So Confused! I am hoping for some help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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So Confused! I am hoping for some help

Ok, so I am extremely confused on what substrate to choose! I have a few considerations:

1. I want a substrate which will be good for plants (of course) I am probably looking at some grassy plants, and maybe some taller stem plants. I dont mind dosing with nutrients
2. I have a school of corries, I want something that will be safe for them
3. I want black substrate (going for an iwugami look)
4. I want something I can move plants around in and vacuum and not have it cloud up the water if i touch it.

# 2/4 are most important to me, although I will move my corries if necessary
Can someone point me in the right direction, I have been looking at the aquarium plants substrate, caribsea super naturals tahitian moon, caribsea eco complete.... I am just so confused!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 04:14 PM
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eco complete or flourite, either one works for what you want. You SHOULD NOT vacuum either one of those substrates.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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But then, how do you keep it clean?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 04:38 PM
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You can vacuum it but it usually is much better to just leave it undisturbed so that nutrients build up and the plants roots are not damaged - you plants and bottom feeders will help to keep it clean.

I typically vacuum only the surface of the gravel trying to disturb as little substrate as possible but still picking up larger waste particles.

Eco complete and florite are very good substrates for beginners. There are others that work well such as pool filter sand, black diamond blasting sand. These should all be suplemented with root tabs, eco and florite will absorb the readily available nutrients over time as uneaten food, and plant/fish waste decay into the substrate. The affectiveness or Florite and eco complete actually improve with age.

My recommendation to you as a beginner would be to use Florite, it is the easiest substrate for a beginner and slightly less expensive then EC. Although in my opinion neither of these are the best substrate for a planted tank, they are the best substrate for beginners.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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what do you think is the best substrate for planted ? (other than dirt, which I dont want)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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i was thinking black diamond maybe with a little eco complete mixed in ? and flourish root tabs?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excited2plant View Post
i was thinking black diamond maybe with a little eco complete mixed in ? and flourish root tabs?
This would work well. You can even get florite sand in black if you like, but the Black Diamond sand is much less expensive.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:53 PM
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Flourite where I come from is $20 for 15 lbs. It also looks like yack if you don't vacuum it. I switched to Black Diamond 20/40 and wouldn't go back. The benefits you get from the CEC of Flourite you can achieve just as easily with root tabs or Osmocote Plus caps. 100 lbs for $16 is pretty attractive. Get yourself some Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) and they'll churn the substrate up and keep it nice and loose and fluffy. BD is also easier to plant in. All around a happy choice, for me. My corys LOVE it....I've got 5 adults who snurf through it all day burying their barbels to the hilt with no sign of distress at all. I'm on my second batch of eggs from them in 2 weeks. I was slow to the uptake on the first batch and only rescued 1 egg. That little guy's at my neighbor's house now. This batch I was a little quicker about getting the eggs into the breeder net, and I have about 100 wigglers right now. So yea...I think they're ok with the stuff. I seem to recall that Black Diamond is kinda hard to find in California/Oregon. I don't know exactly where you live but you might want to figure that out. Tractor Supply is where everybody here has been getting it.

Good Luck

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