Substrate suggestions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate suggestions

I have kept planted high tech community tanks for years. I have always used flourite in my tanks and it has met my needs pretty well. I am currently setting up a high tech 20 long and I want to do fine root carpeting plants in this one and was even considering attempting the dry start method. My experience is flourite is terrible at holding delicate small root plants. I have read about the ammonia spikes on some of the products and think I would be fine working through them. I am not in a hurry to put fish into this tank as my focus atm is more on the aquascape. I would appreciate any guidance and suggestions on substrate that might meet my needs and if there is a good option that wouldn't destroy my budget I would gladly accept that as an added bonus Thanks !
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 03:49 PM
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So you have 3 types of substrate available to you, active, buffering, and inert. Any of the 3 can work fine for your needs. Active substrates include things like dirt capped with sand, and aquasoils. Buffering are things like Safe-t-sorb, turface, and kitty litter. Inert are things like fine gravels and coarse sands.

The most expensive option is aquasoil but its also the easiest to work with when trying to grow a carpet in a tank with co2 injection. Cheapest good options in my opinion is either pool filter sand (inert) and dirt capped with sand. The latter will grow a carpet just as well as aquasoil but your tank substrate will be largely flat without hills and valleys more advanced aquascapes rely upon.

I have a high tech tank with dirt capped with sand and honestly I'm getting ready to take it down and change out the substrate. The dirt is more trouble then it's worth. I plan instead to buy an auto doser and go with an inert substrate like sand. In large part this is due to my aesthetic appreciation for sand. I just do not like the look of aquasoil. But if you plan to have a complete carpet you won't see any aquasoil anyway so /shrug.

Anyway if looking for the cheapest aquasoil, so far the cheapest I have found in the United States is Fluval Stratum in the big bag.



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