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Old 17-12-2006, 01:27 AM   #1
retro1983
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Default Which Substrate?

Currently I am using normal black quartz sand. Is it true that it is not so good to use quartz sand for planted tanks, as the sharp edges of the quartz sand may cut the roots of the plants and cause restriction to healthy growth of the plant?

1) ADA soil and sea chem Flourite, Flourite red, oynx gravel or other brands. Which do you use?

2) There are serveral types ada soil, which type to use? (i.e Aqua soil amazonia, africiana, malaya)

3) Do you guys use those normal type or powder form, or combine?

4) Do we mixed those ada soil with other normal substrate or purely ada?

5) At least how many inches from the tank bed?

Thank you.

http://www.seachem.com/products/gravels.html
http://www.adgshop.com/Substrate_System_s/1.htm
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Last edited by retro1983; 17-12-2006 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 17-12-2006, 02:10 AM   #2
the_r0ck
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Seachem Flourite contains a high amount of nutrients and do not alter pH/KH and are considered inert. Onyx raises the KH over a period of about 6 months to a year.

ADA soil alters the pH/KH and some people prefer this and some don't. I am in the camp of don't since I have the CO2 to reduce the pH.

ADA Amazona contains more nutrients as compared to the other 2 substrates, hence its popularity with hobbyists. The powder form is harder to find.

For such substrates it is fine to just use it by itself, especially Seachem gravels. For ADA soil you can use it with ADA Powersand, it serves as a base fert and supposedly "boosts" the tank's substrate.

Lastly, around 3 inches is the minimum that you should have for the thickness. After factoring sloping, you can go up to 6-7 inches at the back of the tank.

-Calvin
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Old 17-12-2006, 02:29 AM   #3
retro1983
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After comparing the looks of black quartz sand and ada amazonia, both quality looks abt the same, but why would black quatz sand cut the roots?
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Old 17-12-2006, 12:28 PM   #4
weiheng
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Cool No

Bro, i have been using black quartz for some time now and i must say i have never had such experience. The roots of my plants r all growing well and r not mutilated at all.
Hope this helps
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Old 17-12-2006, 04:01 PM   #5
the_r0ck
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I wonder who told you that it will cut the roots. The roots of plants are not that fragile and so far I haven't really seen any problems with substrates that harm plants.

Don't worry too much about that.

-Calvin
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Old 17-12-2006, 09:04 PM   #6
retro1983
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The LFS nearby told me this, he say its ok to use this quartz gravel for short term(6 mths), but in the long run it restricts the growth and harm the roots due to sharp edges, not suitable for plants like glosso as it has thin roots.

1)If I would like to use those benefical soil (i.e ada, sea chem) should i mixed both my quartz and soil together or place soil at the bottom layer and use my quartz on the top layer?

2) There are so many variety of benefical gravel in LFS, why some other brands are so cheap and why ada and sea chem are so expensive? All are aqaurium soil. Seeking for cheaper alternatives, any cheap brands to recommend?

Tnkz.
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Old 17-12-2006, 09:32 PM   #7
retro1983
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Jus tsurf around and found one source.

"Sand that is not smooth in texture, especially those with sharp edges damages roots easily in the course of planting."


Under the substrate section, the paragraph above the ada soil picture.
http://www.petfrd.com/forum/articles...rticle&artid=3

Is it true?
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Old 17-12-2006, 10:20 PM   #8
weiheng
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Default Hmm

Bro, any plant roots will be broken if not treated carefully when planting. Anyway, mabye instead of buying from lfs mabye some bros who have extra will sell u at lower price.
Hope this helps
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Old 18-12-2006, 10:59 AM   #9
ostrava
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I juz bought 2 packet of onyx from c328, the auntie say no need to buy base fert or fert tab as the sand got fert already, is it true?
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Old 18-12-2006, 01:12 PM   #10
the_r0ck
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Believe it or not, most of the time the damage does not come from the substrate, but rather it from the planter. The wrong use of the pincer (grip too hard, angle not right) damages the roots even before the plant goes into the tank.

Alot of people have been using various substrates with not much problems. The thing is roots do not grow very fast suddenly. Growing that fast will run risks but when plants grow at such a slow rate and the soil is basically not moving, the risks are low. And even if it cuts one root or too it doesn't matter.

ADA soil and Seachem substrates can be used as a standalone and it should be so. They contain rich minerals (and nutrients) and there is no need to cover it with another substrate. By buying the soil I presume you want the water altering abilities (pH/KH reducing for ADA, KH buffering for Onyx).


Like you said, ADA and Seachem are "brands" (which is potrayed as "branded"). There are other similar products but some people prefer to go the safer route as these 2 brands have been used successfully by many many aquascapers.

-Calvin
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