Aquarium Soil Help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Aquarium Soil Help

Hello. I will be setting up a 75-gallon tank with moderate light plants. I will be using flourish excel and flourish. The lighting system will be Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0 48". What time of soil would you guys recommend? I will most likely have cories and shrimp. I have been looking into eco-complete and CaribSea Peace River gravel. Also, how many pounds would I need to get like 3 inches of substrate?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 07:13 PM
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If you are intending keeping Cory's I would suggest a sand cap as opposed to gravel. They much prefer being able to bury their heads in sand to find those forgotten particles of food.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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If I do go with a top cover of sand, how is the cleaning of the sand? Would I need to clean it or would the plants, cories, and shrimp take care of it? I am also planning on having some hillstream loaches if that helps.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 07:44 PM
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If I do go with a top cover of sand, how is the cleaning of the sand? Would I need to clean it or would the plants, cories, and shrimp take care of it? I am also planning on having some hillstream loaches if that helps.
Check out tanks with black blasting sand, they are less prone to "looking dirty" compared to lighter colored sands. You would likely have to gently swirl a siphon tube over open areas of sand to pick up larger pieces of debris. Pool filter sand is another popular choice. Both pool filter and blasting sand are very affordable, a nice bonus.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you @Quagulator and @StevieD!! Is this black sand viable? (https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...20-lbs-2558278) Would I need any other substrate like eco-complete below it to actually give the nutrients to the plants? Should I add extra fertilizers?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 08:00 PM
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Thank you @Quagulator and @StevieD!! Is this black sand viable? (https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...20-lbs-2558278) Would I need any other substrate like eco-complete below it to actually give the nutrients to the plants? Should I add extra fertilizers?
Check out fluorite black sand, best of both worlds
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 10:04 PM
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I have used Black Diamond Blasting Sand from Tractor Supply, having said that if I want the colors of my Cory's to really pop they do better on a lighter colored sand.

Black Blasting sand is available locally from Tractor Supply for under $10 for 50 lbs.

I personally prefer Turface they have several options one is a wet clay and the other is more like a shale type of material my plants love this stuff. Find a Distributor | Turface Athletics

With a little research I found it for less than $19 for a 50lb sack.

The wet clay is the base substrate with the shale as a cap.

No CO2 and a cheap LED my plants are going nuts

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Last edited by StevieD; 12-15-2017 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Grammar.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 11:01 AM
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Thank you @Quagulator and @StevieD!! Is this black sand viable? (https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...20-lbs-2558278) Would I need any other substrate like eco-complete below it to actually give the nutrients to the plants? Should I add extra fertilizers?
I have never used Eco Complete or this sand, so to be fair I cannot say if it is good, bad or indifferent. Maybe one or two of our more experienced folks can chip in here?

As above I have used Turface as my substrate, with the occasional plant tab shoved into the substrate, but what I think has made a huge difference to my tank is something called Thrive 500ml | Premium Liquid Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics

I can think of nothing else that has enabled my plants to do as well as they have

My tank is NOT a work of art like some of the ones on here, but it's not bad.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Your tank looks great @StevieD. The plants, from what I can see are doing awesome. I think I might pick up Thrive 500ml | Premium Liquid Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics for my tank. I was also wondering. I will be going with a sand covering in my tank. I will be keeping cories. I know that @Quagulator suggested buying the fluorite black sand, but it is really expensive. Should this one work ( https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...gravel-1240684 )? How many lbs should I get if I only want a covering for the cories?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 11:27 AM
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If you specifically want black sand I would look into The Tractor Supply Black Diamond Blasting Sand (a lot depends on state taxes but it is less than $10 in Wichita Kansas)

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...brasives?rfk=1

I have always kept my Cory's on a just sand substrate, the color is all down to your choice my friend. There are a lot of different colors out there, if you are not fussy about it being black I would visit the nearest Home Depot or Lowes and pick up a bag of whichever is cheapest. If you specifically want black, visit Tractor Supply.

There are some folks that really like pool sand, some will still use play sand, and yet others swear it makes no difference. Because I had 54 aquariums at one point cost was the deciding factor for me, less than $5 and it would give me enough for 5 or 6 tanks.

How much sand to use? Well that depends on the size of your tank. In a 10 gallon tank I would put a 2" substrate.

In my planted tank (the one above) I would hazard the substrate is approximately 3" - 4".

In my 150 (Clown Loaches, Green Terrors, plus of course a few Cory's) I would hazard a guess at 4" - 5" deep.

One of my 40 gallon breeders has 50lbs of sand for my Corydoras melanotaenia, which is about 2" deep at the front and slopes to about 4" at the rear.

Hope some of this helps

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