Substrate confusion... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate confusion...

I just got done reading this sticky: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=153412

...and now I'm even more confused. Could someone help me come up with a great substrate for a planted 34 gallon tank with crystal red shrimp?

I do not care at all about cost. I just want a good substrate that will last and be able to hold my plants (especially the ground covering plants)


Even if I have to purchase several products and just use a small amount of each to get a perfect formula, I don't care. I just want good advice so my shrimp and plants will stay healthy over time...
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 01:02 PM
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Just ignore that thread. It's really not useful when it comes to practicality and the first post only includes manufacturer-provided information.

For Crystals, you'll need to focus on KH, GH, pH. KH should be 0-1, GH 4-6, pH can be from 5.5-6.5 (can actually be lower or higher, really, that's just what I aim for). Typically, you'll need to use RO/DI water that is reconstituted with a remineralizing product to reach your ideal GH. You'll also need a substrate that buffers. Some good ones:

ADA Aquasoil
UP Aqua Shrimp Sand
Azoo Plant Grower Bed

ADA is just about $30 per 9L bag, excluding shipping. It's probably your best bet. It serves as your ammonia source while cycling the tank and is nutrient-rich. Buffers for a long time.

Shrimp Sand is about a billion times more expensive. Since you're doing a large tank, I'd avoid it.

Azoo actually costs more than Aquasoil and doesn't provide an ammonia source. Nutrients aren't so great. But it buffers well.

Have you done much research? If not, start reading and using the search function here on the forum. Start with the sticky in the Shrimp subforum.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 02:23 PM
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ANY time someone says cost isn't an issue with their planted tank substrate, I would think ADA substrate would be the ideal choice. Just be aware of the nutrient spike initially. I'd get an ROdi water filter and some seachem equilibrium too so you can nail those water parameters for the shrimp as well
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help,

I'm trying to figure out what ADA is. Is that Ammano something? Since the Azoo buffers well and the ADA is nutrient rich, should I get both and mix them?

As far as research goes, I have been banging my head against a wall. I read a few articles and then "tried" to get onto a few shrimp sites with issues. I'm on 30+ marine hobby sites for 7 years now (no issues) Then I try to start this shrimp hobby and it's been a nightmare... I can't even get admin to email me back. Sorry for the rant... if this site has shrimp info, I will gladly read up Thank you!

RO/DI water is perfect for me since I already have lots of it from all my marine tanks. bpb mentioned "seachem equilibrium". Are there any other good remineralizing products?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 03:03 PM
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ADA is Aqua Design Amano. Takashi Amano is a master aquascaper who has pioneered the "ADA style". Google is your friend, and there is an invertebrates section on the forum with loads of info. Best of luck with your tank. Oh and there are plenty of remineralizers specifically for shrimp as well, though I don't remember the names. I started searching on the web for shrimp, invertebrate, freshwater, etc. This brought up some good sites for info.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 04:18 PM
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Seachem Equilibrium is not something I'd use for shrimp and most certainly not for sensitive shrimp like Crystals. Stick with Shirakura Ca+, Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp Mineral GH+, Mosura Mineral Plus Ultra. Those are created with shrimp in mind.

No, don't mix Azoo and ADA. Do a bit more research here on the forum and spend a few days reading. You'll get all your questions answered after reading a handful of posts about the substrates mentioned. (That's not to discount your questions by telling you to go do some googling because you will for real have all your questions answered and you won't be confused if you spend a few minutes reading)


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I've spent the last hour reading up in the shrimp section including the sticky at the top. Good stuff. I feel a little more comfortable now. I did not see anything that would indicate not to mix the two substrates but I will keep reading! Thanks!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 04:40 PM
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Substrate confusion...

Just go with an ada soil system safe yourself the headaches


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shrimpNewbie View Post
Just go with an ada soil system safe yourself the headaches
I've spent the last 2 hours checking lfs's and no one carries it... I figured a place in Albany would but I guess not...

Any place better than another online?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 08:44 PM
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Substrate confusion...

Not really unless you live in San fran


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 08:51 PM
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Substrate confusion...

Not really unless you live in San Fran


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 09:03 PM
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i think many people order from the adgshop... but there are other retailers worth checking out too like marinedepot. if you are ever in the NYC area, then we'd have another conversation


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 09:29 PM
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I don't know much about shrimp, but I have learned a lot of search tricks that might help you out.

In your Google search bar use this search string: criteria site:plantedtank.net

like this: shrimp substrate site:plantedtank.net

I find that gives much better results than using a forum search tool. This works for any forum, not just TPT.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thelub View Post
I don't know much about shrimp, but I have learned a lot of search tricks that might help you out.

In your Google search bar use this search string: criteria site:plantedtank.net

like this: shrimp substrate site:plantedtank.net

I find that gives much better results than using a forum search tool. This works for any forum, not just TPT.
sweet - thank you
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by acitydweller View Post
i think many people order from the adgshop... but there are other retailers worth checking out too like marinedepot. if you are ever in the NYC area, then we'd have another conversation
I actually have to go down there soon for one of my other hobbies (Herps)

Know of any good places there I can get stuff like this?
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