substrate are plants that needs lots of lighting and CO2 or if your planted tank isnt intended for goldies.

also, Dr. T is right on the lighting. those blue spectrum lighting isnt going to do much for your plants. some where between 5000k - 6700k color temp would do nicely for the plants.

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