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Thread: Substrate

  1. #1
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    Substrate

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    Hi,

    I need some advice on substrates. I bought a bag of Taikong substrate from Choon Sua Aquarium at Beauty World Plaza. It consits of gravel-clay like granules, maximum diameter at about 5mm. I doubt it has any fertilization capabilities, but it is said to purify the water.

    Anyway, I was thinking of the options available. 1) Add plant base beneath this substrate, 2) Mix it with Denerle's Dupont, 3) just use liquid fertilizers.

    In my other setup, I used JBL plant base topped with a layer of gravel. After about 2 months, algae started to bloom. Could this be due to the plant base- excess nutrients?
    Regards,
    Drew.

  2. #2
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    Hi drew,

    All the 3 options are viable. But personally I'd say go for the one with base fertiliser. It makes things easier in the way that your plants have access to other forms of nutrients.

    Why algae bloomed in that tank is due to a lot of possible reasons, not necessarily because of the excess nutrients. By right however, the base fertiliser should not cause algae, unless it has been leeched into your water due to excessive disturbance of the gravel bed.

  3. #3
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    Re: Substrate

    Quote Originally Posted by drew_ll
    I bought a bag of Taikong substrate
    If this substrate has only japanese words all over the packing, then, I am using this too. It is a very good substrate but do not use it alone because some will breakdown into powder. Try doing this:
    1) Place essential soil/peat-based fertilizer from Dennerle, JBL, Taiwan brand, etc. Depend on th height of your tank, for 20" or higher, use up to 2" thick. For less than 20", use 1~1.5".
    Tips:
    - Leave about 1~2" of the perimeter (tank edges) free of this base fert.
    - Slope very gently from front to back.
    2) Mix the japanese substrate with lonestar gravel (50:50). Use this to cover the base fert, about 1~1.5"
    3) Mix the japanese substrate with lonestar gravel (30:70). Use this to top-up another 1".

  4. #4
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    Substrate

    Hi,

    I am just curious to know, if anyone here uses Dennerle's Depoint-mix and the heating cable? By including a heating cable, does it significantly improve the growth of most aquatic plants?


    Thanks,
    Drew.

  5. #5
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    Re: Substrate

    Drew, I'm not sure of Dennerle's Deponit-mix but if you are thinking of having undergravel heating cables in your tank, bear in mind it will only work if the temp of your water is quite low. Basically, undergravel heating cables are supposed to induce a current of water to flow through the substrate but this can only happen if there's a significant difference in temperature between the water and the heating cable. If you're not using a chiller, chances are the temp of your water is too high.

    Having said that, I would also like to tell you what a French guy told me several years ago. He works for an aquatic plant farm in Holland and he was here several years ago for Aquarama. He told me his company conducted an experiment on the usefulness of undergravel heating cables. They set up 2 tanks with identical parameters but one has undergravel heating cables, the other has not. They planted both tanks with the exact same number of plants. They weighed the plants to make sure both tanks got exactly the same weight of plants too. After several months, they took out all the plants and weighed them again. They found there was hardly any difference between the weight of plants in the 2 tanks.

    Loh K L

  6. #6
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    Re: Substrate

    I have never use it but based on the many tanks that used it, it us a very good one. However, it is just one part of the system, you got to have the rest right too, like temperature, filtration, CO2, etc.

    Heating Cable
    There is debate on heating cable. The concept/idea is good and it works because it has the important function of rejuvenating the substrate. However, it has its' short comings:
    1) it is design for deep substrate (>5" deep). Shallower than this has high chances of root getting entangle with the cables and excessive water exchange or fertizer leak.
    2) the benifit will come after the substrate is mature with bacterias.
    3) not suitable for tank in room with >26 degree celsius ambient.

    Based on the above and Singapore weather, using it means:
    1) you got a large/deep tank and
    2) you are prepared to use chiller

    Alternatively, you can keep the substrate healthy by planting the tank densely with rooted plants.

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