Best beginners substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Best beginners substrate?

I'm going to be setting up my tank shortly 4x2x2ft and know there is no best substrate. But what would be a good one to use and be cost affective?

Although I like the look of ADA to fill this tank will be a bit pricey.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 10:52 AM
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Eco-complete was my earlier substrate for me.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 12:31 PM
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All choices will require some involvement from the hobbyist, you have yto decide what & how much you want to do.

I used MTS & Sand Cap. It's more work up front to set up vs. opening a bag of ADA. But, I'll get bored and move a tank in 2 or 3 years before the soil is ever depleted. There are forum members with dirt tanks that are 6-10y.o.

I understand ADA substrate needs a lot of flushing over the 1st month? There's a YouTube video I saw about setting up an ADA tank. At a year or so I read here many people are starting to add Root Cap ferts to their "tech" substrates. Other members will experience with those substrates will comment from their experience.

If done correctly that should not be the case with a dirt tank. While we all tend to think "our" choice is the best, you are correct there really are not. It's more a matter of what's best for you.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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I was looking at the Eco stuff as its priced just right in uk.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_bham View Post
I was looking at the Eco stuff as its priced just right in uk.
You can build a dirt & sand cap substrate for maybe a Tenner for that tank. But, Eco might be a Pony to 50 Quid!

Another reason "better" for me is dirt.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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I've not really looked into dirt substrate. Do you know any good links or info on it?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 02:35 PM
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If you're going with Eco-Complete, it may be more cost effective to find a source for crushed lava rock.

What about using black sand, blasting grit, pool filter sand or something like Turface? You could add root tabs easily to the areas where you've got plants and the cost up front would be low. As a beginner, you wouldn't have to worry much about clouding your water if you replant as you would with soil capped with sand.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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If you're going with Eco-Complete, it may be more cost effective to find a source for crushed lava rock.

What about using black sand, blasting grit, pool filter sand or something like Turface? You could add root tabs easily to the areas where you've got plants and the cost up front would be low. As a beginner, you wouldn't have to worry much about clouding your water if you replant as you would with soil capped with sand.
Would that give good health plant growth? I know long term I'd have to fertilize anyway.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:24 PM
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Any inert substrate with a decent CEC and root tabs will give you good plant growth.

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Would that give good health plant growth? I know long term I'd have to fertilize anyway.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_bham View Post
I've not really looked into dirt substrate. Do you know any good links or info on it?
Our substrate sub-forum has hours of reading on the topic. Don'y be put off by tales of cloudy water at planting time. Like anything practice and knowing a trick or two is all one needs.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:59 PM
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Steve, tesco light weight cat litter is great stuff, £2.87 for a ten litre bag, I used to use it in my high tech set up. My current Puddle tank now has a mix of John innes, a pond aquasoil and capped with columbo florabase.,growth is awesome


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alastair-T View Post
Steve, tesco light weight cat litter is great stuff, £2.87 for a ten litre bag, I used to use it in my high tech set up. My current Puddle tank now has a mix of John innes, a pond aquasoil and capped with columbo florabase.,growth is awesome


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Sounds interesting. Any more info on the cat litter one?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 08:01 PM
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There's a mountain of information in the Substrate sub-forum.

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Sounds interesting. Any more info on the cat litter one?
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