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Help setting up a 'acidic plant' tank from the ground up

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Gilles, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Hi,

    I am in love with plants which fall in the "hard to maintain" category. Amongh those are:
    - Tonina fluviatilis
    - Eriocaulon sp. cinereum
    - Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem'
    - Syngonanthus sp. 'Manaus'
    - Ludwigia inclinata var. verticillata 'Pantanal'

    So not that easy to get a tank for, well at least that is what they say. Since what i see mosts on the description pages is that it needs low KH/GH an acidic substrate such as Flora Base / Aqua soil etc. So far so good, but the "high light" part, that is what concerns me.

    A few months ago i redid my tank, it involved adding a commercial substrate with all those nasty white pallets and black gravel on top. It was a mistake, but hey.. we all learn from it.

    What if i wanted to make a tank that has a 'near' perfect substrate to fill the needs of these plants. What should you advice? I've read this page, which gives 10 alternatives to ada soil. P.s. all advice is welcome, so if you'd say "Colombo flora base" (google for it) is sufficient, with added peat and or earthworm castings, i'm all in ;)

    And the last Q, is high light really needed for these plants? What if i'd shoot for 50-80mmol at the middle of the tank, should that be enough?

    p.s. advice on the amount of castings/soil 'needed' for a 1.80cm by 70cm tank (4.13 square feet) is welcome.
     
    #1 Gilles, Sep 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2010
  2. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have 30 kilo flora base mixed with flourite dark in my 90 gallon tank. allthough rotala's & ammania's are always a problem.... syngonanthus/tonina almost never is.

    high light needed? no..... my tonina fluviatilis receives 50 umol. and you saw today on APE that this plants doesn't look too bad in my tank :)

    greets,

    yme
     
  3. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Looking at perlite and/or worm castings as we type ;) Found a dutch grow shop who sells 100% organic worm castings.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    these are easy to grow as far as I am concerned, rather than acidic, think "KH", low , med high etc.
    These are fine for divisions, say 0-3 as low, 4-8 as med and 9 or more higher.

    All plants do excellent in low KH, 98% do well in med, and about 93% do well at high.

    This is at about 6 KH using a RO blend with a tap of 17 KH:

    [​IMG]

    Mg is about 20ppm or so.
    [​IMG]

    You get the idea.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    There's all the genera you listed there in that one tank, weedy suckers....not sure you'll like trimming them that much.

    Tonina is not bad, pantanal is terrible, must be trimmed at least weekly to make a nice stable group, even at relatively low light.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    ehmmm tom?
    the L. pantanal is over here in the Netherlands (and belgium as well) kind of considered as a holy grail.

    A year ago (maybe 2?) we tried growing this plant. But in every single tank the "weed" died.... and not only in my tank, we know that I have issues...
    So the first goel is to keep the thing alive and healthy. :)

    attempt 2.0 has begun!

    greets,

    yme
     
  7. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Yeah it is very difficult to grow here, so either you guys have better tap water or something else is going on :)

    p.s. received my 25L of wormshit today (approx. 6.60 US gallons). It costed me about 12.71 USD to get it here.
    And you'll never guess where it came from.. A growshop for weed! :)
     
  8. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Now all i need to know is an advice on the ammount of soil needed for a 1.80cm by 70cm tank (4.13 square feet).
    WC should be added 3mm thick if i read Toms other postings correct.

    I am thinking of buying either Colombo Flora Base Black, Seachem Flourish Black or Shirakura Red Bee Sand, or a combination of these three. However, if there are problems in the future, i can't rule out any specific product, so that might be difficult.

    Colombo Flora Base Black:
    # Complete substrate which provides aquarium plants with the perfect substrate.
    # No topping required.
    # New Japanese plant fertilizer substrate and top layer all in one. Regulates pH (approximately 1 year) so fish will do better and plants will grow better because of the improved availability of CO2.

    Seachem Flourish Black:
    # Packed with nutrients, limited availability here in the Netherlands

    Shirakura Red Bee Sand:
    # produced in a special procedure (bla bla bla). Among those values are the water hardness (KH) and the pH-value. For breeding, a water hardness (KH) of 0-2 and a pH-value of less than 7 are desired in order to avoid the formation of ammonium is wished for.
    # Does not contain any fertilizer additives whatsoever and is therefore absolutely harmless for your shrimps.

    What if i did this, from bottom to top:
    - 4mm boiled WC
    - Topped with 2cm Colombo Florabase (~25kgs) since i have this lying anyway
    - Topped with 4cm (~50kgs) of mixture Shirakura Red Bee Sand / Seachem Flourish Black

    Is that an idea?
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Hahaha, folks have it here, but it's boom/bust, they grow the snot out of it....then get tried, then stop growing it, sell it etc.
    I did slow it down with low light, but I have not really played with it at low light(35-40micromols or so).
    At 70, it became weedy, nice color, large etc.

    Holy grail? It's yet another weedy stem plant.
    E. azurea is another.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sediment:

    I think the florabase stuff is an ADA aqua soil equivalent.

    I'd just use that if..........it is like ADA AS 1.
    Otherwise, try to see if you can get the ADA AS 1.

    I'd juts use one sediment, you will not need the WC's, but add them if you want, will not hurt/help that much. Only add the WC's to the deeper 2/3 rds of the bottom in the back, not up front.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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