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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all. i am new to aquascaping and recently started. i hav a few doubts which i hope you guys can clarify for me.
actually i used my dad's old fish tank which contains gravel to grow some hairgrass and some stem plants, one of them died and i read that that particular species requires lots of nutrients in the substrate and i realized i had none. so i went to a LFS and bought a pack of JBL fertilizers and another pack of gravel-like substrate. i told my situation to the shopkeeper and he instructed me to drain almost all the water out and shift one part on the gravel to one side, pour in the fertilizer then cover it up, followed by the other side.

unfortunately, i think the amount of water is still too much and the fertilizers sort of diffused throughout the tank. makin it extremely cloudy and i dun see a layer of fertilizers as told by the shopkeeper, which is supposed to be about 2cm layer of fertilizers and 3-4cm of the gravel. i tried filling up the tank slowly but the cloudiness still remains. now i have a tank of reddish-brown water with several ghost shrimps swimming in it. i did not on the filter as i am afraid all the fertilizers will be filtered off, wasting the whole pack of it. can any1 advice what i should do now? really worried about the hairgrass and 3 catfish that i removed to fill in the fertilizers, hope i can put them back into the tank as soon as possible.
 

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Messy situation you have there, I had similar problems before. To tell you the truth, I dont think you can get back the fertiliser out and use it again. I imagine that the fert you used is similar to regular soil, and now it is all mixed with your gravel and water. If the fert is homogenously mixed then you'd best get another pack.

What you shoud have done and should do, get all the gravel and water out, wash the ferts away, get the new fert on the base of your tank, and have the clean gravel on top your ferts. Then slowly fill in with the water. The only problem this time is that your nitrogen cycle is washed away, which is crucial for your fish and mainly processed in the gravel. If you are using canister filter, dont clean it for the next 3 weeks. And use medications like Nutrafin cycle, or anything that helps your cycle form faster.

Goodluck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok thanx lordsul for your tips =) ya the fert looks rather like soil and after 2 days since the incident, the water has cleared up by alot and i also notice that the gravel at the top is coated with a reddish-brown colour. seems like the fert is somehow settling down and clinging onto it. think i will wait for a few more days first before considering whether or not to buy another pack of fert
 

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Hebi, first off, welcome to apc. Secondly, let me suggest you look through these references to give you an idea what planted tanks need:

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/index.html
http://www.rexgrigg.com/
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ums/14684-new-tank-setup-guide-parts-1-a.html

After reading this, you will probably come to the conclusion what the person at the lfs told you to do wasn't necessary. :( I don't know what 'fert' you were sold, perhaps laterite or an ADG product. If it was ADG, it needed to be used in conjunction with their other products at set up. Laterite also needs to be used at set up. But in any case, if you wanted some root level fertilization root tabs would have worked just fine without all the headache you went through.

Without knowing what the 'fertilizer' you bought was, it's hard to say whether you need a total teardown or if left alone, the cloudiness will clear up. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i did mentioned in my first post that the fert i used is JBL Aquanplus fert?, think you can find out more on that brand on the internet. and after reading the guide on aquatic-plants.org, the fert i am using should be something like the laterite, a gravel additive which looks like soil . in conclusion, i am supposed to place the fert at the bottom for the plants to reach. but now the water is clearing up rapidly and the fert have settled down onto the gravel. anw i am planning to buy another pack of gravel to cover up the fert that have settled down. would that be feasible?

*off-topic: i am thinking of creating a zen aquascape with only DW and some hairgrass. so just want to know whether hairgrass are easy to grow and let it creep around the tank. also i heard that creating a zen aquascape is rather difficult due to the fact that there will be no stem plants to absorb nitrates(or is it nitrite)? is this true?
 

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A quick search on Google doesn't turn up any JBL product called 'Aquanplus'. Aquaplus by Hagen is nothing more than a water conditioner for chlorine removal. Hairgrass can take time to establish itself, so I wouldn't recommend starting out a tank with a lot of it and no stems.
 

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I think you are refering to JBL Aquabasis. As adviced in another forum. if you still insist on using the 'mess' you've created, drain out as much water as possible, put on another layer of gravel to seal it in.
 
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