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29 gallon Non CO2 planted tank substrate thickness

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by PlantedNerd, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. PlantedNerd

    PlantedNerd Junior Poster

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    I'm new to aquariums. This will be my first tank of substantial size. i currently have a cycled 5 gallon aquarium with only about 2 inches of your plain Jane store bought gravel on the bottom. my wisteria is doing great, java fern, banana plant and egaria are also doing well, but my cabomba is doing awful and i don't know why!!! i digress... anyway, i'm curious as to how much substrate i should put down in my new 29 gallon (30 long x 13 wide). I was planning on doing 1 inch of peat moss mixed with leonardite and top that with onyx sand (as per Tom Barr) maybe 2 inches? I would love some advice on this! Thanks :)
     
  2. BellinghamFish

    BellinghamFish Prolific Poster

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    Three inches seems about fine make sure to slope it to the back a lot more that you think originally it will slowly fall back down. The greater the slope the more dramatic the effect. Cabomba is probably needing more co2, maybe try Seachem Excel if you don't want to go full pressurized co2. If you have the money consider going to a nutrient rich substrate ADA aquasoil is the best. If not you will need to keep up with water column dosing.
     
  3. PlantedNerd

    PlantedNerd Junior Poster

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    Thank you. funds are on the lower end right now. I can barely manage enough for the onyx sand. Would eco complete be a better option than onyx sand? Or should i mix eco complete and onyx sand to get the best of both worlds? Should I just nix the cobomba for now and get more hardy and less needy plants? Also, In one of Toms blogs about non CO2 platned tanks he mentions that peat moss and leonardite are similar. should i just leave out the leonardite or do you think mixing peat and leonardite together is a better idea than just peat alone?

    I have another question to add on in relation to dosing. where to i get KNO3 and KH2PO4? is this a dry additive only or can i get it in liquid form? Im trying to set up my tank as described in the thread Non CO2 Methods by Tom Barr.
     
    #3 PlantedNerd, Apr 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2013
  4. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    In my low light, soil substrate tanks, I have 1/2 to 3/4 inch of top soil and about an inch of 2mm - 3mm inert gravel. One is now in its seventh year.

    If you want a sloped effect, consider using plexiglass strips to maintain the slope.

    Good luck!

    Bill
     
  5. BellinghamFish

    BellinghamFish Prolific Poster

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    For dry fertilizer I used aquariumfertilizer.com I think its one of Tom's friends. And yes you could use a Mineralized Top soil to save some money. Eco-Complete does not have any Macro's only micros and isn't cheap. I have never used peat or leonardite I think the point is to create an acidic substrate and buffer the water.
     
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