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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Substrates for Planted Aquaria
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Substrates for Planted Aquaria
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Madan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:54 pm Post subject: Substrates for Planted Aquaria Reply with quote

 After  a  lot  of  experimentation  I  have  settled  down  to  the  following  gradation  for  my  substrates  (all  materials  are  shells  and  calcium  free)  -
 
 1.  Bottom  Layer  coarse  sand  6-7  mm  dia  +  laterite  clay  :  Thickness  about  3  cms.
 
 2.  Middle  layer  Sand  2-3  mm  dia  -  Thickness  about  8  cms.
 
 3.  Top  Layer  fine  sand  1mm  dia  -  Thickness  2-3  cms.
 
 I  find  this  to  be  the  most  cost  effective  substrate  to  use.  The  substrate  slopes  from  about  9-10  cms  in  the  front  to  12-13  cms  in  the  back
 
 The  advantage  is  that  we  have  managed  to  locate  a  source  of  calcium  and  shell  free  graded  sand  which  works  out  to  about  Rs.4/-  per  kilo.
 Saves  everyone  the  hassle  of  sieveing  and  acid  washing.
 
 I  want  to  hear  more  about  the  different  kinds  of  substrates  available  elsewhere  in  the  country  and  peoples  experiences  with  them.
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aks_bng
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 7:22 pm Post subject: Re: Substrates for Planted Aquaria Reply with quote

 While  looking  for  laterite  to  put  as  the  bottom  layer  in  my  tank.  I  came  across  an  abandoned  termite  hill  which  was  broken  into  pieces.  I  found  the  the  mud  used  to  make  the  termite  hill  was  reddish  in  colour  and  nice  &  crumbly  in  texture  with  almost  no  organic  debris  (like  pieces  of  twigs  or  decaying  leaves).I  brought  home  some  of  this  mud  and  washed  it  in  a  bucket  of  water.    Apart  from  the  inevitable  cloudingof  the  water  in  the  bucket  there  were  hardly  any  unwanted  stuff  like  dead  insects,  pieces  of  wood,  or  leaves  etc.  This  may  be  a  good  source  for  laterite  because  you  can  save  a  lot  of  time  in  cleaning  the  stuff...somebody  like  to  comment  on  this.
 
 aks_bng
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beta
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:44 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Thats  an  interesting  idea,  but  do  u  think  there  would  be  something  extra  for  the  plants  in  the  termite  mud?
 Madan,  i  was  wondering  if  adding  peat  in  the  bottom  layer  has  any  advantage  Confused:
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Madan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2003 9:31 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 beta  adding  peat  doe  shave  an  advantage.
 Basically  what  we  do  when  adding  laterite  etc.,  is  increase  teh  Cation  Exchange  Capacity(CEC)  of  the  substrate.
 Peat  has  a  very  High  CEC  as  compared  to  laterite.  The  problem  is  that  peat  can  decompose  over  a  period  of  time  as  opposed  to  laterite  which  is  inert  to  a  large  extent.
 What  both  will  do  is  sequester  the  cations  (  Fe,  K,  Mg,  Mn,  Zn,  Cu,  etc.,)  and  remove  them  from  the  water  column  into  the  substrate  from  where  the  roots  can  easily  assimilate  them  as  opposed  to  assimilation  from  the  water  column  by  the  leaves.
 You  can  use  peat  along  with  laterite  but  no  more  than  one  handful  of  boiled  soaked  peat  in  a  36  x  18  x  18  tank  or  thereabouts.
 More  than  this  may  be  bothersome.  I  haven't  used  more  than  this  amount  of  peat  in  the  substrate.
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nytyn
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 10:47 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 How  about  garden  soil,  because  Venket  said  he  used  it  in  his  tank?
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amitava
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:47 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi,
 
 Where  Can  I  get  peat  ?  Would  I  have  to  buy  or  can  find  it  ?
 
 regards
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joyban
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:07 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 I  have  used  the  following  as  substrate  and  had  very  good  results...
 
 1st    Layer  of  Gardening  Soil  -  Very  Fine,  Clean  
 2nd  Layer  of  Desi  Gobar  Khaad
 3rd    Layer  of  Fine  Gardening  Soil
 Wet  the  layer  slightly  and  then  follow  by  layers  of  :-  
 4th    Layer  of  fine  Layer  of  Red  Sand
 5th    Layer  of  Course  Brown  Sand
 6th    Layer  of  Silver  Sand
 7th    Layer  of  Golden  Sand
 8th    Layer  of  course  fine  pebbles
 
 
 Pics  of  Substrate  used  in  my  aquarium  and  ponds  :-
 
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Dolphy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:09 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Oh  Wow!  Where  do  you  get  silver  sand,  and  what  is  "Gobar  khaad"?
 
 Jenny
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Madan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:24 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Amitava  you  can  get  peat  in  a  garden  supply  store.
 
 What  you  get  is  coco  peat.  Boil  this  well  for  15  minutes.
 
 Then  let  it  soak  in  a  bucket  of  water  for  a  month.  Dry  this  peat  and  keep  for  future  use.
 
 The  next  time  you  change  the  substrate  of  your  planted  tank  use  a  hand  full  for  2  sq  ft  substrate  area  right  at  the  bottom  layer.
 
 Peat  is  not  absolutely  necessary.  I  have  tanks  with  only  laterite  and  laterite  +  peat  as  the  bottom  layer  and  there  is  no  visible  difference  in  growth.
 
 While  speaking  to  Dr.  Unnikrishnan  of  Oriental  Aquarium,  Singapore,  when  I  had  a  tour  of  their  farm,  he  mentioned  that  Amano  uses  peat  in  the  substrate  and  the  exact  ratio  and  the  type  of  peat  (  place  where  it  is  mined  from  )  is  a  secret,  so  we  can  experiment  and  try  to  arrive  at  a  viable  ratio.  Too  much  peat  will  create  havoc.  I  used  1  liter  per  sq.ft  in  one  of  my  tanks  and  there  was  chaos.
 
 Also  the  type  of  peat  used  makes  a  lot  of  difference.
 
 Canadian  spaghnum  peat  is  supposedly  the  best  but  we  never  get  to  see  it  in  India.
 
 I  do  not  have  a  source  of  various  types  of  peat,  and  I  am  not  willing  to  believe  any  Tom,  Dick  and  Harry  who  says  that  this  peat  or  that  peat  is  different.  It  will  take  a  lot  to  convince  me.
 
 The  Coco  peat  you  get  in  India  does  not  even  acidfy  the  water  or  change  the  water's  color.  What  to  do?  Oops  
 
 I  did  get  some  peat  from  USA  while  I  was  there  a  few  years  ago  labelled  Canadian  peat,  this  is  what  I  have  experimented  with  now  and  see  no  advantage  at  all.
 
 Maybe  peat  will  provide  better  and  longer  stability  of  the  substrate.
 
 As  I  said  I  have  no  source  of  good  peat.
 So  I  am  not  trying  to  experiment  now.  Maybe  some  day.
   :lol:    :lol:  
 
 Don't  break  your  head  over  peat  now...  keep  a  look  out  and  when  you  find  good  peat  experiment.  There's  a  lot  of  time  left  in  the  hobby.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:26 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

                                                   
Dolphy  wrote:                
Oh  Wow!  Where  do  you  get  silver  sand,  and  what  is  "Gobar  khaad"?
 
 Jenny                

 
 Silver  sand  is  any  silver/white  colored  sand.
 
 Gobar  Khaad  is  Gobar  =  cow  Edit,  Khaad  =  fertiliser.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:36 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Thank  you,  Madan!
 
 I  have  read  articles  where  cow  dung  has  been  used  as  a  fertilizer.  Joyban,  how  has  the  use  of  this  natural  fertilizer  benefitted  your  planted  tanks?  Does  it  have  any  adverse  effect  on  your  fish?
 
 I  used  a  little  of  my  mom's  gardening  soil  (laterite+cow  dung)  in  a  plastic  tub  on  my  terrace.  It  has  only  a  lotus  bulb  in  it.  It  seems  to  be  growing  real  well.  
 
   Smile  
 Jenny
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:41 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 All  of  these  sands  were  picked  around  construction  site  in  Delhi.  Silver  Sand  is  found  on  the  bank  of  Ganga  /  Yamunna  in  North  India.  
 
   :lol:  Gobar  Khaad  is  Natural  Manure  from  Cow  Dung  used  by  our  farmers  for  fertilising  the  crop  also  used  in  home  gardens.
 
 joyban
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:51 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi  Dolphy
 
 Well  I  have  used  it  in  my  ponds  and  the  plants  are  very  healthy  ....No  Adverse  Effect  at  all.  
 
 Some  Pics  are  ...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 joyban
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Dolphy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:54 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Wonderful!!!!!
   Smile  
 Jenny
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:20 pm Post subject: Natural Fertilizer Reply with quote

 Hi  Jenny,
                 If  you  are  planning  to  use  cow  dung  or  horseshit  in  your  planted  aquarium  however  good  they  may  be  for  the  plants  I  would  think  twice  before  paying  you  a  visit.
 
 You  could  put  it  down  to  past  experience.  Oops
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