Suggest a substrate for me please - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Suggest a substrate for me please

Suggest for me a substrate that :

- will be good for a planted 5.5g tank with a 15w fluorescent bulb

- is readily available in Canada

- is inexpensive (ie - I will not spend $40 on a 25lb bag of Flourite when I'm only going to use 5lbs of it)

- is decent-to-good quality
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 02:13 PM
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What kind of tank do you want to have? What kind of plants and fish?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Right now it's an empty slate, and I'm just trying to research various options.

My only key point is that things must be available LOCALLY.

I want to plant it - short plants in front (I love the carpet look some people get), taller ones in the back. I don't know the species specifics.

Being that it's only 5.5 gallons, I'll stick with either small fish (a small school of neons or mini rasboras), or shrimp.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:20 PM
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There are shrimp substrates (fluval stratum is one), which come in small bags. Also, you can use pool filter sand, which comes in a whopping big bag, but is very inexpensive. It is white, and that may not appeal to you. I have used pool filter sand in a couple of tanks and like it a lot. It doesn't compact like regular sand, and is good for corydoras catfish. You can buy it from swimming pool and hot tub stores. Another thing, is that you can use it on ice outdoors if your steps get slippery

Some people on this forum are using black diamond blasting grit from places like TSC. I have never used this, so can't comment on it. Obviously, it is black.

There are tons of different methods of providing substrate. Some people use dirt (Miracle Grow Organic something or other) under a cap of sand. If you are interested in that technique, do a search on this forum.

I hope this helps a bit. Also, you should look into buying online. There are some good online retailers in Canada. Depending on where you live, it may give you more options.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'd thought about sand, but afraid it would compact too much and not allow the plants roots to grow.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOWsMom View Post
I'd thought about sand, but afraid it would compact too much and not allow the plants roots to grow.
Speaking from experience, the Black Diamond Blasting sand doesn't compact to an extent that plants cant root in it...mine seem to be thriving compared to gravel.

Speaking on opinion, I don't think any sand would compact too much...plants will root in almost anything. I have a Hygro that shot a root through a Moss ball, lol.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 07:31 PM
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I have had the same experience with pool filter sand as the previous poster has had with blasting grit. Pool filter sand doesn't compact like regular sand. I guess because the grains are larger and uniform. I have had absolutely no problem using it, and would recommend it from my experience. Also, you can vacuum it since it is heavy enough to not be sucked up into the vacuum. I use a small diameter gravel vac, which you would use anyway in a small tank.
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