Using different substrates at once. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Using different substrates at once.

I have a 90 gal, trying to fill out the substrate. I have a bag of eco complete, a 5 gallon bucket of some kind of plant substrate i read about awhile ago and was recommended to me and was thinking about a thin layer of peat. I do not believe this will be enough as its only like 70 or 80 pounds. Was thinking of putting some color quartz down on the peat adding the bucket and a thin layer of eco complete on that. Think this should work to get me about 3" or so of substrate?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 04:01 PM
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There is nothing inherently wrong with using various substrates at the same time. Often we can reduce cost while still benefiting from "good" substrates when mixing them.

If you plan on layers, keep in mind that they might mix over time. If you use all dark substrates, this isn't much of an issue. With pulling plants and replanting them, and perhaps digging fish and snails, smaller particles have a tendency to move down, while larger ones collect on top of the substrate. Heavier ColorQuartz will remain on the bottom, below lighter EC and other fired clay substrates. Often we want those on the bottom (for their higher CEC values) and the quartz on top (to better anchor smaller plants).

In the end, there's a lot of personal preference in arranging your substrate layers. Me, I like to use peat on the bottom, enriched with some fert sticks, then some inexpensive fired clay substrate over that, and perhaps top it off with Flourite, because it is easy to plant in.


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