substrate and Fertilizer Question

  1. xARIZ0NAx Member Member

    OK so i plan on buying some CaribSea FloraMax Planted Aquarium Substrate for my tank. Not real sure what plants im gonna get but if i get the Planted Aquarium Substrate do i need to get liquid Fertilizers/food and Supplements and when i get the CaribSea FloraMax Planted Aquarium Substrate
    how long well it last before i need to get more.:;hurryb
     
  2. TayJay76 Member Member

    When I started my planted tank, I too used that substrate. Even then I still have to use fertalizer. It depends on what plants you get, some don't need that much fertalizer to survive, therefore they can get what they need from the substrate. However, if you get plants that are root feeders than it is wise to get some tabs because the substrate will likely not be enough.

    Typically this substrate will last about six months before it loses it properties. That is why some people don't even use these types of gravel and just get regular gravel like sand or pebbles. Are you planning on making it a heavy planted aquarium, or just a few plants with fish, how big is the aquarium?

    The reason I ask is that if you are wanting to make it a heavy planted tank, you will need to get some ferts for the tank because the substrate wont be enough. Especially if you don't get root feeders because the substrate wont do those plants any good unless they are root feeders. I recommend flourish comp. It's a great fert that has most of what your plants will need. Flourish comp is a liquid fert so it will affect plants that use their leaves to suck up all the the nutrients that they need. If you get plants that are root feeders I would recommend flourish tabs, a great root fertalizer. If you get the tabs for your root feeders, you should just get either pool filter sand or regualar gravel, because the root tabs will give more nutrients to your plants than that gravel will.

    Wish I would have known that before I went and got that gravel, but that was when I just started taking care of plants. Anyway, if you have any more questions let me know, good luck;)
     

  3. xARIZ0NAx Member Member

    right now i have a 60gallon with sand im not looking to make it real planted but i do want a lot of plants for all my fish to enjoy right now i have 3 Anacharis floating freely and my bettas love it and 1 moss ball with Seachem Flourish Comprehensive Supplement and API leaf zone plant food

    im looking at plants right now and im thinking Dwarf Hairgrass, Cabomba, more Anacharis and moss balls, Moneywort, Java Fern Plant
     
  4. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member


  5. xARIZ0NAx Member Member

    T5 HO nova extreme
     
  6. TayJay76 Member Member

    Your plants should do nicely with that lighting, go for it. Are you planning on using co2 in your aquarium?
     
  7. xARIZ0NAx Member Member

    No I was I didn't need one
     

  8. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    You can grow anything with that light. Perfect.

    You may want to think about co2 as well as that is plenty of light. I'd hate for you to get algae issues.
     
  9. xARIZ0NAx Member Member

    but what if i had algae eating fish like plecos:;sharky
     
  10. TayJay76 Member Member

    The eaters may be able to eat the algea on the glass, but the plants could develope issues with algea without co2.
     

  11. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    When algae shows up and gets out of control it means you have an imbalance with light, fertz and co2. Minimal amount that you can keep in check easily, means your tank is healthy and balanced. You keep an eye on your parameters. Nitrates should be kept around 10ppm. Depends how heavily planted. Put your lights on a timer 8-10 hours a day.

    Black Beard Algae is the main one I'd be concerned about as it gets a foot hold when co2 is low. Basically an imbalance. SAE eat this type.

    Another would be Green Spot Algae. This type is a hard algae that Nerite Snails can scrape off the glass but if it gets on the plants well then only thing you can do is reduce lighting period or raise the light up and check PO4.
     
  12. xARIZ0NAx Member Member

    But the stores here I'm my town don't have c02 systems were would I get them
     
  13. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Yep, Yep, Yep. I'm trying to get my 'forest' of BBA back under control at the moment :;fru Don't know about the SAE, I've never tried (my tank is too small for them)

    You could also consider Seachem Excel, it's a liquid carbon that does a good job. Mind you it can get pricey/expensive. There's also DIY CO2 options available. Check-out catsma's blog on DIY CO2.
     
  14. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Sorry you are having to battle the stuff.

    I use Excel for my carbon and I feel really lucky that I haven't had any major algae issues. I've found trimming the infected leaves off helps. It likes to appear on my Wisterias older lower leaves. It's interesting. None of the other plants get it. Looks like a black marker was taken around the parameter of the leaves sometimes or tiny dots scattered.

    Good luck with your tank. :)
     
  15. xARIZ0NAx Member Member

    Ok so i've been told when putting gravel sand or substrate put about 2 to 3 inches worth. But i plan on planting my tank so do i put 2 to 3 inches of substrate then my sand or can it be 1 1/2 inches of substrate and 1 1/2 inches of sand i currently have 60 pounds of sand in my tank now
     
  16. catsma_97504 Fishlore Legend Member

    It was suggested to use a total of 3 inches of substrate in your other thread. Substrate can be dirt, Fluorite, Eco-Complete, Play Sand, CaribSea, even gravel. The substrate can be anything you care to use. There is no magic formula for substrate.

    SAEs are supposed to eat BBA, but they are lazy and eat the flakes I give to my barbs and the pellets for my angels. Nerite snails eat a variety of algaes, but they do not fair well with an acidic tank (pH under 7.0 degrees). Amano Shrimp are another noted algae eater as well as plecos. One thing to remember is that nothing eats all forms of algae and not all forms of algae have a known consumer.

    The best thing is to find the right balance for your tank and not worry about who eats what. BBA is always caused by too little CO2. My tank has been doing great for a year with injected CO2. I replaced the canister last month and have been fighting BBA again. It is centralized in one area of my tank. So, in addition to the CO2 gas, I am also spot dosing Excel with my water changes.
     
  17. SJ408 Initiate Member

    Some substrates have high CEC, meaning that they will soak up nutrients for rooted plants to use up. Turface is one of those that I know of.