Substrate? What type -- please help need to buy tommorow - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Hi

My 50 gallon tank is ready to go and needs substrate which I must get tommorow for speacial reasons.

I want the tank to be semi (little bit more than semi) planted, and I am wondering what is the best substrate that most people recommend for a somewhat expereince fish hobbyist that is good for plants and for bottom feeders.

Thanks
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 02:31 PM
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This question has been asked a million times, but her it goes. There are essentially three main choices, with plenty of other options. The top three substrates are #1 Eco-Complete. its black medium small granule rock
#2 Flourite. There are several varieties of flourite. from red clay to little red clay chips mixed in with larger porous rock, and everything in between...i think ive seen 5 varieties.
#3 sand. Godd quality sand. Typically small or medium grain works best so you dont have ultra fine silt. Sand is cheapest. Eco is usually most expensive followed closely by flourite. many different sand may be used. get it from home deopot for like $4 a bag

also there is kitty litter (cheap clay) and many varietys of sand/rock...you can of course mix everything. you want about 3 inches of substrate for planting/ rooting purposes....use the substrate calculator at the top of this forum. wash everything over and over...MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED TO....or you will have nasty looking water.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 03:34 PM
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Kitty litter is a tough thing. If you select the right kind..Great. if you select the wrong kind you have an aquarium full of mush!

Since you are in a hurry, and don't seem to have the time to do any in depth research, I would go with a well known substrate. Either Flourite or Eco-Complete.

Mike

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 10:18 PM
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Is eco complete and flourite the best for plants you would say and also ok for bottom feeders?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 10:21 PM
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if you're talking bottom-feeders such as corys, I have used both substrates with corys and not had a problem. For ease of use I would go with eco-complete.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 10:27 PM
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Should I go with Eco - Complete
or
Should I go with Flourite?

What is everyones opionion...

I am talking about corys and one other kind of cat (I cant remeber) and Im thinking about getting 2 loaches?


Would they be ok for them??

--Also Can I mix Eco Complete with a little left over gravel so I could on ly by a 20 pound bag (my tank is 50 gallons not sure the length as Im noit at home at the moment)
Can I mix some old gravel with Flourite?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 10:35 PM
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you can mix both with gravel, but you'll need more than just one bag of either for a 50 gallon tank. I would use eco-complete. Check the calculator for how much you need.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 10:45 PM
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Ok....checked it out for you....you would need 108 lbs. of eco-complete to get 3 inches of substrate depth. So 5 bags will do it for you.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-21-2004, 10:57 PM
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at 20 bucks for 20 pound bag I would be bankrupt lol... I have a good 2 inches of black rock at homie and its only been used for about 2 months, the gravel is about 2 -4 mm wide...

Can I mix that with just 2 bags of eco-complete

What do you think

Or what about flourite I found that that was more expensive anyone know good sites to get them cheaper
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 12:20 AM
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Substrates are too expensive to ship. The price of them will be less but when you add the shipping it comes out more expensive then the LFS.
HTH
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 01:22 AM
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Ok I have to decide to night in about 2 hours for personal reasons so Id truly appreaciate anyones help...

After hearing opinions from aquayhobby.com, plantedtank.net and myfishtank.net I have heard people recommend all the below except the "Flora Base" substrate, but Id like to know everyones opionion on these below whcih you think is the best for plants and bottom feeders (cats loaches)...

* I will probably buy 2-3 bags of which ever chossen substrate you all recommend and mix it with my left over gravel ... Or if you guys think mixing any of these substrates would benefit anything let me know also

HERE ARE THE CHOICES:

Flourite
Porous clay substrate that eliminates the need for laterite in your planted tanks

Onyx Substrate
Uniquely porous substrate for marine and freshwater planted tanks

First Layer Pure Laterite
Perfect planting substrate for a natural planted aquarium

Flora Base
This plant substrate maintains a stable pH between 6.5 and 7.0; ideal for most aquatic plants

Volcanit
pH-neutral plant substrate of volcanic origin; enhances the beauty of aquarium plants and the colors of fish

Eco-Complete Plant Substrate
Contains all mineral nutrients needed for luxuriant aquatic plant growth

Id apreciat any of the help
Thanks
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 01:59 AM
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Eco-complete or flourite, in that order.

FILSTAR Pimp #2

75 gal heavily planted,50/50 Black beauty,Eco-complete substrate, Pressurised CO2 with solenoid, ph controller, AB Reactor 1000, 330 watts 9325K GE PC lighting,Ehiem Liquidoser, 2-Filstar xp3 canisters.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 03:18 AM
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eco-complete

and I would use at least 3 bags if you're going to mix it.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 04:10 PM
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Is it true that FloraBase and Flourite are basically the same thing? :?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 08:24 PM
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I have Flora Base. Don't think I would use it again. Too bright for my taste. But I don't think they are the same. Base is volcanic stuff or whatever and Flourite is some sort of clay. Maybe close to Onxy in type of material.
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