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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question?
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A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question?
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Munna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:42 am Post subject: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Hey  Fellas,
 
 Need  your  help  and  your  suggestions!!!!!!!!!  Smile  
 
 I  have  a  small  tank  with  a  pair  of  mollies.
 
 I  recently  bought  a  new  big  Tank  2.5"  x  1.5"  x  1.0".  I  am  planning  to  make  this  into  a  simple  planted  aquarium.  I  have  brought  red  planting  soil  from  a  local  plant  nursery  (they  dont  know  what  is  laterite  and  I  read  in  some  previous  forums  that  laterite  is  just  red  soil  mixed  with  some  fertilisers,  so  brought  the  red  soil).  I  will  be  further  mixing  a  little  dried  Cow  dung  as  fertiliser  to  this  soil.  I  have  also  brought  Sea  sand  from  a  beach.  This  I  have  washed  with  HCL  acid  and  kept  soaked  in  water  for  the  past  two  days.  I  will  also  be  washing  this  in  hot  boiling  water  before  I  put  it  in  to  my  tank.  So  here  is  the  plan:
 
 1.  I  will  use  the  Red  Soil  (mixed  with  Dung)  as  the  base  Substrate.
 2.  On  this  I  will  put  a  layer  of  the  washed  Sea  Sand.
 3.  The  third  layer  will  be  of  large  and  Medium  sized  white  gravel  (pea  sized  stones)  which  will  not  be  covering  all  the  places  on  the  sand.
 4.  Then  comes  the  plants.  (my  LFS  has  Amazonias  only)
 5.  I  have  made  a  DIY  CO2  unit  using  a  1.5  ltr.  Pepsi  bottle.
 6.  I  have  a  small  sponge  filter.
 7.  Will  be  Introducing  the  fishes  to  the  larger  tank  after  two  weeks  of  the  set  up  date.
 
 
 Do  you  guys  think  I  am  on  the  right  track  and  this  will  work.  Right  now  I  m  on  a  very  tight  budget,  however,  within  a  couple  of  months,  I  will  get  some  extra  bucks  to  spare  on  my  hobby  and  will  be  buying  a  better  filter  unit  and  good  plants.  What  more  do  I  need  to  buy  to  make  my  plants  happy?
 
 Any  input  on  this  will  be  greatly  appreciated.  Confused  
 
 
 Regards
 Mahesh
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Prem kk
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:51 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

                                                   
Munna  wrote  (View  Post):                
Hey  Fellas,
 
 Need  your  help  and  your  suggestions!!!!!!!!!  Smile  
 
 I  have  a  small  tank  with  a  pair  of  mollies.
 
 I  recently  bought  a  new  big  Tank  2.5"  x  1.5"  x  1.0".  I  am  planning  to  make  this  into  a  simple  planted  aquarium.  I  have  brought  red  planting  soil  from  a  local  plant  nursery  (they  dont  know  what  is  laterite  and  I  read  in  some  previous  forums  that  laterite  is  just  red  soil  mixed  with  some  fertilisers,  so  brought  the  red  soil).  I  will  be  further  mixing  a  little  dried  Cow  dung  as  fertiliser  to  this  soil.  I  have  also  brought  Sea  sand  from  a  beach.  This  I  have  washed  with  HCL  acid  and  kept  soaked  in  water  for  the  past  two  days.  I  will  also  be  washing  this  in  hot  boiling  water  before  I  put  it  in  to  my  tank.  So  here  is  the  plan:
 
 1.  I  will  use  the  Red  Soil  (mixed  with  Dung)  as  the  base  Substrate.
 2.  On  this  I  will  put  a  layer  of  the  washed  Sea  Sand.
 3.  The  third  layer  will  be  of  large  and  Medium  sized  white  gravel  (pea  sized  stones)  which  will  not  be  covering  all  the  places  on  the  sand.
 4.  Then  comes  the  plants.  (my  LFS  has  Amazonias  only)
 5.  I  have  made  a  DIY  CO2  unit  using  a  1.5  ltr.  Pepsi  bottle.
 6.  I  have  a  small  sponge  filter.
 7.  Will  be  Introducing  the  fishes  to  the  larger  tank  after  two  weeks  of  the  set  up  date.
 
 
 Do  you  guys  think  I  am  on  the  right  track  and  this  will  work.  Right  now  I  m  on  a  very  tight  budget,  however,  within  a  couple  of  months,  I  will  get  some  extra  bucks  to  spare  on  my  hobby  and  will  be  buying  a  better  filter  unit  and  good  plants.  What  more  do  I  need  to  buy  to  make  my  plants  happy?
 
 Any  input  on  this  will  be  greatly  appreciated.  Confused  
 
 
 Regards
 Mahesh                

 
 A  perfect  receipe  for  disaster.
 
 Before  proceeding  any  further  please  read  thru  the  old  threads  which  will  help  you  understand  the  requirements  of  planted  tanks.
 
 Please  also  update  your  location,  you  might  be  able  to  get  some  local  help  as  well.
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sudFish
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:01 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 sea  sand  will  be  fine  grained.  this  will  not  work  out  for  planted  aquaria.  you  need  gravel  of  a  bigger  grain  size  3-4  mm  size  will  be  perfect.  refrain  from  using  sea  sand.
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Munna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:04 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Hi  Prem,  
 
 Thanks  for  replying.
 
 I  have  read  quite  a  lot  of  forums  articles  and  had  come  to  the  above  conclusion.  I  can't  understand  what  I  have  missed  in  this.  However,  I  guess  I  may  have  missed  something  important.  Can  you  give  me  the  links  to  the  forum  topics  that  will  help  a  beginner  like  me  to  start  my  planted  aquarium  from  scratch.  
 
 Have  updated  my  location  on  my  profile.  I  live  in  Mumbai.
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Munna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:10 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Hi  Sudhir,
 
 Thanks  for  replying.
 
 I  have  seived  the  sand  and  the  sand  grains  are  of  more  than  2.0  mm.  Will  this  also  not  work?  I  followed  this  link  for  the  cleaning  and  seiving  of  the  sand.
 
 http://aquarticles.com/articles/plants/kumar_substrate.html
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niroo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:14 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Any  Red  SOIL  mixed  with  fertilizers  is  not  good.  The  Fertilizers  Used  in  Aquariums  are  totally  different  than  Ferti.  used  in  regular  garden.  Garden  Fertilizers  are  Chemical  Ferti.(Urea,Ammonium  Sulphate,DAP  and  lot  to  name)  containing  Nitrogen/Amonia  and  what  not....  it  is  not  at  all  advised.   Smile  
 
 Regarding  Cow  Dung...  i  too  heard  abt  ppl  using  this  in  aquariums.  But  Dung  contains  lots  of  heat  and  also  many  worms  dwell  on  that  .Im  not  sure  how  safe  these  worms  are  in  aquariums.
 
 Also  COWDUNG  affects  your  pH  levels.(pH  seen  raised  by  use  of  cow  dung)  So  u  will  need  a  great  caution.
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mayurdev
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:25 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Mahesh,
 
 It  is  not  what  you  have  missed,  It  is  what  you  plan  to  add.
 
 To  help  you  here  are  the  suggestions  for  what  you  are  planning  to  do.
 
 1.  I  will  use  the  Red  Soil  (mixed  with  Dung)  as  the  base  Substrate.
       You  can  use  red  soil,  But  mixing  any  kind  of  dung  is  a  very  bad  idea.  You  might  as  well  start  staying  in  a  cow  shed  because  very  soon  your  house  will  smell  like  one
 
 2.  On  this  I  will  put  a  layer  of  the  washed  Sea  Sand.
 3.  The  third  layer  will  be  of  large  and  Medium  sized  white  gravel  (pea  sized  stones)  which  will  not  be  covering  all  the  places  on  the  sand.
 
 Ideal  Sand  size  is  2-3mm  
 
 4.  Then  comes  the  plants.  (my  LFS  has  Amazonias  only)
 
 Amazonia  is  a  good  starter  plant,  see  if  you  can  get  vallisaneria,  crypts  

 
 5.  I  have  made  a  DIY  CO2  unit  using  a  1.5  ltr.  Pepsi  bottle.
 Do  read  up  well,  if  you  make  a  mistake  the  bottle  could  burst,  also  please  do  not  use  any  controllers.
 ALSO  how  do  you  plan  to  diffuse  the  Co2   into  the  tank?

 
 6.  I  have  a  small  sponge  filter.
 Sponge  filters  are  not  suggested  for  a  planted  tank

 
 7.  Will  be  Introducing  the  fishes  to  the  larger  tank  after  two  weeks  of  the  set  up  date.
 Seems  fine,  Not  a  lot  of  fish  eat  plants
 
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sandeepraghuvanshi
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:36 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Pls  remove  cow  dung  from  your  aquarium.it  will  stink  like  hell  and  will  be  a  big  mess.
 lower  layer  should  be  laterite  withour  any  terristial  fertilizers.
 Top  it  with  sieved  sand  2-3  mm  in  dia,  followed  by  gravel.
 Mumbai  has  many  aquariums  with  plants,  I  know  only  one,  Nautilus  in  bandra,  there  is  a  list  of  lfs  in  mumbai  on  this  site,  get  in  touch  with  them.
 They  carry  a  decent  stock  of  plants.
 Sponge  filter  might  not  be  a  very  good  idea  in  planted  tanks,  the  bubbling  on  surface  will  release  co2  from  aquarium  into  air.
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honey_moksh
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:47 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Munna
 
 You  have  received  good  advise  from  many  here.
 
 For  plants,  check  with  Nautilus  (Bandra)  and  uthekar  (Borivili).,  MP  Aquarium  (Malad).  These  are  the  LFS  where  I  normaly  go.  There  are  quite  a  few  in  Kurla  too.  Please  post  your  exact  location  in  Mumbai  for  people  to  help  you.
 
 Good  luck
 Harpreet.
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Scorpio
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:54 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Don't  mix  any  fertilizer  or  cow  dung  in  the  red  soil.  You  can  mix  Soilrite  and  red  soil  to  make  a  perfect  substrate  in  the  ratio  40:60  and  use   this  mixture  as  lower  layer.  Use  small  gravels  (2-3  mm)  as  top  layer.  The  sea  sand  will  not  compitable  with  freshwater  planted  aquarium.
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Munna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:56 am Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Hi  Niranjan,  Mayur,  Sandeep  and  Harpreet,
 
 Thanks  for  your  replies.  
 
 The  red  Soil  I  have  brought  is  not  mixed  with  any  fertilisers.  Its  just  plain  Red  soil.  This  I  have  doubly  asked  and  confirmed  with  the  Nursery.  Also  have  washed  the  soil  twice  in  water.  But  it  still  colors  the  water  brown.  
 
 I  am  mixing  dried  cowdung  in  a  very  little  quantity  as  fertiliser  to  this  soil.  Will  be  like  using  a  pinch  of  dung  for  every  two  handful  of  soil.  I  understand  aquarium  fertilizers  are  different  than  the  normal  garden  fertilisers.  Unfortunately  my  LFS  does  not  have  aquarium  fertilisers  and  I  dont  trust  him  to  provide  me  with  anything  genuine  and  also  am  a  bit  tight  on  budget  right  now  but  will  be  buying  fertilisers  from  other  LFS's  in  Mumbai  in  the  next  month.  Nautilus  in  bandra  is  a  good  LFS  and  there  is  another  good  LFS  in  kurla  and  one  in  Dadar.  I  have  done  quite  a  bit  of  research  at  all  these  places  and  will  be  buying  more  plants  also  from  these  places  if  the  tank  survives  the  initial  stages.  That's  why  am  only  using  Amazonia's  for  the  beginning.
 
 With  regards  to  the  filter,  I  will  be  buying  an  immersible  powerhead  filter  in  April,  however  for  now,  I  have  to  use  the  spong  filter  to  filter  and  to  diffuse  the  co2  into  the  tank.  However,  can  I  use  an  Airstone  to  diffuse  the  Co2  to  the  tank.  I  have  two  Airpumps  and  I  can  use  one  for  the  filter  and  one  for  the  airhead.  
 
 Also  I  will  be  doing  1/4  water  changes  twice  weekly.  Wont  this  help  too?
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Munna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:02 pm Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Hi  Rajiv,
 
 Thanks  for  your  reply.
 
 What  is  soilrite?  Whr  can  I  buy  it  from?
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mayurdev
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:30 pm Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Mahesh,
 
 Mixing  cow  dung  in  soil  is  a  bad  idea  even  if  it  is  only  a  pinch  for  every  handful,  but  then  it  is  your  choice,  
 
 I  only  hope  you  are  a  bachelor,  If  you  are  married  the  chances  are  your  wife  will  throw  you  and  the  tank  out  of  the  house.
 
 All  the  best   Thumb Up  
 
 Almost  forgot  how  ever  many  times  you  wash  red  soil  it  will  still  brown  the  water.  You  do  not  need  to  wash  the  red  soil.
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Munna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:51 pm Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 Hey  Mayur,
 
 Thanks.  
 
 I  think  I  better  throw  out  the  Dung  and  will  just  use  the  red  Soil  for  now.
 
 I  m  married  and  my  wife  has  supported  me  until  now  for  my  planted  aquarium  project,  but  cant  take  the  risk  to  offend  her  and  my  mom  with  a  messy  stinky  dung  smell  in  the  house.  They  will  definately  throw  me  out  of  the  house  along  with  the  tank.
 
 Once  again  thank  you  everyone.  And  keep  the  good  suggstions  coming.  I  really  appreciate  this.
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sandeepraghuvanshi
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:13 pm Post subject: Re: A First timer's Planted Aquarium Question? Reply with quote

 A  this  is  your  first  planted  tank  you  can  safely  leave  out  any  gravel  additives.
 Good  planted  tanks  with  2-3  mm  sand  are  much  easier  to  handle.
 As  you  begin  to  get  comfortable  with  planted  aquariums  you  can  try  them  in  future  tanks.
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