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HDH 20-04-2003 06:20 AM

laterite + gravel + moving plants around = mess?
 
Hi,
I'm a relative newbie, soon to be setting up a new 55 gallon tank and plan
to have it light-medium planted. Been leaning toward the ubiquitous
Laterite/gravel combination, but I also know I'll be moving plants around a
lot until I'm happy with the look.

1. Will the Laterite make a mess of the tank when I do this?
2. Will fluorite be better in this regard?
3. Is it possible to have plants do just fine with just plain gravel?

Thanks in advance for any input.
Howard



Dave Millman 20-04-2003 06:20 AM

laterite + gravel + moving plants around = mess?
 
HDH wrote:

Hi,
I'm a relative newbie, soon to be setting up a new 55 gallon tank and plan
to have it light-medium planted. Been leaning toward the ubiquitous
Laterite/gravel combination, but I also know I'll be moving plants around a
lot until I'm happy with the look.

1. Will the Laterite make a mess of the tank when I do this?


Yes.


2. Will fluorite be better in this regard?


Yes. Keep in mind that all substrate, as it ages, gets filled with mulm, AKA
fish poop. This is normal, and it settles quickly. In planted tanks, we do not
vacuum this stuff out, as it forms a key component of the substrate with the
Flourite/gravel.

3. Is it possible to have plants do just fine with just plain gravel?


Plain gravel is inert and supplies no nutrients. Flourite supplies iron, and
some claim that it also allows far great bacterial colonization than rock,
especially epoxy coated gravel.

if you do decide to use gravel, the recommended size is larger than sand, but
smaller than the flourescent painted gravel in most stores. I believe the size
range is 2-3mm, but I could be mistaken.

Finally, many gravels contain shells or rocks that will raise the KH and thus
the pH of your water. If this is an issue, you must test it first. All these
details are available on the Krib and Google.


Eric Schreiber 20-04-2003 06:20 AM

laterite + gravel + moving plants around = mess?
 
"HDH" wrote:

1. Will the Laterite make a mess of the tank when I do this?


Yes. Though the cloudiness will settle out after a day or so.

2. Will fluorite be better in this regard?


Much less messy, assuming you've rinsed it well.

3. Is it possible to have plants do just fine with just plain gravel?


Depends on water and lighting conditions, and the plants. There are
floating plants available, and since they're not anchored in the
gravel they don't care about it.

--
www.ericschreiber.com

Phil Dietz 20-04-2003 06:20 AM

laterite + gravel + moving plants around = mess?
 
if you do decide to use gravel, the recommended size is larger than sand, but
smaller than the flourescent painted gravel in most stores. I believe the size
range is 2-3mm, but I could be mistaken.



My 10 gallon tank is filled with plants living in blue WalMart rock of
the course variety.

The tank had a standard 13 watt florescent and no CO2 for the longest
time.

So it's not impossible. The plants just don't grow as fast. Some
think that's a good property.

Of course "if you are building your substrate today, do it right. The
substrate is the hardest thing to have to replace."

HDH 20-04-2003 06:20 AM

laterite + gravel + moving plants around = mess?
 
Thanks to all for the valuable info. If I may, one brief follow-up:

Is there any down side to going with flourite but keeping the tank lightly
or moderately planted? Algae, perhaps, or something else I should consider?

Thanks again. This ng is great.
Howard


"LeighMo" wrote in message
...
1. Will the Laterite make a mess of the tank when I do this?


Yes.

2. Will fluorite be better in this regard?


Yes. IMO, this is the big advantage of Flourite (or Onyx), and what makes

it
worth the cost. You can rearrange and replant to your heart's content,

without
making a mess.

Also, Flourite lasts forever. Laterite eventually gets exhausted, and

must be
replaced.

3. Is it possible to have plants do just fine with just plain gravel?


Not really. There's a reason people put up with messy laterite, or shell

out
the money for Flourite.

Some plants aren't heavy rootfeeders, and don't need an enriched

substrate.
And if your gravel is very old and well-used, it might be enriched enough

(with
fish droppings and such). But in general, a good substrate is as

necessary as
decent lighting to a planted tank.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/




Eric Schreiber 20-04-2003 06:20 AM

laterite + gravel + moving plants around = mess?
 
"HDH" wrote:

Is there any down side to going with flourite but keeping the tank lightly
or moderately planted? Algae, perhaps, or something else I should consider?


As Leigh said, no problem at all.

I'd add that if you're only going to plant one area of the tank you
might consider saving yourself some money and only put the Flourite in
that area. Flourite is a good deal more expensive than plain gravel,
and every dollar you save can be spent on more fish :)

--
www.ericschreiber.com


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