Advice on substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 2Likes
  • 1 Post By DaveKS
  • 1 Post By Blue Ridge Reef
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 32
Advice on substrate

I have researched to death. Just drop a quick vote for something, it would be appreciated. I read the pro/con thread and read more and more and more. I think I have it down to 4 for my 55 Gallon/Eheim 2217/community fish and medium to heavy plants:

Eco complete
Black Diamond
Fluorite
Stratum

Requirements:
-Not using co2 (low tech-do those co2 tabs even work?) will be dosing and using root tabs as needed
-Do not want it breaking down over time or have to replace it
-Don’t want bottom feeders getting injured
-Would like grass to be able to root
-Don’t care about rinsing, would rather have to rinse and have quality
-cost is irrelevant

All signs point to Eco?
fishnovice33 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 02:53 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Discusluv's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Elk Grove, California
Posts: 5,064
What type of bottom fish are you including?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Amy
Discusluv is online now  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 32
Just some cories, no loaches or catfish, also a mystery snail or 2
fishnovice33 is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 03:27 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 13
I've heard eco is too rough for cories and catfish? Never used it myself. I have fluval stratum in mine atm and love it so far. Adjusts ph lower, soft, holding up well so far. Only downside is it's fairly light so plants lift up sometimes until they root. Once my grass rooted it was ok though. I also was considering controsoil for my new tank.
Namine9 is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 32
I’ve heard both, it’s too rough and it’s fine so I’m confused. I’m going to do some carpeting through so that might help? I’d love to do aqua soil but it’s messy and breaks down. Per their site the old broken down substrate has to be removed too. That’s just too much work for me, I’d rather use root tabs and ferts. But don’t want my cories injured. Guess I’ll test it out.
fishnovice33 is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 07:20 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 2,295
With cories I’d use HTH pool sand and scatter/mix in a few pea pebbles and a 5lb bag of Caribsea Peace River around top for shading. Something about Cory and a nice off white/tan coarse sand makes them pop/stand out better when they do that cluster grazing thing. They get lost on black substrate unless your talking albino Cory.

Take about .5” sand, mix in a peppering of coco peat as organic starter and then cover that with 1-1.5” of plain coarse (1-3mm) sand. When plant roots find that peat and it’s high CEC value they’ll take off. Forget about root tabs, IMHO opinion their not needed 95% of time if you’ve got some high CEC content to your substrate and are dosing water column lightly in a low tech tank.

One of main points you don't cover is exactly what kind of plants are you thinking about using, you mention “grass” so if your thinking DHG in that deep of tank your going to need both co2 and high light. Not a low tech tank. You can at times get by with no co2 but one led strip ain’t going to cut it in that deep of tank.
evil8 likes this.
DaveKS is online now  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 05:40 PM
snails are your friend
 
Blue Ridge Reef's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,646
I've used each and currently have tanks running with all that you mention except sand. All will grow most plants. Flourite and Eco Complete are essentially the same, only EC doesn't have to be rinsed 700x. Flourite seems a bit more jagged in my own tanks, but this is far from scientific and it could well vary from batch to batch. To save myself the rinsing alone I'll go with EC every time going forward if setting up with inert.
Stratum is an aqua soil, in case there was any confusion there. I've yet to see any indication that aqua soils quickly turn to muck if using low KH water and no rocks etc. that will leech carbonates. My oldest tank using it is only 4ish years set up, but so far no change other than losing some over the years of substrate vacuuming. It's very light and every water change there's a couple of tablespoons of sediment in the bottom of my shop sink that I don't get from heavier substrates. It obviously has a life span though, and the others will last pretty much a lifetime. Do bear in mind most aqua soils will create a soft acidic environment that's not suitable for every species.
I agree with Dave that dwarf hairgrass is probably going to disappoint in low tech. Pygmy chain swords might be a better option, maybe even monte carlo. CO2 tabs "work" but that would be expensive and time-consuming long term. DIY methods seem to have come a long way since I last tried, but on a tank that size I'd be inclined to use pressurized or just go low tech.
evil8 likes this.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
Blue Ridge Reef is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 06:34 PM
Planted Member
 
evil8's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: North West WI
Posts: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post

Take about .5” sand, mix in a peppering of coco peat as organic starter and then cover that with 1-1.5” of plain coarse (1-3mm) sand. When plant roots find that peat and it’s high CEC value they’ll take off. Forget about root tabs, IMHO opinion their not needed 95% of time if you’ve got some high CEC content to your substrate and are dosing water column lightly in a low tech tank.
I'll have to remember and try this when I upgrade tanks in September.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
3 planted nano community fish tanks.
evil8 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome