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New to list, substrate question
Hi all, just joined I hope this is ok protocol to send things, I guess I
should look for a FAQ or something about the group huh :)
I've been paging through all the info on the lists archives, and while a lot
is way over my head I think I picked up a thing or two...
I am looking for feedback on the substrate I am planning to use.
I just mixed in a rubbermaid tub, about 4 parts sand to 1 part soil+peat and
1 part shpagnum (sp) peat. I also added a full box of First Layer Pure
Laterite. (55 gallon worth according to the box). Mixed it all up, and
filled the tub with water to let it soak for a month to leech.
The reason for the soak is the tank is already setup with fish. Its a 75G
with a UG filter, small sized quartz gravel (1-3mm), lots of fake plants and
a few real plants, light by 3, 40watt flourescent bulbs (10k, 50/50, and a
GE "plant bulb").
My plan is to let the new mixture of bottom layer yuck soak for a month,
then drain the tank and fish into another 30 gallon tub, along with 1 of the
UG filter plates and enough gravel from the tank to support the fish for a
week or 2. Remove the UG filters, possibly add a DIY UG Heating cable, and
then put in the slush of sand/soil/peat, along with adding some kitty litter
to the mix, since I was short on laterite, the kitty litter seems like an
alternative I'm willing to try. Once thats in, I will cover it with a
1"-1.5" layer of the 1-3mm quartz gravel. I'm thinking of mixing this
gravel with more play sand. (I tested both the sand and kitty litter,
neither effected pH). Filtration will be provided by 1, magnum 350, and
possibly an added powerhead with spray bar for more water movement. I may
add another canister (ehiem of some sort) later down the road instead of the
Also lights will most likley be replaced with an icecap 660 ballast with 4,
75watt 24" bulbs (2 over each side of the 48" aquarium) for a total of 300
watts. Unless people reading this thinks thats too much I could stick with
the 120 watt setup I have now, and put the VHOs in the salt tank :)
This is going to be my first real attempt at live plants, I had a plant tank
before (60 gallon hex with a 175watt halide and tetra CO2) and had a bad
problem with hair algae and gave it up, tho the plants did grow nice and had
HUGE root systems.
Any input would be greatly appreciated, I'd much rather make changes to the
substrate and setup now then later for obvious reasons!
Thanks in advance to anyone who replys.
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