Low Tech = Affordable Substrate - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 07:19 PM
x2h
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktownhero View Post
I'm afraid I didn't read your whole post, my apologies. So you don't really have a "bare bottom" tank, just a really fine layer of substrate?

yes just a thin layer 0.5-1 inch of pool filter sand. the sand is actually more than a decoration, b/c the bolevian and blue rams love to sift the sand all the time. when they are spawning, they will choose a spot and fan away the sand until the bottom is exposed. takes only a few seconds.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 07:45 PM
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Sox,

I personally really like using Miracle Gro Organic underneath a 2" cap with something else (pool filter sand would be a good cheap option). So that would be my own recommendation.

I've got this substrate in both my own 90 and 46gals right now (links in my signature below)

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 08:00 PM
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agree with mike and laura.

DONT FEAR THE DIRT.

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 08:26 PM
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Substrate on a Budget

Hello sock...

I'm in the same boat as you. I'm on a rather tight budget. I use a couple of inches of organic potting mixture as a base and cover that with standard pea gravel from the LFS, very inexpensive for a 30 G tank. A couple of inches of the pea gravel is good and then, just fill your tank about half full and use a large pair of tweezers as a planting tool and aquascape the tank.

The potting mixture will supply nutrients for the plants for several weeks and I think it helps the plants through the stress of getting used to new tank conditions.

Just an old fishkeeper's way of saving a couple of dollars.

B
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 09:52 PM
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Can't believer this hasn't been mentioned yet, but "soil master select" SMS, is an excellent budget substrate. You can get a 50 lb bag for <20 bucks. It worked well for my 75 gal and asthetically it looks nice and dark. You can find them at lesco stores. Do a quick forum search for info. If that fails just do sand and add root tabs as needed.

Cheers

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by joetaff View Post
Can't believer this hasn't been mentioned yet, but "soil master select" SMS, is an excellent budget substrate. You can get a 50 lb bag for <20 bucks. It worked well for my 75 gal and asthetically it looks nice and dark. You can find them at lesco stores. Do a quick forum search for info. If that fails just do sand and add root tabs as needed.

Cheers
It's not being made any more, unfortunately.

Turface/Pro's Choice is the comparable product, and Lesco/John Deere started carrying it instead.

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Pinoy Boy--that's just what I was looking for! I ordered 2 bags ecocomplete and 1 bag midnite black floramax on the way. Of course, this cost more than the tank, stand, and filter but still pretty cheapo!

Thanks! Sox

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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 05:09 PM
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i say go with mineralized topsoil. There is little organic content in it, and most of the nutrients are available only to plants. Its as cheap as cheap gets too. I made 40 lbs of it for $2.20. Since there is very little organic content, you don't get a ton of algae like you would with MGOC or similar organic potting soil. just an option....
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan10517 View Post
i say go with mineralized topsoil. There is little organic content in it, and most of the nutrients are available only to plants. Its as cheap as cheap gets too. I made 40 lbs of it for $2.20. Since there is very little organic content, you don't get a ton of algae like you would with MGOC or similar organic potting soil. just an option....
Won't MTS get kinda messy if you pull up plants after they're well rooted?
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