What Substrate should I use? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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What Substrate should I use?

I just got a new 55 gallon tank and wanted to do a low tech planted tank so i was wonder what is a cheap substrate I can use to accomplish my goal.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 07:51 PM
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If you're on a tight budget, Turface Pro might be a good option. I haven't seen it's "powers" yet, though (i'm in the process of setting up a 150g tank; it's not filled yet). I know some people have tried it and it supposedly works great. It looks pretty promising.

At $10-$15 per 50lb bag, you can't complain.

In comparison, you could also use eco-complete or flourite, which are two brands that are specifically made for planted aquariums. The flourite comes in a 15lb bag and the eco-compelte comes in a 20lb bag. They run for $15-$18 online usually, and $20+ locally. I used flourite in my previous tank, and i didn't have any complaints except it's a PAIN to clean right out of the bag. I haven't tried eco-complete yet.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 07:52 PM
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Turface is your best option unless you want a gravel substrate.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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is Turface Pro okay with cories?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidivici View Post
is Turface Pro okay with cories?
Yup.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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So I basically just buy it and put it in?

and do you have to clean it at all when it is in there?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:51 PM
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I use "Premium Play Sand" from Lowe's. $3 for 50# bag.

There are many successful tanks on this site using it, just poke around a little a see the options before deciding
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidivici View Post
So I basically just buy it and put it in?

and do you have to clean it at all when it is in there?
I'd recommend washing it thoroughly before putting it in your tank.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 08:59 PM
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Eco Complete is dirt cheap also. Got to love the black color of it too
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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noob question :p how exactly do you wash these things >.> and do tehy all need to be cleaned first?
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 09:21 PM
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noob question :p how exactly do you wash these things >.> and do tehy all need to be cleaned first?
Most people rinse their substrate initially. but you never really need to pull it out and wash it...
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyhermit View Post
I use "Premium Play Sand" from Lowe's. $3 for 50# bag.

There are many successful tanks on this site using it, just poke around a little a see the options before deciding
This, I have the same sand in my 55g and I can't imagine my crypts and sword growing any better. All six of my crypts have at least one little crypt growing along side it and my melon sword has sprung one up also.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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yeah but how do you rinse it if you wanted to rinse it before putting it in.

~waits for the really simple answer ~
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 11:02 PM
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Eco complete osnt that cheap. I spent 60 dollars on a 29 gallon tank. Cheap substrates to use are

pool filter sand ($10 for 50#)
Turface
Mineralized top soil capped by a subtrate

Play sand isnt the best option since it turns into "mud" and plants cant root in it well.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 12:11 AM
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Play sand has never been a favorite of mine. Always messy and turns weird colors and no fun to clean.

Half fluorite, and half black gravel is what I like to use. I did my 55g for around 75$
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