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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate

I'm an unemployed full time student, and I was wondering about substrates. I'm sick of aquarium gravel, I'd like richer, earthier tones than the "natural looking" gravel.

I was told to look into Amazonian Aquasoil, don't think I can afford it.
I was told to look into Schultz Aquasoil, can't find it.
Told to look into Soilmaster Pro, same thing.
Then I was told to look into Turface, which is fired clay and looks kinda sandy brown... not dark enough.

So what is an affordable, dark soil/substrate I can fill in my 29 with that will also benefit the plants?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 10:51 PM
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Eco-Complete
Fluorite Black
3M Color Quartz (black, t-grade)

Those are your best options. You will need around ~40lbs for a standard 29g. You can order both Eco-Complete and Fluorite from greenleafaquariums.com, so go check them out. The color quartz has to be purchased from a pool-supply or masonry supply company, but it's considerably cheaper if you can find it locally.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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But would those be safe for Corydoras barbels?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 11:25 PM
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Do you have any interest in sand? CaribSea Tahitan Moon Sand is good but it doesn't really benefit plants. Fluortie Black Sand would be a good idea. It cost about $20 per bag but I don't know how many LBS. there are in a bag.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 12:59 AM
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Take a look at the new 'Mineralized Top Soil Substrate' sticky in the
"Substrate" forum if price is your biggest factor other than that
SMS/Turface, SAS, Florite, Eco, and Aquasoil will all do very well.

- Brad

Last edited by bradac56; 10-24-2008 at 02:48 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 07:16 AM
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Understand the cost concern. Have you looked into "El Natural" method by Diana Walstad which is using cheap potting soil?

Setting up a Walstad Natural Planted Tank
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 07:22 AM
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flourite black sand is $16 for a 15.4lb bag at bigals.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 09:24 PM
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You could also use mineralized soil and top with one of the more expensive substrates.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 11:28 PM
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best bet is AS powder. corys will love it not too mention your plants.. u can just top it off like fat man said

other wise i like flourite black sand .. really nice look.. love black beaches.. too bad your not in hawaii
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choosing a substrate, what substrate

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