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fertile substrate

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by brad, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. brad

    brad Prolific Poster

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    Is there any advantage to fertilizing a Flourite substrate? Seems with all the fuss over ADA and others, I certainly wouldn`t be hurting anything by adding something. I get the hole mulm and peat thing but that`s more for bacteria than directly ferts. For example, would adding this `power` sand or any other `look alike` under Flourite help anything?
     
  2. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: fertile substrate

    The experts can answer this better than I, but I believe that Flourite's claim to fame is that it traps nutrients and releases them later. The nutrients usually come from the water column but I guess they could come from specific fertilizers applied to the substrate as well.

    If you are doing water column dosing I'd think that would be enough.

    Bill
     
  3. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    Re: fertile substrate

    I imagine fertilizing it would help. The concerns are with how you fertilize - if you give it what the plants actually need, if you apply it so that it doesn't get released into the water column and cause problems. Another BIG question is if it will help to the extent that you expect.

    If you are fertilizing your water column and don't have any huge root feeders, I wouldn't bother with adding stuff to flourite. I have a 55 gallon with 3wpg, pressurized co2 running into an external reactor, dose EI and have a 100% flourite substrate. I've never felt or seen the need to add anything to the flourite. They seem to get all they need from the water column.

    And it's nice to be able to dig around all I want without having to worry about a huge cloud of trapped fertilizer pluming up into my water column.

    Now, if you just want to try it, then you certainly can. But it isn't a requirement for healthy, fast growing plants and if you do it wrong it most certainly could hurt things rather than help.

    If you want to try and see, I suggest only mixing substrate fert in with part of a section of your substrate. That way, you can watch the growth in the entire tank under equal conditions and get a good idea of whether or not the substrate fert is actually helping growth or health. Doing a small section would also reduce your risk of causing problems on a large scale.

    If your tank is low light, non Co2, then enriching your substrate becomes more of a benefit.
     
  4. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: fertile substrate

    if you have ever pulled up a plant out of flourite and seen those beautifull white roots,you will see that your high dollar substrate is for real.i don't think you need any more of an explenation then that. regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: fertile substrate

    There are pro and cons for each, we all do a little no matter what of each method.

    Most end up doing the water column in the end anyhow.

    regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. brad

    brad Prolific Poster

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    Re: fertile substrate

    So if I wanted to use a small amount of old mushroom composte under my substrate, would simply boiling it eliminate the risk of ammonia? Any other preparations I should make or risks I should be aware of?

    I`ll probably end up vaccing most of it out slowly over the next few months. I just want to try it to see if it helps.

    I`m talking a small amount. Glass still visible.
     
  7. Paul

    Paul Guru Class Expert

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    Re: fertile substrate

    I use cactus compost under some of my plants, its ok till you come to take the plant out, I did last night and the tank looked awful and the sand was covered in compost, won't be doing that again.... took ages to clean it up and the fish wereless than impressed...
     
  8. brad

    brad Prolific Poster

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    Re: fertile substrate

    ah, I was beginning to think my thread was gonna fall off the edge of the page.

    I don`t plan on using much. No more than I would use of peat when setting up the tank.
     
  9. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: fertile substrate

    i agree totally with random alias.set it and forget it.i've changed the floor plan in my tanks with 100% flourite so many times and never regret using that pricey substrate.i think what everyone is looking for now is a comprable substrate at a much lower price.there are many newbies out there that get scared off because of the substrate issue.we need to take some of the cost factor out of this hobby so as to get more people interested.i'm finding out the hard way that the most important thing for a planted tank is CO2,get that right and every thing else seems to fall in place. its amazing what a lot of gas will do! regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  10. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: fertile substrate

    I totally agree with you about the high prices quoted to would-be plant growers. I sometimes see (at other sites, not here) people with 10 gallon tanks advised that they need $200 - $300 worth of substrate and hardware to grow healthy plants. That is just nonsense, but the advisors believe it.

    BTW, I would say that the most important thing for a planted tank is light. This dictates just about everything else, including the amount of carbon (not just CO2) and other nutrients that are required.

    Bill
     
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