Don't Know Where To Go With All My Questions

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Georgie Girl, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Georgie Girl

    Georgie GirlValued MemberMember

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    I'm not exactly a noob.... I guess I'd say I'm a weak novice.

    I'm upgrading my betta, László, to a 10 gallon (from five) and I have questions about the tank I want, the substrate I should get (I'll have live plants), what to do about diatoms, the best pH for a betta, and more.

    Is this the right place? Truly, I have so many questions.

    If this is the right place, here's my first question: what's the best substrate for my little one-fish planted universe? I've looked at a few today, and each time I decided "that's the one," I'd start finding negative reviews of it. Your thoughts?
     
  2. Crispii

    CrispiiWell Known MemberMember

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    Any substrate should do fine when growing plants. When growing plants in either sand or gravel, you're going to need to find ways to feed your plants either root tabs or liquid fertilizer. If you're not going to give your plants root tabs, then you can either use dirt capped with sand/gravel or use aqua soil. Best brand of aqua soil includes ADA Amazonia, Fluval Stratum, and Mr. Aqua.
     
  3. candiedragon

    candiedragonWell Known MemberMember

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    Depending on the type of plants you are interested in should definitely impact your substrate choice. If you're just going to do epiphytes like anubias sp., bucephelandra, and java fern then substrate will not matter. These types of plants should generally avoid being planted as they're more adapted to growing onto other surfaces like driftwood and rock work. However, if you're going to do something like maybe a sword plant or a lily plant, those plants definitely absorb most nutrients through their roots so you will want to consider either a nutrient-rich substrate or having a regular supply of root tablets embedded in the substrate every couple months for the plants if you have plain substrate.

    If you do plain substrate like sand then you should consider the grain fineness. If it's too fine (play sand) then it easily compacts over time and can negatively effect proper root growth which will in turn have an effect on the plant health. Gravel on the other hand seems to trap crud quite easily so you should make it a habit of vacuuming the gravel to keep your general water quality good.

    Aquasoil is generally recommended over potting soil just because it is cleaner. I went with potting soil a few months ago because I was inspired by walstads and dirted tanks, plus the price point was enticing lol. However, I did have a LOT of tannins released from the soil and my tank was nicknamed the "Golden Tank" by my family because of it. If you dont like the look of tannic water then I hope you will like doing lots of water changes LOL. However, bettas do benefit from tannic waters so it wouldnt be a bad thing, in fact tannins arent a bad thing at all... unless maybe if you have almost no kH.

    I remember looking at aquasoils and reading negative reviews. I always look at negative reviews first, and I've learned to take it with a grain of salt. Most people are not very bright and think they know what they're doing but the harsh reality is that they dont. I usually just prepare myself to do as much precautions to avoid the potential issues and I usually dont run into them. I think maybe you need to figure out what you need and what you can handle and just dive right in.
     
  4. Brenden

    BrendenValued MemberMember

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    From personal experience, my luck with plants is horrible. The only thing I have found that kept my plants alive and helped on the maintenance end is fertilizer gravel.

    Just make sure whatever fert you buy doesn't contain copper cause that will kill snails if you plan on getting a snail.
     
  5. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

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    Diatoms will go away on their own in time. One thing about diatoms is that unlike green algae, diatoms actually thrive with less light. As far as pH goes, probably what comes out of your tap will be fine. The only thing is that at a pH below 7.0 ammonia starts turning into ammonia and by the time your pH reaches 6.0 all ammonia has turned unto ammonium. The good thing about ammonium is that it is far less toxic to fish. The bad thing is that it is a terrible food source for the ammonia converting bacteria and if you pH is too far below 7.0 it may become anywhere from difficult to impossible to get the tank cycled.
     
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