Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

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Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-16, 13:17

Originally I was going to use Organic Miracle Grow and black sand cap substrate. Residents plan to be scarlet badis, 1 bristlenose pleco, and some shrimp. 5 gallon tank, with any of the following plant options: microsorum, taxiphyllum and anubias species to obtain a near similar natural habitat.

Scarlet badis do prefer a soft substrate substrate but will tolerate a fine-grade gravel. I would like to have a sloped substrate higher in a back corner and angle down to the front. I plan on making this a semi-densely planted tank.

So here's my question: what are all of my options for substrate other than my original plan? Since this is a nano tank substrate price isn't as much of a concern since I won't be needing a large amount. As long as its not outrageous price and in layed with gold. Lol
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  KaraWolf on 2014-04-16, 13:45

I used the miracle grow stuff for my 2 gallon and didn't cap it. I'm sure you could use any of the other suggested substrates for planted tanks. the sloped substrait is going to be the hard part to maintain. dirt and other fine materials really love to be level.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-16, 13:51

See that's what I was unsure of. With your miracle grow tank did you sift it first? I didn't in my other tank that I have a sand cap on. I have also read that black substrate will make the colors pop out a lot better in scarlet badis.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  KaraWolf on 2014-04-16, 13:56

I sifted the heck out of it and kind of wish I hadn't because if I rip anything up I have a terrible dust storm that can kill baby shrimpies. but on the other hand it's chock full of wood chips which would release a ton of tannis. I bet it would work a lot better if you used the whole soil and took the time to mineralize it, or bought the mineralized from someone on here. I think anderson_p_r might still sell it, I know last time I talked to him a few months ago he had some made up and was trying to sell it.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  hobbyorobsession on 2014-04-16, 14:23

I would go with something inert. My concern would be the soil breaking down and altering the water parameters for your shrimp.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-16, 16:02

hobbyorobsession wrote:I would go with something inert.   My concern would be the soil breaking down and altering the water parameters for your shrimp.

+1


Does anyone else notice that unless you put in some sort of retaining barrier that substrates eventually level out no matter how much you slope it?
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-04-16, 16:12

fishNAbowl wrote:
hobbyorobsession wrote:I would go with something inert.   My concern would be the soil breaking down and altering the water parameters for your shrimp.

+1


Does anyone else notice that unless you put in some sort of retaining barrier that substrates eventually level out no matter how much you slope it?

Yes...I tried to slope some sand in a 20G I had and now it's all level Sad I was thinking to make some type of retainer like in that video (the pieces of plastic that hold things back...but the step ones as I'm not dividing substrates just sloping it).
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-16, 16:13

I like the idea of something like this. I wonder how they managed to keep it? [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-16, 21:30

Rocks and wood hold back the planting substrate! Looks neatO!!
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-16, 21:55

Gotta love pintrest! My tank of course is rectangle but I'm still going to try!
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  Jubs on 2014-04-17, 10:34

+1 to Daniel's post!

Holding a slope isn't too hard of a task if you use the right substrate and pack it in right, it just takes practice and being delicate when working in the area.

If you are planning on "dirting" your tank, do some research on DSM= dry start method and it will save you a lot of hassle you'll get with a dirted tank and it will be cycled when it comes time to flood the tank.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  pbmax on 2014-04-17, 12:04

Jubs wrote:+1 to Daniel's post!

Bingo. And I hit the + button since you didn't. Wink

Speaking from personal experience, the simpler the better when it comes to tiny tanks. Dirted nanos are a big pain. Unless you're constantly monitoring it (ammonia, nitrates, PH), you're asking for trouble with a non-inert substrate with such a small volume of water.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-17, 12:40

Okay, so on top of that does anyone have any brands they suggest? Eco-Complete, Flourite, Fluval Stratum?
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  pbmax on 2014-04-17, 12:47

I like sand for nanos, personally.  Sure it's not great at retaining nutrients, but it's easy to deal with, can be soft, depending on the type you select, and it's neutral.  Eco complete is very rough and tends to bump up the PH a little.  Plus the grain size of that and flourite can be a bit large for nano tanks.  I haven't heard many good things about the fluval stuff - it's light and tough to work with as far as plants go.  Sand stays down. Wink
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  flo77 on 2014-04-17, 13:03

I wouldn't reccomend to use Miracle Gro in a tank with BN, sometimes they love to dig and you may end up with a mess.
I personally like to use Amazonia 2 or Flourite black. Depending on what type of shrimp you want you may add some crushed coral or cuttlebone in your filter

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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  Jubs on 2014-04-17, 13:30

I have used the Fluval Stratum and I hated it the stuff. It was a major P.I.T.A. to keep plants down in even using fine tipped tweezers, it is just too lightweight and goes everywhere when you change water even when you're being extra careful. I used it in a 2.5 gallon rimless and was happy to get rid of it!

I can't recommend the ADA Amazonia Powder enough for it's size; it is close to pool filter sand in size and you have all the added benefits of nutrients built in. The only real downside to it is the cost, it is more expensive than the standard Amazonia (somewhere in the $55+ for 9L bag range) but it is so worth it if you care about scale and the grain size of your substrate. I have it in my 12" cube that is still in the middle of DSM and am getting ready to use the rest of it in my 5.5g rimless on my desk (once I figure out what type of hardscape and plants I want to use).
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-17, 15:16

Awesome! Thanks I'm going to look into the options. Good to know sometimes the spendier and higher brand name (fluval) isn't always better!
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-17, 16:04

Jubs, where did you purchase your ADA Amazonia Powder at? I am only finding Britain stuff. :/
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-17, 16:08

As well, I've read some sites suggest to mix the powder with the power sand? Did you do that or just use the powder alone?
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  Jubs on 2014-04-17, 16:11

From Aquarium Zen in Seattle, he's not officially open yet but has the full line of ADA for sale just have to email him.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  Jubs on 2014-04-17, 16:24

ShortyKiloGyrl wrote:As well, I've read some sites suggest to mix the powder with the power sand? Did you do that or just use the powder alone?
You don't need the power sand it is designed if you're going more than 4" or 5" with your slopes. I think it is just a way to save money on the Aquasoil so you don't use it all building your slopes. It is suppose to provide extra nutrients but it is basically something you can make from regular gardening materials if I remember correctly.

Their extra products are really just way to sell more things and you can usually find knock offs of the same stuff for much lesser $ if you shop around on eBay and the like. The substrate additives are not necessary by any means but are suppose to help with the bacterial growth in the substrate. I haven't used any of them and I honestly don't know anyone other than people that sell the products that use them on a regular basis or ever. The only one that seems like it is truly worthwhile to use would be the iron one but there are much cheaper options out there than their line, google red clay powder and that's what you're buying from them at most likely $20 an ounce in a fancy ADA bottle. I do use their Green Gain which is plant hormones after I do a large trim or move plants around, again there are other people making the same thing for much cheaper with the same end result.

I am not saying that ADA doesn't have a line of great products because they do, but there are much cheaper options out there with the exception of a substrate currently available in the U.S.A. that are readily available. I heard rumors ADG is making their own substrate but I don't know any details yet.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-04-17, 16:42

Awesome. You have alot of great information. Good to know quality product as well as sufficient cheaper products. I can't wait to get the tank and buy this to start the process. I think I'm going to use some black rock in the back corner for build up and then use the powder over the top to create the substrate look.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  Jubs on 2014-04-17, 22:52

Just trying to help out, I like to experiment so I have tried quite a few different products over the years especially when it comes to plant stuff. Its a bit of an obsession, I tried to get away from planted tanks last Summer and Fall but it didn't last lol. Now I'm back to liking plants way more than fish... now just need to figure out how to afford to convert my breeding rack of 18 tanks to all plants with a few fish and shrimp lol.
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-17, 23:54

Jubs wrote:Just trying to help out, I like to experiment so I have tried quite a few different products over the years especially when it comes to plant stuff. Its a bit of an obsession, I tried to get away from planted tanks last Summer and Fall but it didn't last lol.Now I'm back to liking plants way more than fish... now just need to figure out how to afford to convert my breeding rack of 18 tanks to all plants with a few fish and shrimp lol.

I can relate to that...
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Re: Planted Nano Tank Substrate Ideas?

Post  Jubs on 2014-04-18, 00:02

Chad, I'll take part of the blame for that, I always tried to sell you a plant or two when you came into Co-Op last summer lol, you're welcome.  whistle 
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