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Re: Dupla Cables & New Tank Setup Advice?

>>I'm re-doing my big tank (it's a 125 planted) since it's OLD (lotta tiny

So thats where all those plants are going... :)

>>For the Dupla Cables, they're quoting me either 550.00 that includes the
Delta controller, or 750.00 that includes the Alpha controller. This seems
VERY expensive! Are there any sites where I can "comparison shop" this item?
I can't seem to find them! If that's what I gotta pay, then I'll have to
just go for it, but I don't wanna be a dumb consumer. ;><<

M3 has their own heating cable system. You can order it from them or from me
at the same price.

>>1 Inch Seachem Flourite
- - 2 Inches standard gravel (from old tank after "wastewater rinse" to try
to avoid a CYCLE which my Discus can't take).<<

Seachem doesnt recommend using less than a 50/50 mix with gravel and
Flourite to get the most benefit from it. It's not like using laterite where
you only need a very small amount at the bottom of the substrate. I think
laterite has much higher concentrations of Fe, and for all the moaning
people do about Flourite being cloudy, when laterite gets into the water
colum it can be a hundred times worse. You also probably know you can use
Flourite straight. If cost is a concern Greg, (which it has never seemed to
be a factor for you before!) use Schultz Clay conditioner in 40 pound bags.

>>For the Flourite (I'm assuming the 7kg bags), I see them on bigals for
12.99 per bag, but my LFS is listing higher on that (I believe 20bux a bag),
so I suspect the rest of the bid may be inflated. <<

The biggest factor in price is shipping. Most stores only buy a case or two
at a time from a distributor, and they pay a hefty shipping cost. Some of
the bigger mail order houses probably buy it by the truck load, but with the
shipping cost you pay the total cost to you is close to $20 a bag.
Sometimes you can find a deal on the internet, but its pretty close either

>>1 - Which do you think is better for a long-term tank setup; First Layer
Laterite as first inch, or Seachem's Flourite? How many inches SHOULD a
substrate be for a tank of 135gallons (18 fronttoback x 72 wide x 24

The size of your tank doesnt really have any bearing on the depth of your
substrate. I like to have at least 3 to 5" deep, except in the foreground.
Terracing the substrate to keep it higher in the rear is a lot of work.
Large plants like swords, Crinums, and deep rooting plants need a
significant depth to spread their roots as well as to keep rooted in the
substrate.  Laterite needs at least a covering of 2" of gravel to keep it
from clouding the water. Flourite doesnt need to be covered, so your only
concern is for the plants themselves. How heating cables fit into the
equation of depth of the substrate I am not sure. I don't think its a

>>Do I appear to be missing any elements if I want to achieve an optimimum
setup for a planted discus tank? I wanna do this right the FIRST time! :)<<

the only other thing I would possibly suggest is to add a very thin layer of
sphagnum peat toward the bottom of the substrate. It will help to make iron
and other minerals more readily accesible to the plants as it decomposes,
and will release a small amount of CO2 in the substrate. Remember both
laterite and Flourite provide Fe3, a form of iron that must first be
converted to Fe+2 to be more easily used by plants.

Robert Paul Hudson
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