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Old 17-11-2004, 02:00 AM
Sharp Tooth
 
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Default Substrate - CO2 & Filter Questions



Hi:

I have three tanks that are 36 X 12 X 18 inches and have had some
success growing plants in black gravel and using under gravel filters.
I do not vacuum the gravel since I don't want to disturb the plant
growth which covers almost all of the bottoms, but I do make regular
partial water changes.

I am now looking at buying a bigger tank 48 X 18 X 21 and was told at
the LFS to not use an under gravel filter if I wasn't prepared to
strip down the tank every six months.

Instead, an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Rena Filstar XP canister filter
was recommended. I have a Rena air pump and am quite happy with it.
How about the filter, is it any good?

If I do go with a canister filter, what should I use as a substrate?
It costs $30 Canadian for a 7 kg bag of Seachem Fluorite. How many
bags would I need and are there any effective alternatives to this
substrate that don't cost as much?


Finally, I have a number of Nutrafin CO2 Natural Plant System
canisters. Is there an alternative to buying the yeast and stabilizer
packets? I don't know what the stabilizer is comprised of. Does
anybody know?

Thanks,

Sharp Tooth













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Old 18-11-2004, 02:53 AM
Nicholas Wise
 
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"Sharp Tooth" wrote in message
...


Hi:

I have three tanks that are 36 X 12 X 18 inches and have had some
success growing plants in black gravel and using under gravel filters.
I do not vacuum the gravel since I don't want to disturb the plant
growth which covers almost all of the bottoms, but I do make regular
partial water changes.


If you are using an undergravel filter and you are not vacuuming the gravel,
then your filter is not working. An undergravel filter requires flow
through the gravel, so it must be cleaned regularly. So, in reality, you
haven't been using an undergravel filter anyway.

I am now looking at buying a bigger tank 48 X 18 X 21 and was told at
the LFS to not use an under gravel filter if I wasn't prepared to
strip down the tank every six months.


Undergravel filters are useless, especially in planted tanks.

Instead, an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Rena Filstar XP canister filter
was recommended. I have a Rena air pump and am quite happy with it.
How about the filter, is it any good?

If I do go with a canister filter, what should I use as a substrate?
It costs $30 Canadian for a 7 kg bag of Seachem Fluorite. How many
bags would I need and are there any effective alternatives to this
substrate that don't cost as much?


There are numerous options to choose as a substrate. For someone not
knowing much about the hobby, however, I would say, go with the Flourite.
It has proven to produce results time and time again.

Finally, I have a number of Nutrafin CO2 Natural Plant System
canisters. Is there an alternative to buying the yeast and stabilizer
packets? I don't know what the stabilizer is comprised of. Does
anybody know?


You can just buy yeast at a grocery store and add baking soda as a
stabilizer.


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Old 18-11-2004, 01:43 PM
www.Fish-Forums.com
 
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Default

For determing substate depth The planted tank has a great calculator
on this http://www.plantedtank.net/calculators.html

The yeast stabilizer is basically yeast, and sugar.
Here is an articel on it http://fish.orbust.net/carbondioxide.html

Marc
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Want to win a FREE new co2 system or a lighting system check out our
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http://www.fish-forums.com

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On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 20:00:17 -0500, Sharp Tooth
wrote:



Hi:

I have three tanks that are 36 X 12 X 18 inches and have had some
success growing plants in black gravel and using under gravel filters.
I do not vacuum the gravel since I don't want to disturb the plant
growth which covers almost all of the bottoms, but I do make regular
partial water changes.

I am now looking at buying a bigger tank 48 X 18 X 21 and was told at
the LFS to not use an under gravel filter if I wasn't prepared to
strip down the tank every six months.

Instead, an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Rena Filstar XP canister filter
was recommended. I have a Rena air pump and am quite happy with it.
How about the filter, is it any good?

If I do go with a canister filter, what should I use as a substrate?
It costs $30 Canadian for a 7 kg bag of Seachem Fluorite. How many
bags would I need and are there any effective alternatives to this
substrate that don't cost as much?


Finally, I have a number of Nutrafin CO2 Natural Plant System
canisters. Is there an alternative to buying the yeast and stabilizer
packets? I don't know what the stabilizer is comprised of. Does
anybody know?

Thanks,

Sharp Tooth












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Old 19-11-2004, 03:41 AM
Nicholas Wise
 
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Default


"Sharp Tooth" wrote in message
...
On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 20:53:36 -0500, "Nicholas Wise"
wrote:


"Sharp Tooth" wrote in message
.. .


Thanks Nicholas,

I guess since I haven't been vacuuming the gravel, my three tanks
which have been set up for two years have essentially had no
filtration during that time.


It's not that they've had no filtration. The bacteria still colonize the
top of the gravel and any other exposed surface, it's just that the
undergravel filters will not work properly w/o a clean substrate. The whole
concept behind them is that the water is pulled through the gravel,
providing mechanical filtration of a sort and it is then passed through the
undergravel plate where large colonies of bacteria then do the bio
filtration for you. You can see where this breaks down if water flow
through the gravel is limited.

Would it be okay to mix the fluorite with regular gravel to save a
little on the cost?


Sure it would be. Obviously it is not as good as pure flourite, but is
still better than none. I would recommend at least a 50/50 mix. Another
way you could save on cost is with a layer of material under the flourite
like a peat moss/cat liter mix. I've done this with great results. Good
luck!




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