What Substrate To Use? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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What Substrate To Use?

Hi! So I am setting up a 165 gallon (might be 175) planted discus tank and don't know what substrate to use. I won't be CO2 dosing but will be putting in liquid ferts but I want something that will be beneficial for the plants. I want to do this right and want to use the best I can for this tank Any recommendations would be great, and price isn't a problem if its a great substrate so hit me with anything!! Thank you so much, Rachel
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:31 PM
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That would be a super size for a discus tank !

I've kept discus in planted tanks for many years and imo quartz-based silica pool filter sand is the best substrate to use in a planted discus tank. Not only does it allow any discus-keeper the facility and ease of maintaining high water quality & conditions, as well as prime tank cleanliness for the discus' sake, but it does a good job of growing plants well in a low-tech environment, using root tab ferts, and occasional moderate dosing of liquid or dry ferts in the water column.

Here's a couple of set-ups of my discus tanks to give you a general idea:

http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...3RedSnakeSkins
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...spaul/Sept2011

I'd expect that 3 X 50 lb. bags would do the job nicely in your tank, and would only cost you around $30.-$35.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:45 PM
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Should you eventually decide to try PFS, be sure to get it from a good swimming pool supply store - where you`ll get dense, clean, high quality sand.
Don`t buy it at a big box store - you never know what type of sand you`re going to get.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the information!! I will definitely go with PFS. Thank you again for the great and descriptive information Also wanted to say your discus tanks are incredibly beautiful!!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parlorre View Post
Thank you so much for the information!! I will definitely go with PFS. Thank you again for the great and descriptive information Also wanted to say your discus tanks are incredibly beautiful!!
Thanks.
And btw, if you're new to discus-keeping, it might help you to have a read of my guide to discus-keeping here on the forum - click on the first & only Sticky at the top of the 'Fish' section, and you'll find it there.

Also, if I can be of any further help in getting your discus project started off on the right footing, don't hesitate to PM me anytime.
Happy to help out if I can.
Best of luck to you.
Paul
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much after writing this I will go look at the guide! I have had some discus but only in a 29g so this is a bit of a step up haha and thank you for all of the support -Rachel
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 04:49 AM
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im skeptical on the pfs as i have it in my tank and my plants arent dying but arent growing either. been 3 months in. also using root tabs and flourish comp. it does look wonderful the sand and is easy to clean.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 04:53 AM
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If you're serious about this tank I would go with aquasoil.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 07:52 AM
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assuming you're not a discus noob. and price isnt an issue like u said. aquasoil, or eco- complete,flourite. goodluck with ur project
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks I was looking at aquasoil and eco-complete and they both looked great, I'm not a huge fan of flourite though.. Eco-complete was my next pick, I have heard good things about it at my lfs can order it for me at a good price. It's a hard choice between the two...
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 06:23 PM
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The above-mentioned substrates are all very good for growing plants, but they are not ideal for keeping discus in a planted environment. I believe that anybody keeping discus should focus on, and place the emphasis, on the discus, with the plants being secondary.
If you use conventional soil-type substrates with discus, it will be more difficult to maintain ideal tank cleanliness and quality water conditions for the discus, and therefore require more work and attention to accomplish that. That's been my experience over the years.
Why risk experiencing health problems with your discus due to less than ideal water quality and conditions brought about by the features of certain substrates, when the chances of being successful with discus in a planted tank are far greater with a substrate that's much easier to keep waste-free and squeaky clean.

Last edited by discuspaul; 03-15-2013 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Adding a sentence
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