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Plants for aquascape!

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by Culprit3, May 24, 2017.

  1. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Finally got my hardscape where I wanted it with lots of help. Now for the plants! I like heavily planted, as I have fish that really appreciate that. I think I want to do the nature style. BUT I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING LIKE A DUTCH. I don't know if a carpet would look good on the plain sand or not.

    I have a Finnex Stingray (not planted plus or fugeray, just the plain one), yeast Co2 (for now, I will be getting a paintball Co2 setup in a few weeks), and two filters for flow. One is an Aqueon Quiet Flow 30, and the other an Aquaclear 50. Currently (heehee) they are set up at opposite ends of the tank, facing the front. For ferts I have potassium sulfate and potassium phosphate dry, I don't need nitrogen because my stocking is heavy enough (for now, I can always order some KNO3).

    For my substrate, I have a bag of red Flourite, and Pool Filter Sand.

    The tank size is a 20 gallon long. The pictures do not show the whole thing. I can take some that show the whole mock tank if you want.

    My current plants are:
    Rotala Rotundifolia
    Dwarf Sag
    S. Repens
    Ozelot Sword
    Hydrocotyle Sp. "Japan"
    Flame Moss
    Water Sprite
    Elodea (Anacharis)

    Here is my hardscape. The mound is entirely sand, with no retainers. I know, I know, but I was just building it. So I also need some help on how I'm going to put it together without it all spilling apart when under water. I don't know what I'm going to do for retainers. Should I make retainers? Or should I put some Flourite in bags (what kind of bags) underneather? WOuldn't the sand just roll away?

    Do you think a dwarf baby tear carpet around the island then heavily planted island would look good? Or, if I carpet, should I just carpet the whole thing? @keithgh @lucasgg calling all superheros

    P1040688.JPG P1040686.JPG P1040685.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017

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  2. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    For retaining walls I sometimes see people use plastic edging that's used in gardening. Or you can build up lava rock underneath. People usually buy the bags of lava rock that's used for charcoal grilling. Its what I use and there's no chemicals on the rock. 5-7$ for like a 5 pound bag at home depot
     
  3. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Could you link me to that? I honestly don't know whatvyour talking about. Also., do you just crush it up, and then put sand over it?



    Will the plants do fine in just sand? Or so I need the fluorite for them.
    What do you think about the plants? Anysuggestions
     
  4. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Master-M...-Landscape-Edging-with-Stakes-25940/202815079

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Mr-Bar-B-Q-7-lb-Lava-Rock-05002/100331664

    the rocks are small and dont need to be crushed. with sand you can buy diy osmocote root tabs which work well as a substrate fertilizer. they have a 3-4 inch fertilization radius around each tab. all plants will work in sand.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Osmocote-Pl...hash=item41a7aa7a10:m:mpc_7_pSkHvORt67gwbTZEg

    I think you have too many plant species, but you mentioned you like heavily planted. I would try to reduce the amount of stem plants.
     
  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Culprit

    I am far from a plant expert I leave that up to the members who know their plants. All my tanks usually had easy to grow 3-4 plant Species

    That is one of the big concerns when using sand it will slip. Retaining walls can be made with deep plastic strips these can be either curved or straight.

    Plants, just a refresher are you going High or Low Tech.
    Sand "can" be a concern when growing plants in it. I have never used sand in any of my tanks. You will have to continually use Fert Tabs.

    You can still have a heavily planted tank with less species which usually looks a lot better than a heavily planted tank with a big mix of plants.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I would like a heavily planted tank with fewer species. I know it will look better.

    I will be going high tech. Pressurized Co2, Finnex Stingray, and PPS-PRO dosing. I really wish when I bought my substrate I bought something better. Fluorite is fine for deep rooted plants but it's really hard to plant stem plants in it. So I don't know if I should use the fluorite KY the sand, or look at getting another substrate.

    I have and use the osmocote plus root tabs already. If I go with sand I will use plastic strips.

    Mexicat that looks good for filler. I will probably use that.
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Culprit

    I am very positive what answers you will be getting when having a heavily planted tank.
    Sand will be last on the list and Flourite not much above it.

    Lucasgg I will the best part for you.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  8. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    So you think I should just bite the bullet and get aquasoil? Where should I get it from?

    Don't lots of people grow carpets in sand?
     
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  9. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    If you're planning on planting the whole scape then yes aquasoil or some other Gucci substrate would be a good idea. Gucci substrates usually provide a good textured planting medium which allows for the flow of gases and nutrients, and for good root development...and of course they usually provide plants with nutrients, so they often buffer against the occasional missed fertz dose.

    However, if you are water column dosing fertz you don't really need to worry too much about the nutrient aspect since plants will folia feed quite happily as well. In fact if you were so inclined you could probably grow plants in marbles...if you're fertz dosing that is.

    However, looking at your sand I'd say it is perhaps a bit too fine grained to be a great plant substrate, since once it gets wet it tends to pack down quite tightly. This might hinder root development, and anoxic zones may develop since there will be limited water movement through it.

    Some folk still use sand like yours tho' and do OK, but I think it's mostly used cosmetically, kinda like a sandy part in the foreground without plants.

    I've grown a carpet of hair grass in sand and it grew thick and fast, obviously with fertz dosing, but the sand was quite coarse grained...there would have been good flow around the roots which may have fed hydroponically.

    upload_2017-5-26_16-19-4.png

    P.S. check online for retailers in your area that sell Aquasoil, or mail it out.
     
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  10. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I will be dosing micros and macros. In fact, I just got my dry fert order today. Potassium Sulfate and Potassium Phosphate. I'll be using flourish comp for micros. KNO3 not needed because the tank is well stocked. I'm using pool filter sand but I also have play sand which is a bit grainier.

    What is a gucci substrate?
     
  11. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Gucci substate is the nickname I give to designer substrate like Aquasoil...as opposed to just plain sand or common garden soil or compost;)
     
  12. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ohhhh. Are there any other good substrates that would work that are cheaper?

    So plain sand would work right? What if I dirted my tank?
     
  13. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep either would work. A soil substrate capped in sand would be better, with the advantage that it'd be dirt cheap:D

    As for Gucci substrate, there are quite a few options, it always pays to research...this is where I direct you to another well known aquascaping forum with an article on substrates, but don't tell Keith:sneaky:
    https://www.ukaps.org/index.php?page=guide-to-substrates
     
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  14. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Really? A soil substrate capped with sand would be better? How often would I need to change it? That would be perfect... free for me, it would look really good with the sand, and it would be chock full of nutrients.
     
  15. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Would using mushroom dirt work? Or should I get some aquatic compost? Could you give me a few links to good dirts? I also have super clayey soil so I could dig under the top soil and mix some in for extra iron, would that work?

    Would I still use lava rock underneath to prevent anaerobic pockets? How will I use the lava rock while still using a cushion of susbstrate to protect my glass from the big rocks, and positioning them, especially the two big ones on the far left and far right? Should I put about 1 inch or so of sand under them, then put my lava rock around them, then soil on top, then my sand cap? How thick should my soil be?
     
  16. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Have a read of my how to guide, if you haven't already, its a good place to start...http://www.aquascapingworld.com/thr...e-or-dirted-planted-tank-a-how-to-guide.8217/
    Best use aquatic compost, I mix mine 1:1 with moss peat.
    I don't often use anything to cushion against rocks but recommend that you put down a thin sheet of polystyrene foam first.
    You can mound build using filter media bags filled with anything inert and of a decent grain size, normal gravel is fine for instance.
    Then place the soil on top and then your gravel cap and rocks.
     
  17. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I don't have filter media bags... I have read your dirt guide. Could you give me a link to some aquatic compost? And do you have to mix it with the peat moss?
     
  18. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I found some putting soil, would it work?

    IMG_20170526_143634.jpg IMG_20170526_143914.jpg IMG_20170526_143902.jpg IMG_20170526_143800.jpg
     
  19. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    You can use compost on it's own, products like John Innes and Miracle-Gro, are tried and tested, so it's safer to stick to those if you don't have any experience with other products.
    I couldn't comment on the brand in your photos since I've never used it. Try Googling it or searching for others that have used it or similar product successfully.
     
  20. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Last edited: May 26, 2017

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