Can some one suggest bes possible option for me please....

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Vito, 21 May 2008.

  1. Vito

    Vito Member

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Watford, Hertfordshire
    Hey guys im currently in the process of odring all my stuff to get ready to set up my rio 125, I am only going to use 3 maybe 4 species of plant, Dwarf Hairgrass, either HC or glosso, and some ricca sttached to slate or something to weigh it down, Im trying to go for a kind of iwagumi look, and I want to have slopes etc. I know ADA AS is like totaly awesome and would be ideal, but I woul probably need Two 9l bags and maybe one small 3l bag wich would be quite cotly. Im not botherd about monster growth, im patient :) I just want to know the plants will do wee and wont die also I want a substrate i can shape and wont just become flat over time, Im really stuck as what to use, could you guys please tell me what would be suitable for me? My equiptment will be standerd juwel rio 125 18w with reflectors, I am more than likely going to get an extra two 18w and balance them on the brace as I have seen in one of George Farmer's tanks, I have orderd a tetratec ex1200 and a hydor Etrenal 300w heater, im yet to understand fert dosing but i think i get the gist of it but thats my setup. any feedback would be greatly appriciated.

    Thanks

    Vito
     
  2. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,281
    Location:
    London
    I also have Juwel Rio 125, I don't think the light will be strong enough for the plants you intend to grow, Juwels are pretty deep from light to substrate and also you will need CO2 injection.
    For substrate you could try Tropica Substrate, 5L would do and add some fine gravel on top.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi vito,
    It might help if you could clarify your goals and aspirations with this tank as there are a few inconsistencies as noted by LondonDragon. It is your intent to run a low tech non-CO2 tank? If this is the case then the combination of items that you have listed is uncoordinated. If you are going the low tech route then the 54 watts of T8 is OK for this concept but not in conjunction with inert or low cost substrates. All of the nutritious substrates, including the Tropica have the same cost per litre more or less. If substrate cost is an issue for a low tech setup then you would want to look at something like a combination of Akadama (or sand) and generic potting soil (or compost) underneath. The Akadama (or sand) top layer keeps the underlying soil/compost sediment from polluting the water. It's a good idea though to prepare the Akadama as JamesC did in his sticky in this section:=> viewtopic.php?f=17&t=741" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

    Further, if you intend a non-CO2 setup, the choice of HC is not really a good one as this is a difficult plant to propagate even with CO2. This is true of most of the plants you listed actually.

    Now, the situation isn't completely grim. You could still add a liquid CO2 product like Excel or Easycarbo but this is even more expensive long term than the Aquasoil so this might be false economy.

    The carpet plants you listed are difficult and are probably not a good choice for a first planted tank although there are many success stories.

    If you decide that you want a high tech CO2 injected setup then you have to give serious thought to the option of a yeast based system or a pressurized system. In a high tech setup the substrate choices are better as you can easily get away with an inert substrate such as sand or Akadama alone but water column dosing will become imperative so you'll need to study this a bit. But the money you save by not buying Aquasoil will be money spent on CO2 equipment so it's really not clear to me at all what your intent is or what your limitations are. The iwagumi crowd might bash me for saying this but I really think it is an advanced aquaculture concept and not for the beginner. I also don't think the "budget iwagumi" concept works very well.

    The choice is yours at the end of the day, but my opinion is that you should aim to learn how grow simpler plants and to learn the basic concepts of aquaculture first before trying iwagumi, otherwise it could easily end up being your own personal battle of Iwo jima. I would start with ferns, hygrophilas, stargrass, Lugwigias and swords or crypts first before moving on to advanced concepts. These could easily be grown in a low tech environment as described above and you could figure out nutrient dosing without getting into trouble, then perhaps move up the ladder to gas injection, then higher lighting and so on.

    I would also suggest you go to the Tutorial section as there is a lot of good information there that discuss these issues in much greater detail. :D

    Cheers,
     
  4. Vito

    Vito Member

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Watford, Hertfordshire
    thats for the quick replies guys.

    I am going for a pressurized co2, it will either be this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CO2-Complete-...ryZ20756QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem or I will do a fire extinguisher jobby, with a diy inline reactor.

    My aim on this tank is basically a nice carpet of mixed plants slow or fast growth doesn't bother me as long as it grows :) I will probably do some of the carpet emmersed any way and then add in the other once a substantial carpet is formed. I was considering the tropica substrate but I just wanted to know if it was good enough, I love the look of ADA but I cant justify that kind of cost for nutrient rich "soil".

    My aim or look for the tanks is basically an arrangement of rocks surrounded by Hairgrass, a few clumps of ricca here and there attached to some slate, some much shorter carpeting plant for the foreground eg HC or glosso, easier said than done ;)

    for dosing im sure there must be some all in one, dose how ever many ml per day thing eg Tropica Aquacare Plant Nutrition Liquid, if you guys could advise me on which one to go for that would be great because im likely to get everything from this site http://www.warehouse-aquatics.co.uk/index.asp everything seems to be priced cheapest and I don t want to keep ordering i want to do it all in one got and pay once for delivery, im so tight lol :)

    I know im a newb and chances are I might fail but im going to try, hopefully that gives you guys a clearer picture of what im after.

    all criticism welcome.

    thanks.
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    OK, the picture is a bit clearer now. If this will be a pressurized CO2 injected tank then life is a lot easier from the perspective of growing carpet plants. The Warehouse Aquatic link you gave does not have the Tropica all-in-one product which is "TPN+" not "TPN" which is just a Trace element mix. What is more shocking is that the description page for TPN states:

    " Tropica Aquacare Plant Nutrition liquid contains the most important nutrients for healthy and sustained aquarium plant growth. Plant Nutrition liquid does not however contain nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P)."

    This statement is absurd because N and P are the most important nutrients. :rolleyes: trace elements are the least important so you would want to to get the "TPN+" which has NPK and Traces and which is sold here:=> http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1038

    Also missing from you list of items is some way of measuring the CO2 levels. This should be done with a dropchecker and 4 kH water. The dropcheckers are sold here=> http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... th=196_302 and the 4dkh water is sold here=> http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... th=196_199 You can also make up your own solution with sodium bicarbonate and distilled water.

    I'll refrain from making a judgment but I find it difficult to reconcile the inability to justify nutrient rich soil but yet the ease with which one justifies TPN+ nutrient which is about 200 times more expensive than buying the dry powder nutrient and making one's own mixture, but I guess there is a need to factor in convenience as well. As I said, if you compare the per litre cost of the Tropica soil it's almost the same price. If you have cheap inert soil then you have to dose more liquid nutrients so you'll pay for nutrition one way or another. If you were buying the cheap dry nutrient powders then the justification argument would be completely validated but buying commercial liquids is the least economical proposal of all because you have to dose nutrients for the rest of your life and you are paying mostly for water. :D See the first paragraph of the nutrient dosing article here:=> viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211

    Cheers,

    Cheers,
     
  6. Vito

    Vito Member

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Watford, Hertfordshire
    thanks for the reply mate, I would much rather buy the dry ferts and make my own but where can I get a hold of all that? and would it be alot simpler if i just spent the cash on ADA AS, because the dosing regiem sounds a bit complicated but then I probbably need some kind of "dosing for dummies" guide... I would like it to be fairly straight forward, what would you guys do if you were in my shoes? I want to get the list of things before i go and buy stuf so so far.

    Juwel Rio 125.
    Tetratec EX1200
    Hydor Extrnal ETH 300W
    Additional 2 x 18W lights ( like in one of georges old tanks)
    Fire extinguwisher + Double gauge regulator + Diy In-line Reactor
    Drop Checker and solution
    Subtrate ???????
    Mini lanscape rocks
    Plants
    and where do i order the ukaps aquascaping tool kit and how much?

    i think thats it all i have is the tank the rest im going to order of my credit card in the next few days :D

    thanks!
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Dry ferts can be purchased at Aqua Essentials Here:=> http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... th=145_146
    They are even cheaper at Garden Direct here=> http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/potassium-nitrate-p-210
    http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/potassium-phosphate-p-213
    http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/chelated- ... -mix-p-887

    Did you check the link I gave you for the dosing scheme? http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211
    In the middle there is a standard dosing guide for a 20 US gallon tank. Your tank is twice the size so just use twice as much. You have to read the information carefully. It's not difficult at all and it will save you tons of money. Have a look again and ask questions if anything is unclear in that article.

    Cheers,
     
  8. Vito

    Vito Member

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Watford, Hertfordshire
    Dude thank you so much for being patient with me im starting to understand it more in terms of the two salts you linked me in garden direct would those two alone be enough or is there others i have to purchase? 3/16 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 i get, anyway i suppose it dosen't matter because its estimative as long as i put more instead of less I wont have problems according to the article you linked me to. thanks for your help guys really appriciate it.
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi vito,
    I'm happy to hear the fog is lifting. :D
    KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate),
    KH2PO4(Potassium Phosphate) and
    Chelated trace element mix are all you need to get started.

    No one has a clear idea how much Mg (Magnesium) is in our tap water so you may need to add this by adding MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulfate) later on but for now, just get the first three. Easy... :D

    Cheers,
     
  10. Vito

    Vito Member

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Watford, Hertfordshire
    Thanks ceg,
    thanks every one else who has given their suggestions,

    I am going to carefully read the EI article once more just to be safe :)

    also any one know where to get the ukap tool kit? its on the merchandising page but i dont see a link to purchase... looking on AS hompage i found a 5 peice set for £37.99!!!! :wideyed:

    Any way getting back to the original subject of the post if im going to be EI dosing will I need to purchase ADA AS or or could I get a way with something cheaper?

    "edit" Just looking into the prices and there isnt much diffrence between ADA AS II and they competers so i think im going for that. it states 1 9l bag is suitable for 60l aquarium mine is 125l so i will need 2 9l bags and 1 3l bag any ideas what dept that would give me, considering i want slopy hill/valey kind of effect?"edit"

    thanks guys
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi vito,
    If you dose EI then you don't "have to" use a nutritious substrate, but using a nutritious substrate reduces the pressure of leaf-only feeding so that having both is better than having only water column feeding. As long as you dose the water column then AS is optional and you can easily get away with a cheaper substrate.

    I'm not sure about the tool kit availability. PM Dan Crawford to get latest status.

    There is a lot of information in the articles so read and re-read as many times as possible until the concepts sink in and become second nature.

    Cheers,
     
  12. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,281
    Location:
    London
    I only have pea size gravel in my tank with no substrate and use the EI method.
    Have a look at the link in my sig, I have no problems, plants grow pretty well and even have a glosso carpet. ;)
     
  13. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    If you can afford it and like the look go with the Aquasoil. It's great to plant in and has given excellent results for me and everyone else I think that has used it. IME it also gives you a buffer of nutrients in case you are less than regimented with your dosing (in fact I haven't dosed my tank for about 2 weeks now as I'm lowering the TDS and the plants are still doing great - just don't tell Clive... :lol: )
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
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    :p Noooo......

    Seriously though, Ed is right. The AS gives you some wiggle room to skip dosing depending on your lighting and on your level of CO2. But Ed's imperatives are completely different. He needs low TDS for breeding and I don't think his lighting is anywhere near as "Las Vegas" as my tank is. So he can easily get away with it. My tank lives on the razor's edge and has perhaps a 3 day margin of error. It's a Stanley Kubrik epic and it doesn't care about buffers. Any inattentiveness is met with immediate punishment.

    This is why I'm always asking about your goals with a tank so that you can be clear about what regime you want to operate in. Relaxed or hard core, or somewhere in the middle. 8)

    Cheers,
     
  15. Vito

    Vito Member

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Watford, Hertfordshire
    thanks for all your help guys i am going to go down dry salts route, im still stuck on substrate choice i might buy one bag of AS and cap it with some black gravel or something I just not sure on that yet... other than that thanks for the advice.
     
  16. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I wouldn't do that! Half the advantage of AS, IMO, is that it looks so great in the tank with this kind of matt dark grey/black effect. Also you will get bits of the bottom layer (especially if it's AS as it's so light) coming through the top layer.
    My Rio 180 only used one bag because I have a large sand area at the front and also some slate under the AS that the wood is anchored too. (I used the other bag I bought in another tank then!)

    AS is expensive, but it's good stuff or we'd all use it once then never again.

    Clive's right about not running may tank on the edge, but I do run 2WPG of T5 with glosso carpets and other trickier plants. I like the easy life!!! :lol: AS definitely helps with that IMHO.
     
  17. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Vito,
    Couldn't agree more with Ed on this. If you're going to do something then do it right. Let's do a reality check here: there are other attributes to AS. The aesthetics are a subjective and personal thing - so no one can tell you what you like - but as Ed says, most agree that it looks nicer and complements the colors and textures of the tank. There are also other colors so you don't have to get Amazonia. You can get Malaya or Africana which have lighter earth tones. I mean, I'm one of the tighter cheapskates but the reason I have a tank is to have something pretty to look at right? Not just to sit looking at it think about the £28 I saved by getting something inferior. :rolleyes:

    Here is an example of what AS Amazonia it looks like under 7000K ("daylight") lighting. This is the matte black Ed referred to. So why would you want to then cover it with some cheesy looking fake gravel? Additionally, running a planted tank means you are constantly shoving your hand into the substrate. AS is soft and is very kind your hands while the other types have sharp edges that get under your fingernails and hurt. To make up the extra £28 just shop at Tesco instead of M&S for the next month or so and you'll be glad you did this in the long run. :idea:
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     
  18. Vito

    Vito Member

    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Watford, Hertfordshire
     

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