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Aquascaping Discuss aquascaping designs and techniques as well as get critiques on your aquascaping pictures. Find out how to use aquatic plants, reefs, and wood to design a planted aquarium.

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Old 02-24-2003, 01:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Howdy. I have a 10 g tank, my first ever planted tank that i wanted to be gorgeous, not just a few plants to make the tank look nicer. Has 26 W power compact lights, DIY CO2, and flourish fertilizer. Right now i have Red Ludwigia, Asian Ambula, Baby Tears, Didiplis Diandra, riccia (weee bit tied to a rock intertwined w/ java moss) Crypt wendtii (red), baby java ferns, a weeee bit of Rotala Macrandra, and an unknown lilly (long story short, killed an order of plants, the crypt wendtii, lilly, and macrandra were the only things to even remotely survive, and it's been a few months to get the plants to grow to distinguishable identities). The stargrass has been doing worse and worse, getting black patches all over the leaves and looking like hell. As much as i like it when its healthy, i can stand to live without it (unless of course anyone knows a solution??).

Currently, the asian ambula and red ludwigia stems are planted about an inch apart. The baby tears are pretty much rooted together, as they are very thing and were quite short when i got them and that was the only possible way to keep them in the substrate (sand/laterite) without floating away. Should i put the AA and RL closer together, and cut off the bottom levels, and put the baby tears/ stargrass (if it improves) in front to hide the bare stems? The light doesn't seem to be getting to the bottom leaves, causing them to die and mess up the tank. Is the close together planting of baby tears preferential; OK; or should i really try to plant them individually?

and i guess the final question will be, should i swith my sand and laterite substrate to Flourite? I move the tank about 4 times a year, between college and home, and trying to keep the sand/laterite seperate is a pain. flourite would make it a bit easier. I'm worried about losing the depth on the tank tho, right now the back part is about 4" deep and the front of the tank is about 2". Thanks a ton for your advice.

--Tish
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Old 02-24-2003, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Howdy. I have a 10 g tank, my first ever planted tank that i wanted to be gorgeous, not just a few plants to make the tank look nicer. Has 26 W power compact lights, DIY CO2, and flourish fertilizer. Right now i have Red Ludwigia, Asian Ambula, Baby Tears, Didiplis Diandra, riccia (weee bit tied to a rock intertwined w/ java moss) Crypt wendtii (red), baby java ferns, a weeee bit of Rotala Macrandra, and an unknown lilly (long story short, killed an order of plants, the crypt wendtii, lilly, and macrandra were the only things to even remotely survive, and it's been a few months to get the plants to grow to distinguishable identities). The stargrass has been doing worse and worse, getting black patches all over the leaves and looking like hell. As much as i like it when its healthy, i can stand to live without it (unless of course anyone knows a solution??).

Currently, the asian ambula and red ludwigia stems are planted about an inch apart. The baby tears are pretty much rooted together, as they are very thing and were quite short when i got them and that was the only possible way to keep them in the substrate (sand/laterite) without floating away. Should i put the AA and RL closer together, and cut off the bottom levels, and put the baby tears/ stargrass (if it improves) in front to hide the bare stems? The light doesn't seem to be getting to the bottom leaves, causing them to die and mess up the tank. Is the close together planting of baby tears preferential; OK; or should i really try to plant them individually?

and i guess the final question will be, should i swith my sand and laterite substrate to Flourite? I move the tank about 4 times a year, between college and home, and trying to keep the sand/laterite seperate is a pain. flourite would make it a bit easier. I'm worried about losing the depth on the tank tho, right now the back part is about 4" deep and the front of the tank is about 2". Thanks a ton for your advice.

--Tish
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Old 02-24-2003, 03:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Currently, the asian ambula and red ludwigia stems are planted about an inch apart. The baby tears are pretty much rooted together, as they are very thing and were quite short when i got them and that was the only possible way to keep them in the substrate (sand/laterite) without floating away. Should i put the AA and RL closer together, and cut off the bottom levels, and put the baby tears/ stargrass (if it improves) in front to hide the bare stems? The light doesn't seem to be getting to the bottom leaves, causing them to die and mess up the tank. Is the close together planting of baby tears preferential; OK; or should i really try to plant them individually?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its up to you, baby tears, Micranthemoides, can be very close together, no problem.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> and i guess the final question will be, should i swith my sand and laterite substrate to Flourite? I move the tank about 4 times a year, between college and home, and trying to keep the sand/laterite seperate is a pain. flourite would make it a bit easier. I'm worried about losing the depth on the tank tho, right now the back part is about 4" deep and the front of the tank is about 2". Thanks a ton for your advice.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Either one work fine for the plants. Sand tends to compact which is not good for plants

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Old 02-25-2003, 12:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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it's Pool filter sand, the one 1-3 MM kind, if that makes a difference to ya. Thanks

--Tish
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Old 03-28-2003, 05:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm curious as to why the compacting of sand is "bad" for aquatic plants. Any time I have observed plants growing in the field, compact muck was the substrate.

Do they somehow lose strength in their roots once subjected to artificial light and utopian aquascapes?
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Old 03-28-2003, 06:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Pool filter sand resists compacting..it is the ideal sand to use.
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Old 03-28-2003, 07:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by skylsdale:
I'm curious as to why the compacting of sand is "bad" for aquatic plants. Any time I have observed plants growing in the field, compact muck was the substrate.

Do they somehow lose strength in their roots once subjected to artificial light and utopian aquascapes? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'll venture a guess.

Why bother with roots when you can get most of your needs satisfied with water column supplied fertilizers? Roots extend to reach the needed nutrients. In our tanks, relatively open porosity allows nutrients to be drawn to the roots from the water column. Some plants send out anchoring roots and if tank currents were strong, we might see more rooting for that reason.

There is also some aerobic vs anaerobic bacteria stuff that I can't quite grasp as it has a lot to do with chemistry and the creation of noxious chemicals that can be dangerous to fish. I suppose this happens regularly in the muck of wild environments but the fish have the freedom to move away from bad zones, rather than being kept within a few cubic feet permanently.
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Old 03-29-2003, 04:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> There is also some aerobic vs anaerobic bacteria stuff that I can't quite grasp as it has a lot to do with chemistry and the creation of noxious chemicals that can be dangerous to fish. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm very familiar with this in reefkeeping--most hobbyists on this side of the hobby actually desire these areas within the sandbed for denitrification in the tanks. But these generally don't form unless you are dealing with sugar-grain size particles, and you need a depth of around 5-6" (sometimes 4" if it's finer) to achieve these anoxic layers. And the fish are perfectly safe unless you decide to take a broom handle and stir the absolute mess out of your sandbed.

I see what you're saying about the nutrients, and I agree. My curiosity stems from the fact that the reason I always hear against using sand is that its too difficult for the roots to penetrate and grow, which I completely disagree with. But your explanation about nutrients makes complete sense.
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Old 03-29-2003, 09:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Well, couple things, if the substrate is very tightly compacted, the roots have a hard time breaking thru it... Second, a compacted substrate will become void of oxygen, and decomposing organic matter in an oxygen poor substrate makes the problem even worse. The plants roots turn black and begin to rot. The decaying organics will rot... the whole substrate becomes sour and smells like rotten eggs. A toxic gas can even build up in the substrate. If left unattended, the plants will slowly die.

All sand compacts eventually, and over time it gets harder and harder. I had a two year old tank with sand that I tore down. I could not put my finger thru the sand. I had to use a trowel to pick it away. If I cant get my finger to go thru it, a plants roots sure cant.

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Old 03-29-2003, 10:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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does pool sand leach out anything while in water?
-charley

http://www.geocities.com/charleybak/aquarium.index.html

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