newbie looking for substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Smile newbie looking for substrate

Just purchased a 55 gal aquarium. i want to do a planted tank and was wondering what is the most versatile of substrates for a planted tank. was thinking of south american style tank but not sure. also any book and lighting suggestions for the planted tank. I really love the look but am into low maintenance. Any help/ideas are greatly appreciated.

p.s. i have past experience with shrimp, java moss, and some plants not real sure of the names, but am sure they were easy to grow as i always ask for help at the aquarium store. (crypts, wenditii, java fern, etc...)
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 09:33 PM
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Try looking over this: Might help you narrow down some options for us.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 08:33 PM
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A lot of it depends on the overall outcome you plan on having. I would really take the time and decide what plants you really like and the look you'd like to accomplish then research the best substrate for that particular plant/look. Like in my case I purchased my substrate pretty early on then decided I really wanted a carpet of HC but because my substrate is a bit more coarse I'm having a hard time getting that particular plant to root. I probably would have gone a different direction set-up wise had I really taken the time to plan out exactly what I wanted for the end result. I'm a newbie too and so far I've learned the most important thing in this hobby appears to be patience, which I have a hard time with! Good luck to you.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 08:58 PM
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It really depends on what look you're after and what kind of money you have to work with. If money isn't an issue, then you're going to be able to buy something great right out of the bag. If you're working on a limited budget, then you're probably going to want to consider looking into the alternative substrates (like pool filter sand, black diamond blasting abrasive, dirt, etc).

If I were you, new to this game, I would go easy on this first one. Patience is going to be key, but you don't want to get so technical the first time around that you get a sour taste in your mouth and decide to leave the hobby all together.

Best of luck to you, and I can't wait to see something of yours in the tank journals section!


"Success is not the goal, it's merely a byproduct!"
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Just because it's dirt doesn't make it low-tech.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 09:51 PM
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I use Seachem it.
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