Advice on substrate for a new Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on substrate for a new Tank

Hello everyone, I have been going through the threads and understand there are numerous posts regarding substrate... I have read several and other site regarding them, but would like to clarify something before pulling the trigger.


I am starting a new low tech 54 gallon corner tank. This will be my first planted tank and I'm not ready for CO2, but may add in the future.



I am considering Aqua Soil, Eco Complete, and Flourite for my substrate.


Originally I was going to go Eco Complete soley, but found that this would not provide nutrients for plants. I could still use this, and top with something else if necessary.



Would it be advisable to do so, or would it be better to go with aqua soil and flourite?



My preference is for a dark, prefereably black, substrate that will provide for plans. Also, I'm not looking to break the bank.


So Would layering be a good approach? I would like to use enough to sort of add a little hill coming from the back corner to give it a bit of a scaped look.



Any advice would be greatly appreciated

54 Gallon Corner Aqueon in it's infancy
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 06:04 PM
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Black diamond blasting sand and root tabs.


It fits all your criteria....cheap...black..and plants will grow with root tabs



Edit: just noticed you had 2 threads going
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 05:21 AM
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i use flourite black. its a bit pricey but it works great and it looks nice. i've heard good things about ada soil but thats even more expensive. you might get away with 2 big bags of flourite. 2 filled my 75 pretty good but i have so spots that were higher/lower. you don't have to buy both at once, i bought it a bag at a time and just scaped half. it makes it easier on the wallet. you just have to rinse the crap out of it though. eco complete is good too but you'd need to dose for it to be effective. root tabs at the lfs are pricey. i mean you'd have to keep buying them or make them yourself which is the best option but it takes a lot more work.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJR930 View Post
Black diamond blasting sand and root tabs.


It fits all your criteria....cheap...black..and plants will grow with root tabs



Edit: just noticed you had 2 threads going
Let me ask you this. What is the difference between using dirt, cap with blasting sand, and root tab with blasting sand. What I am trying to figure out is that what is the point of adding dirt, if I eventually have to end up using root tab? In that case, wouldnt that make sense to use root tab with sand from the beginning?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microm3gas View Post
I am considering Aqua Soil, Eco Complete, and Flourite for my substrate.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Eco-complete and Flourite have basically a "zero" CEC rating.
Aquasoil is very expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaonrahman View Post
What is the difference between using dirt, cap with blasting sand, and root tab with blasting sand. What I am trying to figure out is that what is the point of adding dirt, if I eventually have to end up using root tab?
Low tech tank with dirt could last years, plants like dirted tanks.
Water column dosing far surpasses root tabs IMO.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJR930 View Post
Black diamond blasting sand and root tabs.


It fits all your criteria....cheap...black..and plants will grow with root tabs



Edit: just noticed you had 2 threads going



I did have, I actually forgot about the first thread. Confused while researching all I need for a successful tank and the way the forum works. my mistake.



I ended up going with Black diamond as substrate. And will plant with root tabs to start and have a good dosing routine... I'm researching how best to do that now,

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Eco-complete and Flourite have basically a "zero" CEC rating.
Aquasoil is very expensive.



Low tech tank with dirt could last years, plants like dirted tanks.
Water column dosing far surpasses root tabs IMO.

Let me first apologize because I didnt ask you the right question. I do agree with you that dirted tank is fantastic. I have two tanks with it. I am planning to redo them because last time, I made some mistakes.
Anyway, what I am trying to figure out is this - Scenario 1 - I go with dirt, cap it with blasting sand. Or scenario 2 - Just blasting sand, and root tab.
In your opinion, what is the better choice here? Why would choose one over the other?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 12:20 AM
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I would cap the soil.

Many use just the BDBS.

You must decide!
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