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New to forums: Substrate won't grow my plants :(

Discussion in 'Substrate' started by cooledwhip, May 7, 2016.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    cooledwhip

    There must be other Pool shops in your area as that sounds rather strange even our big hardware store sells it.

    Lighting I have only every used T8 & T5 tube lighting.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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  2. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    Shawn said the tubes would cause algae on the top part of the tank and I should buy a fluval aquasky but they don't make them in the length of my tank.
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I think hardware stores can also have pool filter sand. Its just cheap, you can use standard aquarium sand. Do not use aragonite.

    I've had some time this morning to look at options for lights. right now the cheapest option is the Fluval Aquasky. If you need more light, it is still cheaper to buy a second one in most cases. The odd 20" dimension from left to right makes nearly all commercial lights either too big or too small. The smallest are 12" in length and the next size up from that is 24" in length. Are you sure its 20" from left to right?

    The ideal light is a pendent LED with dimming functionality, A kessil LED.

    You could also look at purchasing some Current USA LED light strips and retrofitting them to a hanging unit above the tank that you DIY. Or you could DIY your own LED. Check out @J Art LED light. They were cheap and effective, but require some DIY.

    So if you do not want to DIY, and you do not have a large budget for the light ($240 or something for the small Kessil) then the Fluval Aquasky is the other option I know will work.

    There are lots of LED lights out there on Amazon, but I cannot say for sure how well they work. LEDs have a wide range of performance and many are an unknown value as far as output. You can gamble and might get something that works well, or you might not. This is up to you. If you plant the plants I recommended, you will not need much light at all.

    At some point you have to make some executive decisions being the one putting this together. The aquasky is what I am getting for a friend putting together a low light 60 cm. We will dim it to 50% or lower, then if he wants to add CO2 and more demanding plants later we can turn it up. It will do the job. It is not a high performance light, but it is good for the money and nice place to start if you cannot invest in higher performance lights AND CO2.
     
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Strong light will cause algae, tubes dissipate quicker than LEDs. LEDs have better penetration so with the depth an LED will work better.

    You could put some T8s over the tank or even two 24" T5s I suppose. The Aquasky is just a better option because you can dim it and get better lighting penetration from the LEDs.

    The tank design is not a good one to run high light over since it will be excessive in the top and lower at the bottom. Its very vertical so hardscape is the only sensible way to get some height in the aquarium. There are certainly ways to get a more advanced looking aquascape, but for that you need to be an advanced scaper....and I do not want to try and set you up for failure.
     
  5. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    I currently have T5's and T8's so I will try those for a bit until I can purchase the fluval aquasky. I know my tank length is 20 inches and I know it will hang over 4 inches which I don't want. I agree a pendant LED would be better. What about a pendant bulb? Like a flood light? I've heard flood lights are good for aquariums in certain situations.

    I think MrMomtanks on youtube used floods on his tanks.

    I plan on buying the sand sometime soon and filling it with sand. I will buy the manzanita tonight most likely.
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    a pendant flood light could work well. They do make some more expensive plant growing LED floodlight bulbs.
     
  7. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    What type of flood light would you recommend?

    I purchased a single 20 pound bag of Caribsea, Super naturals premium aquarium substrate for the 2.5 gallon tank. It was $30!! What a rip off. I will drive the extra mile to go to the other hardware stores to get POOL FILTER SAND instead of this overpriced crap.

    Anything to avoid when looking for it?
     
  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    cooledwhip

    When you buy from most LFS they have a big mark up compared to a big hardware store.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    Ok I was at the store today looking to buy PFS but I looked at the label and it had all these warnings like if you breath it in or something you need to go outside and call poison control if swallowed...

    I just bought the sand. It wasn't worth it. My dad said he would rather by aquarium sand anyway.

    Also the 1-2 pound per gallon rule is generally for rectangular tanks so the 2 small bags I got covered about 2-3 inches of the tank!! I think that will make it look more normal and not so super tall.

    I ordered driftwood, I will put that in when it comes in as well as the rocks. Should I plant, then fill? Or fill then plant?

    Also, what's the deal about lights?

    I'm more than happy to buy the fluval aquasky but I'm scared of how it will look with the overhang. I'd like to avoid it if I could but I do agree with you about the too powerful lighting on top of the tank.
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    cooledwhip

    That is up to you either method will do.

    What exactly do you mean by that?
    It is always advisable to buy the light that suits your tank.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  11. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Well it is sand..probably shouldn't swallow it or breath it in....

    It is commonly used in the hobby.

    You are welcome to search for a pendant light. I'm sorry but I do not have the time to do the research for you. Commercial lights will most likely not fit those dimensions so it's either a pendant or the overhang.

    You should wet the tank, then plant then fill. You should tie ferns and moss to the driftwood before putting it into the tank. If it isn't presoaked you will need to weigh it down so it doesn't float until it's saturated.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    cooledwhip

    Its just the light its the globe/tube buying a unit will be easy just make sure you can get the correct globe/tube for your tank.

    Also remember it is store that sells light units not a LFS that has the knowledge on the correct light to use.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  13. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    Alright anything to avoid and look for when looking for the lights? Anything to avoid? I can research myself. I know to get 6700K correct? and no more than 45 watts right?
     
  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Wattage depends on bulb and light type. Have you looked into the DIY leds posted by J Art. They might be what you need

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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  15. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    Hey I will be ordering my plants soon for the tank.

    Know any websites where I can get LOTS of cheap java ferns or other plants for pretty cheap online?

    Thanks
     
  16. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    I don't want to waste my time making a light, so I just bought the Finnex Planted+ 24/7. If it causes too much algae I can return it as I bought it on amazon. Also it does have a light dimmer too.
     
  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  18. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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  19. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    cooledwhip

    Let us know how it works with your tank.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  20. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip New Member

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    I am pretty much finished with my 45 gallon tall. It has some nice sand as well as rocks and some driftwood that I ordered online. I want to fill it soon but I want people to critique it and give some suggestions on where to move stuff or if I should add/remove anything. I ordered lots of mosses, some anubias and java fern that I am waiting on. They should be in by next week. I am planning on filling the tank the day I get the plants in though.



    Are the two pieces of driftwood I have placed well? I am not too sure about the piece on the right.



    Idk if I should remove the pile of rocks under the main piece of driftwood.



    Also how should I secure these to the rocks?



    Here are the pictures of the tank: http://imgur.com/a/6rlNh
     

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