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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT
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Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT

 
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neel12345
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:10 pm Post subject: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 Hi,  as  you  might  know  ,  I  am  setting  up  a  2X1X1  planted  tank  (  15  gal  )
 
 Earlier  I  had  decided  to  go  for  Humus  +  Humus  Plus  +  Fondo  Vivo  for  substrate.  But  Fondo  vivo  is  out  of  stock  in  Kolkata  for  last  3  weeks  ,  and  I  can't  hold  my  patience  any  more.
 
 So  now  it's  time  to  look  at  alternatives  to  Fondo  vivo.
 
 How  is  Fertil  Plant  (  from  Prodac  only  )  compared  to  Fondo  Vivo  ?  which  is  better  ?
 
 I  was  thinking  of  this  concoction  :
 
 Peat  Plate  +  Bone  Meal  +  KNO4  +  Humus  +  Humus  Plus  +  Fertil  Plant  topped  with  gravel.
 
 If  Fertil  Plant  is  OK  ,  do  I  need  to  add  anything  else  ?
 
 And  if  Fertil  Plant  is  not  really  effective  ,  what  would  be  a  good  alternative  ?
 
 By  the  way  ,  Aquasoil  AMZ  I  ,  AMZ  II  ,  Ocean  Free  Absolute  Plant  Base  +  OF  Absolute  Planting  soil  -  all  of  these  are  out  of  stock  at  my  LFS  !  ¬†:grin:
 
 Will  you  suggest  waiting  till  all  stocks  arrive  or  trying  out  alternatives  ?
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ArnabPDas
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:02 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 Fertil  Plant  and  Fondo  Vivo  are  two  entirely  different  substrates.  The  first  one  is  a  baked  clay  substrate  with  nutrients  and  moderate  CEC  while  Fondo  Vivo  is  a  fracted  clay  substrate  with  high  CEC  and  little  or  no  nutrient  value.
 
 The  Fertil  Plant  IMX  is  an  attempt  (a  very  lame  one  at  that)  at  replicating  premium  baked  clay  substrates  like  ADA  AS  Amazonia.  
 
 The  precise  order  of  layering  is  less  important  than  what  you  put  at  the  bottom  and  what  you  put  at  the  top.  FWIW,  my  layering  goes  like  this  from  bottom  to  top
 
 
    Peat  plates  covering  entire  bottom
     1/2"  layer  of  1:1  Humus  and  HumuPlus
     Edit:  1/2"  layer  of  Fertil  plant
     1"  layer  of  Fondo  Vivo
     1"-2"  layer  of  natural  river  gravel

 
 Couple  notes  here
 
 
    If  you  put  Fertil  Plant  as  the  topmost  layer  you  will  be  asking  for  trouble  and  trouble  will  come  running  and  jumping  at  you.  Unlike  the  best  baked  clay  substrates,  FP  disintegrates  very  easily  and  if  you  do  some  serious  planting  it  will  literally  turn  to  mud.  The  water  will  need  filtration  for  a  little  less  than  forever  to  clear  it  up  or  it  will  need  you  to  change  water  impractically  frequently.  FP  debris  that  settle  on  plant  leaves  will  give  algae  a  head  start  against  the  other  higher  order  plants.  My  advice  --  don't  do  it.  Cover  it  up  with  river  gravel  or  Fondo  Vivo  and  then  river  gravel.
     
     If  you  put  Fondo  Vivo  on  top  (without  covering  it  up)  it  will  look  nice  but  your  root  feeders  will  have  a  hard  time  staying  put  initially  because  FV  is  very  lightweight.  Also,  bottom  dwellers  esp  corydorus,  plecos  and  Ottos  will  badly  bruise  themselves  against  the  sharp  textured  surface  of  FV  while  grazing  for  food.  My  advice  1)  Do  not  put  FV  as  the  topmost  layer.

 
 And  another  advice  --  just  a  suggestion:  go  for  a  more  premium  product  as  substrate  to  reap  even  more  long  term  benefits.  
 
 Prodac  isn't  extremely  bad  but  looking  back  when  I  set  up  my  tank  about  an  year  ago,  I  would  certainly  have  gone  for  something  better  instead  of  trying  to  save  a  few  bucks  in  the  initial  investment.  It  was  partly  due  to  my  naivete  (I  was  back  to  the  hobby  after  nearly  12  years  and  did  not  know  the  various  great  substrate  options  available)  and  partly  due  to  my  being  grossly  ill-advised  by  a  supposedly  knowledgeable  but  actually  empty-vesselistic  LFS  owner  in  Beck  Bagan  (who  later  stole  my  CO2  system  --  took  it  for  refill  without  a  receipt  and  never  gave  it  back  but  that's  another  story..).


Last edited by ArnabPDas on Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tirtha C
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:17 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 Neel...  you  have  posted  the  thread  in  a  wrong  place.  It  is  not  related  to  aquascaping.
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neel12345
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:54 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 Thank  you  very  much  Arnab  da  !
 
 Is  there  any  problem  if  Humus  gets  mixed  with  Fertil  Plant  ?
 
 Actually,  I  found  a  misaligned  glass  (  right  side  glass  ,  front  edge  )  and  suspected  a  leak.  I  had  already  set  up  everything  except  Fondo  vivo  +  gavel  in  your  order  only.  So  i  decided  to  take  out  everything  a  go  for  a  leak  test  till  Fondo  vivo  thing  arrives...  As  i  suspected  ,  the  tank  leaked.  But  in  the  process  of  removing  everything  ,  Humus  and  Humus  plus  mixture  got  mixed  with  Fertil  Plant..  will  there  be  any  problem  ?
 
 So  you  suggest  me  to  wait  for  Fondo  vivo  patiently  ?
 
 By  the  way  ,  I  am  also  buying  these  from  Splashing  Meadows  near  Beck  Bagaan  .  They  act  like  they  know  a  lot  ,  but  even  i  know  better  than  them.  They  broke  my  new  hood  due  to  mishandling  and  finally  I  received  a  broken  hood  ,  despite  paying  full  money.  I  am  not  aware  of  any  other  popper  LFS  in  Kolkata  who  stock  these  products..  can  you  suggest  a  good  LFS  who  stock  these  ?
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ArnabPDas
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:22 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

                                                   
neel12345  wrote  (View  Post):                
Thank  you  very  much  Arnab  da  !
 
 Is  there  any  problem  if  Humus  gets  mixed  with  Fertil  Plant  ?
 
 Actually,  I  found  a  misaligned  glass  (  right  side  glass  ,  front  edge  )  and  suspected  a  leak.  I  had  already  set  up  everything  except  Fondo  vivo  +  gavel  in  your  order  only.  So  i  decided  to  take  out  everything  a  go  for  a  leak  test  till  Fondo  vivo  thing  arrives...  As  i  suspected  ,  the  tank  leaked.  But  in  the  process  of  removing  everything  ,  Humus  and  Humus  plus  mixture  got  mixed  with  Fertil  Plant..  will  there  be  any  problem  ?
 
 So  you  suggest  me  to  wait  for  Fondo  vivo  patiently  ?
 
 By  the  way  ,  I  am  also  buying  these  from  Splashing  Meadows  near  Beck  Bagaan  .  They  act  like  they  know  a  lot  ,  but  even  i  know  better  than  them.  They  broke  my  new  hood  due  to  mishandling  and  finally  I  received  a  broken  hood  ,  despite  paying  full  money.  I  am  not  aware  of  any  other  popper  LFS  in  Kolkata  who  stock  these  products..  can  you  suggest  a  good  LFS  who  stock  these  ?                

 
 Neel,  I  do  not  think  if  Humus,  HumuPlus  and  Fertil  plant  get  mixed  it  will  be  a  problem.  If  I  were  you  I'd  take  this  oppty  to  supplement  some  peat  plates  at  the  bottom  --  crypts  will  love  it.  You  can  skip  the  Fondo  Vivo  --  in  fact  I  use  my  spare  stock  as  biomechafiltration  substrate  inside  my  eHeim  (works  wonders).  You  can  directly  top  up  the  H+HP_FP  concoction  with  river  gravel.
 
 BTW  I  did  not  intend  to  start  mud-slinging  at  that  LFS  in  this  thread  so  let's  please  not  discuss  them  specifically  anymore.  It  is  helpful  to  remember  one  thing  though  --  passionate  people  are  more  gullible  than  normal  so  if  you  are  passionate  about  fishkeeping,  watch  out  for  getting  conned  by  people  who  are  in  it  only  for  the  money.  Knowledge,  patience,  experience  and  information  are  your  best  friends.  
 
 Presently  I  do  not  endorse  any  LFS  in  Kolkata  and  I  would  rather  have  stuff  shipped  internationally  and  pay  full  customs  duty  than  deal  with  scumbags/thieves  locally.
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neel12345
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:45 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 I   already  had  peat  plates...  i  have  taken  them  out  also..  if  I  use  fondo  vivo  ,  will  it  make  plants  grow  better  ?  as  a  substrate  ,  which  is  more  '  functional  '  ?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:53 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 "if  I  use  fondo  vivo  ,  will  it  make  plants  grow  better  ?  "  --  I  would  have  to  have  tested  with  and  without  Fondo  Vivo  (which  I  haven't  done)  to  be  able  to  answer  this  question  correctly.
 
 "as  a  substrate  ,  which  is  more  '  functional  '  "  --  not  sure  I  understood  the  question.  What  are  we  comparing  FV  with?  In  case  it  was  not  clear  in  my  first  post  --  there  is  nothing  else  comparable  to  FV  in  the  Prodac  range.  If  I  understood  correctly  from  Prodac's  nebulous  literature  and  email  responses  --  FV  has  high  CEC  and  is  useful  in  binding  cations  from  water  column  as  well  as  acting  as  a  good  medium  for  bacteria  growth  (breaks  down  mulm  in  a  more  effective  manner).
 
 
                                                 
neel12345  wrote  (View  Post):                
I  ¬†already  had  peat  plates...  i  have  taken  them  out  also..  if  I  use  fondo  vivo  ,  will  it  make  plants  grow  better  ?  as  a  substrate  ,  which  is  more  '  functional  '  ?                
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:02 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 I  was  comparing  FV  to  FP.
 
 So  Fondo  vivo  is  best  substrate  from  prodac  ?  By  the  way  what's  CEC  ?  And  how  will  I  supply  iron  ?  If  I  use  Nutron  Ferro  ,  how  will  crypts  get  them  ?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:10 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 Neel,
 
 "So  Fondo  vivo  is  best  substrate  from  prodac  ?"  --  I  think  there  still  is  a  fundamental  confusion  here  and  I  hope  you  read  my  posts  at  least  as  carefully  as  I  wrote  them.  Prodac  substrates  are  meant  to  be  used  in  combination  as  a  "system"  and  Fondo  Vivo  and  Fertil  Plant  are  different  from  each  other  in  much  the  same  manner  an  apple  is  different  from  an  orange.  My  gut  feel  is  you  can  skip  the  Fondo  Vivo  especially  the  peat  plates  have  quite  high  CEC  as  well  as  long  as  they  are  not  buried  too  deep.
 
 As  for  CEC  and  other  things  it  needs  a  long  explanation  that  you  can  find  by  Google  search  or  making  separate  posts  here.  Setting  up  a  planted  tank  needs  a  lot  of  homework  before  embarking  and  such  reading  up  is  just  a  part  of  it.  Good  luck  with  your  tank,
 
 
                                                 
neel12345  wrote  (View  Post):                
I  was  comparing  FV  to  FP.
 
 So  Fondo  vivo  is  best  substrate  from  prodac  ?  By  the  way  what's  CEC  ?  And  how  will  I  supply  iron  ?  If  I  use  Nutron  Ferro  ,  how  will  crypts  get  them  ?                
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neel12345
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:15 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 I  knew  about  Caution  Exchange  ,  but  never  noticed  the  short  form  !
 
 It's  clear  now  ,  one  more  question  ,  which  you  didn't  answer  ,  how  will  i  supply  iron  ?  do  i  have  to  use  laterite  along  with  these  ?
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ArnabPDas
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:22 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 Having  laterite  is  always  a  good  idea  but  I  don't  know  whether  to  put  it  above  or  below  the  peat  plates  (  would  have  put  it  below).
 
 The  Prodac  Nutron  Flora  and  Nutron  Ferro  products  were  completely  ineffective  for  me.  During  my  high-tech  planted  tank  phase  I  used  Azoo  trace+iron  supplement  (don't  ask  where  you  can  buy  those  --  I  don't  know,  I  got  mine  through  a  friend)  which  worked  well.
 
 If  your  tank  is  low-tech  just  having  laterite  will  be  sufficient.
 
 
                                                 
neel12345  wrote  (View  Post):                
I  knew  about  Caution  Exchange  ,  but  never  noticed  the  short  form  !
 
 It's  clear  now  ,  one  more  question  ,  which  you  didn't  answer  ,  how  will  i  supply  iron  ?  do  i  have  to  use  laterite  along  with  these  ?                
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neel12345
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:27 pm Post subject: Re: Help Choosing Substrate :: FONDO VIVO VS. FERTIL PLANT Reply with quote

 Thank  you  buddy  !  Mine  is  a  high  tech  one  as  I  am  going  for  4  WPG  and  pressurized  CO2..
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