Substrate Mix

  1. 8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    Hi all currently have black diamond quartz not exactly the best plant substrate but at time had plastic plants was scared off co2 and live plants and was visually appeasing was told to mix it with black iron sand so it's 50/50 and use root tabs

    This is my first time planting would be worth while throwing some osmocote aqua underneath it all

    Will this work lfs guy said will be fine they actually run co2 in there planted tanks. First I've seen

    Or scrap the expensive mix
    Not entirely sold on soil mix

    4ft tank looking to light/med planted
    Co2 pressurised with co2 reactor
    4ft 52w AZ led light freshwater and plant spectrum light
     
  2. Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    Potting soil has manure in it which can leach tons of ammonia :( you can stop it from happening by capping it with 2" of gravel.

    I would keep testing a lot to make sure it isn't leaching too much :)
     
  3. OP
    OP
    8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    Not really keen on the soil mix I thought would happen thanks for reconfirming makes me more against the idea

    Is my current substrate black diamond quartz mixed black iron sand?
    With root tabs be suffice for light to Med planted tank to me seems fine lfs seem to talk the talk but can he walk the walk as we know about these lfs

    If not. what would be suitable and black pref
    I see so many options out there not sure how many are just sales pitches gimmicks and what's actually beneficial very overwhelming new to planted tank
     
  4. Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    Your substrate mix will probably work, though to go no ferts no Co2 you will need a planted substrate soil thing.

    I'm still sorta lost when it comes to fertilizer :confused: browse the web before you buy. Also do yourself a favour & steer clear of phosphate & nitrate fertilizer.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    No ferts and no co2 keep it low tech I like

    Thanks for the heads up on that with the fertz I'm in over my head ATM everything researched seems like I need co2 if I can get away sure I'm in on that not be cheap but one less chemical in the water body I'm down for
     
  6. Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    Co2 is natural so it's not too bad

    If you can find it, read "Ecology of the planted aquarium" by Diana Walstad. She is renowned for her low tech techniques:)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    This is true. will have a Google see if I can find it thanks again :)
     
  8. J

    Jocelyn Adelman Fishlore VIP Member

    Few things...
    1) entirely possible to have a stunning, moderately planted low tech tank.
    2) sand substrate with root tabs is fine... as an FYI here in the US many use osmocote... but there is no such thing as osmocote aqua.
    3) you can NOT have a healthy planted tank without ferts... independent of co2, you will need to feed your plants
    4) make sure you have good lighting

    To co2 or not... co2 tanks look better, greater selection of plants and colors. Need more ferts then low tech. I find co2 tanks easier to “dial in” (get it growing correctly), but also require more maintain energy.
    Low tech tanks get off to a slower start, but growth picks up after a few weeks. Less maintain everything.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    1. Excellent Im All for minimalist but if co2 will yield best results seems like the way to go

    2 I want to try and stick with a darker substrate dont like lighter substrates find it washes the fish colour out
    And here in Australia the sell osmocote aquatic see screen shot

    3 agree with root tabs not so sure on osmocote also have flourish excel here not sure on any others

    4 I have strong spectrum led specific light bought few days back for plants

    5 what's your thought on keeping the black diamond quartz substrate I already have mix in 50% black iron sand

    I already have the co2 reactor just need bottle reg and solenoid

    Just after what ever is going to produce best result and give the wow factor not just oh another fish tank
     

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  10. barandemir09

    barandemir09 Valued Member Member

    I use that osmocote aquatic fertiliser, and the thing is, it’s good and all, but I have come to the conclusion that you need a tonne of them to make a real difference. I have a black sand substrate as well and do have carpeting plants and such in there, I would put 1 every 5-10cm, the more the merrier in the case of osmocote. But you have to watch out as they tend to release some ammonia at the start, so start off with a little and gradually increase the amount or when starting a new tank, wait a little extra for the ammonia to leach out
     
  11. OP
    OP
    8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    Awesome thanks so be best I sort the aquascape out first prior stocking this tank with ammonia spikes wanted sort substrate out first the let's get some plants happening until cycle balances again the fish think I got it sorted now I think lol
     
  12. s

    smee82 Well Known Member Member

    Honestly if you want to do a planted tank with co2 i would get rid of your inert substrate and add aquasoil.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    Like amazonia soil? Just watched vid of it guy put powerd ferts underneath looked size of gravel looked good yielding good results as well how many litres would think I'd need to properly do a 4ft
     
  14. barandemir09

    barandemir09 Valued Member Member

    Yeah I would use aquasoil but everything in Australia is double the price compared to US. $50 for a 10L bag or $300 for a Fluval 2.0 light is jut too much for your average aquarist, going DIY here is probably your best option unless you are willing to spend the $
     
  15. OP
    OP
    8

    83jase Valued Member Member

    Yea Ive noticed the price here in Australia quiet expensive compared other countries no worries will look into DIY see what that is about. It took 40kg black diamond quartz for 4ft 1.5" thick so I'm dreading the cost Of amazonia at $65aud for 9ltr bag at lfs I think that's gonna hurt the wallet but I'm still convinced enough to chase the end resulting wow factor