Best substrate for acrylic?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Talking Best substrate for acrylic??

Hi, I'm new, you can call me Gretchen. This is my first post.

I've been reading this forum for a while, and I'm trying to determine which substrate to use in my new 30 gallon acrylic tank. I've got 2 other smaller acrylic tanks, lightly planted, with black sand substrate. I like the sand. It's pretty. Stuff grows (slowly).

However, the sand + acrylic = scratch city. I haven't had any major disasters yet, but with this larger tank I would like to minimize chances of substrate scratch disasters.

I read somewhere on this forum in a post from 2006 that ADA Aquasoil does not scratch acrylic. However, I've also seen youtube videos of ADA Aquasoil darkening water; plus, it's pricey.

So, I've been considering the aquariumplants.com substrate, because I like its dark color. Does anyone have experience with using the aquariumplants.com substrate (or the other similar clay-based substrates) with acrylic - does it tend to scratch as much as eco-complete or sand would? Would the shape of the substrate also factor into this? For example, it appears that aquariumplants.com offers a "soft belly soil" substrate - would this also help minimize scratching?

Thanks in advance for any input or advice!!

Gretchen
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 02:51 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

I haven't personally tried it, but I think turface would be a good option since it is fairly light and pretty attractive.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 03:13 AM
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Gretchen,

Welcome! You gonna love the numbers of people of on here willing to hook you up with plants and answer your questions!...welcome. I'm new to this as well. My first substrate (for my first planted tank) was ADA AquaSoil I. After scaping my tank I filled it with water VERY SLOWLY and it was clear from the go. After placing my plants it was murky until I woke up then next day! It's been clear since. I understand if the money is keeping you from doing it but don't let the "murky" rumors detour you. For a cheep alternative, look into Mineralized Top Soil (MTS). Good luck and have fun!

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 03:14 AM
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Hi Gretchen,

Welcome to TPT! Here is a good link on TPT that discusses Aquariumplant.com substrate and Turface. Turface should not scratch your acrylic; but I am careful when cleaning.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the replies.

Seattle_Aquarist, you have a very nice looking setup in that link.

Is it possible to grow micro sword in a Turface type of substrate? I googled but am finding mixed results. It seems that ADA Aquasoil is preferred for plants like micro sword, although I am reading that it's lighter weight than Turface.. So are the granules smaller? Is that why it would grow microsword better?

Also, one more thing - I've got some corydoras - which substrate would be better for them? Some people claim that they like the ADA Aquasoil, but some people say that they cause a cloudy mess with the Aquasoil.. any input?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 11:32 PM
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Hi Gretchen,

By Microsword do you mean Helanthium tenellum (formerly Echinodorus tenellus v ‘Tenellus’) sometimes known as Pygmy Chain Sword – Red?


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2011, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Oooo a closeup. I am really liking that more granulated look of that substrate vs. the ADA clayballs.

Also, I was mistaken, I actually meant Dwarf Sagittaria, which is what is in my 3gallon tank right now. I really like it. It makes the pile of red ramshorn snail inhabitants look real classy.
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