What do I do? I need life advice

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Sprinkle

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Mar 21, 2020
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hi all, Im in school now XD i know, crazy. but im almost done.

so, i am starting to care for my 125L. the thing is that during summertime i will be working in an actual job so i will be getting some crypts and 1-2 amazon swords and other plants that shall require root ferts. so i dont think i will even bother doing root tabs every 3 or less months so i thought about adding some organic potting mix for plants. yes there would be possibility that it would get used up but for a long time i would not need to use them.

but there is a problem, its the granular convection. if i would use the soil + sand, the soil would rise and sand would end up at the bottom and therefore i need help.
and if i would use sand + soil mixture and i have have mts snails and corys and so they would mix it up and would make granular convection happen faster.

so i thought about adding a small 2cm of small grained gravel, like 2-3mm(?), and then some sand maybe? would this work with my snails and corys orr not??

thanks for anything really! :3
 

Lalo J.

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I'm not sure if I got it right, you are going to make a homemade substrate I guess. If you are going to use gravel then it would be for the surface, I have a friend who has topsoil, aquabasis plus, sand and gravel in that order and his plants are quite good.
By the way, even if you are in school there is always time for aquariums 😆 😆 .
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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caring for plants is pretty easy.. you don't have to poke at them every day, so relax.

I am not a fan of using a soil substrate, especially not to someone who is asking questions. there is too much risk for things to go wrong, especially muddy water.

My vote would likely be sand and root tabs, assuming budget is an issue, I would go with something simple and DIY, in the US I would suggest osmocote+ and either make into little icecube tabs, or fill cpsule tabs (you can likely get them on amazon or ebay or supplement type stores like vitamin world)

or if your budget will run to it, I would go with tropica capsules.

I've used both and both work..

don't put them touching the plants, and don't worry too much about over fertilizing with them.. just add them every month or so as needed, more ort less depending on how your plants are doing
 

dougall

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And, if the time you will be able to spend on the tank is going to significantly decrease, or disappear completely, my suggestion would be to not make any major changes until you are going to be able to at least monitor it daily.
 
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Sprinkle

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Hmm well i havent had a problem with muddy or brown water or any ammonia spike in my 5 gallon. I think i could do this.


I'm not sure if I got it right, you are going to make a homemade substrate I guess. If you are going to use gravel then it would be for the surface, I have a friend who has topsoil, aquabasis plus, sand and gravel in that order and his plants are quite good.
By the way, even if you are in school there is always time for aquariums 😆 😆 .
no i wasnt planning on making my own substrate.
 

Sprinkle

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All im asking is if my cories and snails and possibly my plec are going to mix everything up is whether i should put small layer of small grained gravel on top of potting mix and then sand or just sand is allright with a larger layer of it or not?

thats the thing everyone, its budged and my reluctancy of using root tabs thats affecting it. And it would be just easier for me, the last time i gave root balls for my amazon sword i put them in the wrong place and it didnt work out. Im pretty stupid😆
 

dougall

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If you want to use soil,it should be totally fine.. you just need enough sand above it that the cories and snails won't dig down enough.. you also need to make sure that the plant roots will get through the soil to the soil.


I really would use root tabs, just be sure to get ones that will help the plants, lots will lack the needed macronutrients for the plants.
 
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FreshyFresh

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I too would go the root tab route before capped dirt. With my setups, stock and WC routine I have a tough time keeping sand put. Sand looks the best to me, but I tend to go with the finest grained gravel I can find for my tanks with plants.
 
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Sprinkle

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If you want to use soil,it should be totally fine.. you just need enough sand above it that the cories and snails won't dig down enough.. you also need to make sure that the plant roots will get through the soil to the soil.


I really would use root tabs, just be sure to get ones that will help the plants, lots will lack the needed macronutrients for the plants.
Im afraid about them mixing both substrates and roots not being long enough to reach dirt :/
But swords have long roots, not sure about bacopa, ludwigia, hygrophila and crypts :/
How high should i make the sand?
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Crypts do.. the rest are stems, you should just need to bury them enough.

I would do 1-2" of sand I think.. but it's not an exact science.
 
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