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Old 05-24-2004, 04:52 AM   #1
edo
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Question

substrate?


what is it? it sounds like something necessary.
im going to start a new 20L and i dont fell like messing up too bad.
and whats this i hear about putting kitty litter with the gravel or something for nutrients for plants?
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Old 05-24-2004, 05:02 AM   #2
amanda huggenkiss
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Substrate's just a fancy word for gravel or sand or whatever else you're using as the bottom material.

Many people will start off with Fluorite or Eco-Complete or a similar type of nutrient-rich base, either on its own or layered underneath gravel (cheaper that way). From what I understand (and someone else correct me if I'm wrong here), kitty litter is used not as a fertilizer, but because it absorbs ammonia. Although, if you have a well-planted tank, it shouldn't be an issue because the plants will also absorb ammonia.

It sounds like you've been poking around here somewhat. Good for you! There's a wealth of information to be found here. And if something doesn't make sense, don't be shy about asking. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I wish I'd found this site before I started planting in my aquarium. Would've saved a lot of headaches!
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Old 05-24-2004, 06:25 AM   #3
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uhh. im just wondering if its necessary to have this substrate stuff. does it really help that much?
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Old 05-24-2004, 06:50 AM   #4
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By "substrate stuff" I'm assuming you mean like Fluorite or Eco-Complete? (Because you do need substrate in the form or sand or gravel, otherwise what'll you put your plants in?)

No, the other additives aren't necessary. They're certainly helpful in terms of giving your plants a good nutrient base, but not necessary. A lot of people just use plain old aquarium gravel with perfectly good results.
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:19 AM   #5
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cool. sounds good. i think ill be one of those old fashioned people cuz im lazy. haha. thanx for the help.
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Old 05-24-2004, 03:14 PM   #6
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Edo,
Well if you are lazy, then Eco complete is probably a better option. If you use plain gravel, you'll have to invest in some root tabs to keep the plain gravel full of nutrients.
With Eco, you don't need root tabs unless you keep some heavy root feeders, like a sword plant.
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Old 05-24-2004, 03:23 PM   #7
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Plants like Echinodorus and Cryptocoryne family take a lot of their nutrients from substrate. Good and well planned substrate laying goes a long way. Some of the substrate may appear costly initially but the reward of healthy growing tank makes them worthwhile.

Eco-Complete and Fluorite seems to be the popular choice in the US. I use a combination river sand (pre washed and enriched with JBL's Florapur) as base. Topping them is ADA's Aquasoil which gives very good result. Friends who used ADA's complete substrate system have better results then mine but the cost of ADA's products may be inhibitive to some.

All the very best.
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Old 05-24-2004, 06:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullosa
Plants like Echinodorus and Cryptocoryne family take a lot of their nutrients from substrate. Good and well planned substrate laying goes a long way. Some of the substrate may appear costly initially but the reward of healthy growing tank makes them worthwhile.
Unfortuantely ADA products aren't readily available in N. America, I would love to try some of them out if some of the N. American suppliers could import more of them (hint hint).

I fully agree with Bullosa's statement above. It is so worth it in the long run to spend the extra bucks and the extra time to setup your tank for the most optimal performance. How I look at it, why cripple yourself from the get-go just because it takes extra time. Good substrate is one of the key princapls to great plant growth. If you reasoning isn't monetary (since you just said you were lazy), I would definately buy a decent substrate. As pointed out by the extremely knowledgable Malkore, eco-complete would be a great choice if you are lazy. You can be so lazy that you can just dump it in with the liquid amazon and not even rinse it. On a side note, I've decided that eco complete will probably be my next substrate on my 4th aquarium since I am pretty lazy as well.

I was one who thought I could get away with crummy substrate and then had sub par results. I was just mixing a little laterite in with some gravel and wasn't having much success. I then added quite a bit of flourite to my substrate and the results have been outstanding.

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Old 05-24-2004, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
If you use plain gravel, you'll have to invest in some root tabs to keep the plain gravel full of nutrients.
Erm, yeah, I should've mentioned that. It was late... I was sleepy...

Good thing the rest of you are here to pick up my slack!
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:32 PM   #10
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how much does eco complete cost, and where can i find it. and are there any other things ill need to do to make it work well? it seems there are countless things to mix and all that.
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:40 PM   #11
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i forgot to add, what are all these other things like flourite, and blah blah blah, i cant even remember the other, but they seem to run along the lines of substrate, what do they do?
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:44 PM   #12
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Since you are so lazy, by your won admission, to even look online to see who carries Eco-Complete, I volenteer to make it easy for you. Send me the money you were going to spend and I will set up a tank, and put a web cam on it. All you'll have to do is sit back and look at it. Please don't forget the monthly stipend for on going maintainence and bandwidth.

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Old 05-25-2004, 12:04 AM   #13
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haha. seriously tho. so i should just look around online. oh check it out. im an algae grower now, instead of a newbie. thats pretty cool.
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:54 AM   #14
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It's never a bad idea to go to your LFS and ask questions about substrate, lighting, heating, filters, etc. Most LFSs I go to carry fluorite, eco-complete, and a million others. Just tell them what you want to do with your tank, what you want to put in it, and ask what they recommend.
Or, if you don't want to go out, try checking out some of the big chain's websites for different products, prices...
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:10 PM   #15
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Whoever it was that said "There's no such thing as a stupid question" apparently never read edo's posts!
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