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Old 07-04-2014, 04:38 PM   #1
PlantedVirgin
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White Substrate for Plants?


Hello friends,

I am going to rebuild a 90 gallon tank for plants and I am wondering if there is a beneficial substrate (fluorite) that is more on the lighter side for plants? I have pool sand now but the plants are not doing anything even with pressurized co2 and excel. I would like to mix the two so I don't have to remove all the sand.

Thanks for your advice,

BV
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:40 PM   #2
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Oil Dri and related materials are sometimes off white. They are a montmorillonite clay, so have very high CEC.

Most other materials I can think of are not high CEC, and some will add minerals to the water and raise the GH, KH, pH and TDS.
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Old 07-05-2014, 03:44 AM   #3
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Sand is inert and contains no nutrients. You'll need to add fertilizers for the plants to use.
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:44 AM   #4
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Anyone serious about planted tanks should get Aquasoil.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:36 AM   #5
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heh. Usually people are looking for a darker substrate.

I'm not sure about anything with a decent CEC, SafeTsorb is fairly dark, probably about similar to original flourite. Turface can come in a bunch of different colors if you can find it, but I think most are somewhat dark.

Pool Filter Sand(PFS) tends to be pretty light colored, but it won't do much for plants on it's own, it would be best used as a cap for a dirted tank, or with root tabs and ferts and such.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:24 AM   #6
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Adding fertilizer tablets to the sand is the easiest.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuyWithTheFish View Post
Anyone serious about planted tanks should get Aquasoil.

thats an unnecessary, elitist attitude. a great planted tank can be had with any substrate. you can pay a lot for a brand name, but brand has no bearing on how serious you are about planted tank.



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Adding fertilizer tablets to the sand is the easiest.
that is all i have ever done, and i can grow any plant, that does not require CO2 as i don't use it.

you can purchase any of the root tabs for sale commercially, or you can make you own DIY root tabs for a fraction of the cost.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
thats an unnecessary, elitist attitude. a great planted tank can be had with any substrate. you can pay a lot for a brand name, but brand has no bearing on how serious you are about planted tank.
It's not about the brand, it's about product. And AS always yields the best result. Have you ever noticed how all the great aquascapers, like Tom Barr, use only Aquasoil? Or their own version of it, like how Oliver Knott has his own substrate brand.

That said, I did not see that he asked for white substrate, obviously of which Aquasoil is not.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
thats an unnecessary, elitist attitude. a great planted tank can be had with any substrate. you can pay a lot for a brand name, but brand has no bearing on how serious you are about planted tank.
i 100% AGREE!
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuyWithTheFish View Post
It's not about the brand, it's about product. And AS always yields the best result. Have you ever noticed how all the great aquascapers, like Tom Barr, use only Aquasoil? Or their own version of it, like how Oliver Knott has his own substrate brand.
have you ever noticed all the great tanks out there not using name brand substrates. just because the pros use it, does not mean that 1) it is for everyone, and 2) that it is the best way to do something.

I have used Eco-complete and Active-flora, but i have been able to get better results with plain white sand. does that say that i am not serious about tanks? no, it simply means that i understand how to grow healthy plants, without the aid of some fancy substrate.

there is no best substrate out there, there is only the one that fits the purpose of the scaper best.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Adding fertilizer tablets to the sand is the easiest.
I have added fert tabs that I bought from someone on the forum here and my vals have not grown an inch in over 2 months. My swords have all died and my Anubis died as well all being in sand.

Not sure I agree with this.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #12
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I have added fert tabs that I bought from someone on the forum here and my vals have not grown an inch in over 2 months. My swords have all died and my Anubis died as well all being in sand.

Not sure I agree with this.
Correlation-causation fallacy. It's probably not anything to do with the root tabs but some other variable. Don't blame the product, blame the product user.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
Correlation-causation fallacy. It's probably not anything to do with the root tabs but some other variable. Don't blame the product, blame the product user.
Since I am raising discus, could I be doing too many water changes and taking out the nutrients the plants need? I change 75% twice a week.

In a 90 gal tank, the discus need clean water more often to help their growth rate and keep them healthy. But as you stated so eloquently, maybe I am in fact taking out the good for the plants and bad for the discus?
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:26 AM   #14
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I have Vals in sand, both PFS and Coral sand, and they are growing like crazy. Also in Safe-T-Sorb, and some other substrates (I do not remember which are in which tanks)

~No CO2 (note that vals can get carbon from carbonates)
~Temperature varies wildly, this is in a greenhouse and the plastic roof blew off last winter.
~Livestock is tadpoles and snails, and I am not feeding them.
~Ferts are water column, but irregularly added.
~Light is WAY higher than any indoor aquarium; Light meter shows about 30 in the shaded tanks, and into 3 digits in the tanks on the top shelf.
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