Aqua Soil, Controsoil, UP Aqua Sand, Fluval Stratum, BDBS..... HELP - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Aqua Soil, Controsoil, UP Aqua Sand, Fluval Stratum, BDBS..... HELP

Hello everyone. Its been a while since I have been here. My last couple of tanks have done really well but now its time to start over. I want to build a set it and forget it planted shrimp tank.

I am not looking to rescape after its set up. My goal is to have an easy carpet and then 2-3 other species for variety, and leave it set up for at least 2-3 years (or longer)
This is going to be a 10 gallon tank, using the Current USA Planted + Pro for my light, Paintball tanks for CO2 and a Fluval Aqua Clear 20 for the filter.
For the carpet I am looking at S. Repens or Monte Carlo and Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini' for at least a couple of the species, (third one yet to be determined)maybe some Anubias Nana

I am not running RO/DI water just good old fashioned tap water here in Rural Iowa and bi-weekly 40%-50% water changes. I do have some Seachem liquid Ferts and I plan to use Osmocote tabs under what ever substrate I put in.

Currently I have two tanks, the original has Florite and is my current CRS tank, it has unfortunately developed a micro leak along the seam. So instead of resealing it letting it cure for several days to a week I just got another 10 gallon (Thank you Petco for your Dollar a Gallon Sale!) and I am starting over from scratch.

The second tank has Eco Complete in it and is my Betta tank. It is loaded with Anubias Nana and some kind of mini sword (don't remember the name)

But here is the real question. Given what I want to achieve, which substrate is going to be my best choice.

I know ADA Aquasoil is amazing stuff but I have also been hearing great things about Controsoil and Fluval Stratum or even UP Aqua Sand I know some swear by BDBS as well.


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 12:19 PM
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Without RO water I would go with BDBS.

Simple, cheap, easy to clean, less headache when you disturb it.

S. Repens will not give you a nice carpet in a 10 gallon. MC will.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Without RO water I would go with BDBS.

Simple, cheap, easy to clean, less headache when you disturb it.

S. Repens will not give you a nice carpet in a 10 gallon. MC will.
I do not mind a little extra work if the end results are worth it. I know that BDBS is a favorite among many as is ADA Aquasoil and the others.

I want to build something with some slope to it, I know I am working in a small space but I really want to do something similar to this setup. It is what I already had in my head but this guy actually built it in a 20 long

https://www.reddit.com/r/PlantedTank...ion_aquascape/



He is running Eco Complete with BDBS as a cap, I have read dozens of people advising against that type of mix because the sand just settles under it after a while.

So I am ok with going with a single substrate.

BTW thanks for the recommendation about the MC. I do love the way it looks as a carpet.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 05:44 PM
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I do not mind a little extra work if the end results are worth it. I know that BDBS is a favorite among many as is ADA Aquasoil and the others.

I want to build something with some slope to it, I know I am working in a small space but I really want to do something similar to this setup. It is what I already had in my head but this guy actually built it in a 20 long


He is running Eco Complete with BDBS as a cap, I have read dozens of people advising against that type of mix because the sand just settles under it after a while.

So I am ok with going with a single substrate.

BTW thanks for the recommendation about the MC. I do love the way it looks as a carpet.
Yea, eco with a sand cap is asking for a mess. You can slope sand, just use some rocks / plastic substrate supports and you are set. I personally have used old plastic table dining place mats (dark grey in color) and use it to hold back Flourite Black with crazy slopes, they work really well. Check out "thegreenmachine" on youtube for some cool tank builds. He always uses substrate supports, and shows how to use them in almost every video.

ADA and similar substrates are buffering, and without using RO you will exhaust them really fast and cause pH / kH swings when doing large water changes. It is certainly not necessary to have a nutrient rich "planted tank" substrate. Save the money, spend it on ferts / fish / shrimp / plants and you'll be much happier.

Look for the larger grained BDBS. Rinse it really well and you're all set

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, eco with a sand cap is asking for a mess. You can slope sand, just use some rocks / plastic substrate supports and you are set. I personally have used old plastic table dining place mats (dark grey in color) and use it to hold back Flourite Black with crazy slopes, they work really well. Check out "thegreenmachine" on youtube for some cool tank builds. He always uses substrate supports, and shows how to use them in almost every video.

ADA and similar substrates are buffering, and without using RO you will exhaust them really fast and cause pH / kH swings when doing large water changes. It is certainly not necessary to have a nutrient rich "planted tank" substrate. Save the money, spend it on ferts / fish / shrimp / plants and you'll be much happier.

Look for the larger grained BDBS. Rinse it really well and you're all set
OK so for my BDBS do I want their coarse grade 1040 or do I want to go a little finer with their 1240. Or should I go finer than that?


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 07:44 PM
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OK so for my BDBS do I want their coarse grade 1040 or do I want to go a little finer with their 1240. Or should I go finer than that?
Course grained is what most use I believe. Mine is different brand, but its a medium grain and works well.

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