What is your favorite substrate? Custom/Retail
I am just bored and sick of YouTube. Thought I would check out the forum and share the little wisdom that I do have pertaining to substrates and my personal experience. Comment with your favorite combo. If it be a single substrate, layers, custom-DIY or retail-Aquasoil etc... Defend your experience and conclusions!
1.Custom organic dirt- I don't care for it. Not worth the mess, what is the point.
2.Mineralized topsoil- I feel a little better about it considering there are less organics. But it is still dirt. What is the point. I do not like the mess.
3. ADA-Aquasoil- Now this is a lot better. Compounding agent seems to be used to hold the dirt together in the form of pellets-if someone could please explain how this is done. Less mess, but for me, unless you get the powder form, is hard to plant in. The plants don't stick down in the hole as easily and it seems too spongy making them want to rise back out. And of course it is expensive when taking shipping into consideration. And I have had the biggest and longest lasting algae outbreaks using Aquasoil. I don't think the plant growth really outweighs the cons.
4. Substrate-EcoComplete/rootabs- Now for me this is the winner. It isn't messy, the plants can easily be planted and will stay put. It is very inexpensive, for me, I live close to the LFS. Now it isn't that great all on its own, but with the use of Osmocote+ or DynamitePlantfood DIY root tabs it is outstanding! I can get even better plant growth using this combo than I can with Aquasoil. I don't understand why more people don't use it. Slow release chemically balanced pellets. Who wouldn't want that in their substrate. I don't ever get huge gigantic algae outbreaks. I was even doing huge water changes and still had major algae issues. I am still having some algae issues with my Aquasoil tank. Now this all could be from the fact that I am used to Eco/root tabs so I know how to manage my dosing and what not. If that be the case then I will continue with what I know. Now I am not saying my Aquasoil tank doesn't grow plants remarkably well because it does. I am just saying that Aquasoils pros don't outweigh the cons and Eco/root tabs is easier to manage in my experience. I do my own custom perpetual dosing schedule not EI method. This is what works for me. Share what works for you and what you like. Don't start any subjective or what you may think objective arguments. This is just for fun.