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Questions regarding DIY substrate and matching plants

Discussion in 'Sediment / Substrate' started by MCC27, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    I'm planning to change the substrate of my 25 gal tank currently I'm only using gravel and only a few plants which does not really flourished. It is only recently came to my knowledge that there are several substrate types I can use. But for now I want to change it to a DIY substrate I'm planning to use soil compost.


    I read that plants matches the type of substrate. Listed bellow is the plants I'm planning to use:


    Microsorum pteropus - Java Fern


    Eleocharis parvula - Dwarf hair grass


    Micranthemum - Monter Carlo


    Vesicularia dubyana - Java Moss


    Centella asiatica - Pennywort

     


    *What will be the best top substrate for this plants? Course pebbles, sand, etc?


    *What is the minimum substrate depth for this plants?



    *Is immerse method still applies in DIY substrates? (After planting covering the tank with clear film and let it sit for two months)



    *Is DIY substrate more susceptible to algae bloom compared to commercially prepared substrates?


     

     


    Suggestions and comments will be much appreciated.
     
    #1 MCC27, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2015
  2. Solcielo lawrencia

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    The plants that root do best in nutrient-rich substrates. Epiphytes get their nutrients from the water column. There isn't a general minimum depth, just what plants need to root into the substrate. Algae is not related to substrate.
     
  3. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    Thanks for your answer. So, it doesn't matter if I will use sand as a top substrate and dirt at the bottom the plants will live?
     
  4. Solcielo lawrencia

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    You can use just sand and dose the water column for nutrients. The downside to using dirt is that you can't really uproot without making a very big mess, so planting must be precise.
     
  5. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    Thanks. I have read in some articles "cycle the tank after the planting" what does this mean?
     
  6. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Cycle means developing a biofiltration, i.e. growing nitrifying bacteria.
     
  7. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    Thanks again for your answer. Is this also the immersed method by covering the tank with clean film for 2 months? Is this method applies for DIY substrates?
     
  8. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Covering tank, that's "dry-start".


    You grow the microbes in the filter but a lot of the microbes also colonize the substrate due to fish poop.
     
  9. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    Thanks.


    So it is ok to put the fish right away after planting and submerging the tank?
     
  10. Solcielo lawrencia

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    No. The biofilter must be cycled.
     
  11. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    For how many days I will going to cycle the biofilter? So, I will not clean the bio filter just changing the x% of water?
     
  12. Solcielo lawrencia

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    If there is no ammonia, the biofilter will never cycle. You need to add ammonia and allow the nitrifying microbes to multiply. Add up to 5ppm of ammonia and wait until it drops to 1-2ppm, then add some more ammonia bak to 5ppm. Then wait for it to drop. Check for nitrites. When the biofilter can remove all 5ppm of ammonia in less than 24 hours, and nitrites are also 0, then the it's cycled. Add fish, shrimp, etc.
     
  13. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    One last question, how can I add ammonia?
     
  14. Solcielo lawrencia

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    You can buy a bottle of it at the drug/dollar store, or supermarket in the cleaning isle. NB: it must not contain surfactants, just 100% ammonia.


    You can also pee a little bit in it, but a lot of people find this disgusting.
     
  15. MCC27

    MCC27 Junior Poster

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    Thanks. I think I will go natural for more personal touch ... ;) ;) ;)
     
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