Plant Substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Plant Substrate?

Hey guys! This is my first post. Im learning all the basics of plant care, but I want to take it to a medium tech level instead of a low tech. This means switching from playsand to plant sand, and dosing ferts and liquid CO2.

I have a 15 gallon (57L) tank that is 1 foot deep. I have 1 mystery snail, 2 zebra nerite snails, and a betta. I plan on changing this tank to a sorority. I want to add some amano shrimp as well, and another mystery to breed them. Also a bulldog pleco.

I want 2 inches of substrate all around, and I also want black sand. Black sand with a black background is really growing on me. My plant list (for now) is as listed

Anubias Barteri (Or Nana)
Banana Plant
Cryptocoryne Lucens
Java Fern Windelov
Christmas Moss
Pygmy Chainsword
Red Tiger Lotus
and for a carpet plant, Marsilea Minuta

Yes, this sounds like alot. But, a sorority needs to have lots of plant cover for the bettas. I will also have a piece of manzanita wood, and some PVC covered in black sand.

I want black, yes. Im wondering if I should go Flourite, Eco Complete, any others? I also want it to be 2 inches all around and 3 1/2 inches of a slope into the back. I know Im being picky and have rambled alot, but I have this organized chaos in my mind, like, a perfect jungle tank. The red tiger lotus will be my centerpiece in my tank, as the wood will be along in the back, with sone moss and anubias growing on it.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 12:51 AM
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Flourite black sand is a good natural looking choice. Tends to need rinsing, many people deal with cloudy water for a while after installing it aswell.

Tahitian moon sand, looks good cosmetically a bit more flashy and unnatural.


Often folks use a good plant substrate(even organic dirt, but I wouldn't suggest that to someone who likes to rescape often) with a cap of cosmetically nice looking substrate over top.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 01:38 AM
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I would suggest switching the marsilia for glosso for the fact that the new submersed growth will be slower and look very close to glosso anyway. It won't be four leaf.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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The only reason Im not doing that is because glosso looks gross with low light (IMO, very stringy) and marsilea doesnt. I want a carpeting plant.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I decided to do potting soil with a cap of petco balck sand (its cheap), but Im not sure how to go about doing this. Im not sure how to prepare the soil, how to cap, what to add etc. I know I will need some iron source, Im thinking red clay. Not sure about anything else. All help is appreciated!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 01:13 PM
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How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate (MTS)

3 Gal Betta Tank | 10 Gal Shrimp/Fry Tank |
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