Another annoying which substrate thread... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Another annoying which substrate thread...

Alright so from what Ive read here the three best substrates would be Eco-complete, SMS, and aquasoil.

I have a 55 gallon now with 1 bag of eco and 1 15lb bag of white sand from a LFS. Stupid I know. I wish there was a way of seperatin the two but I think thats impossible. Either way I need to get new substrate.

I though of that bucket of substrate from aquarium somewhat or the other, I forgot the name, but it seems a little too good to be true for 45 bucks.

To fill up my tank with eco or AS it would take at least 4 bags, which would be $100 and$120+ respectively. Im a student right now so I dont exactly think I should spend that much JUST on substrate when I need more things for my tank. So what I was thinking of doing was getting either one bag of AS or Eco and then splitting a SMS charcoal bag with somebody here thats from NY like me. That would easily give me 3" or so.

Im just kind of confused between all this right now and would appreciate any help. I will be using dry ferts very soon if thats helps any. I jsut need something that will hold plants down, especially stem plants. Must be good for rooted also. I have a few bottom dwellers too.
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 04:27 AM
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You can sift out the EC from the sand using a colander.



Just use Eco-Complete with root tabs and dry ferts if cost is an issue. I wouldn't mix substrates, it'll be more trouble than it's worth.
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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I just did some research. I think what Im going to do since the SMS is such a bigger grain than eco and ADA which technically I would imagine would be bad for stem plants and such is... (drumroll)

Filter out as much sand as possible from what I have. Buy 2 bags of Eco and 1 bag of Aqua Soil. Keep the existing Eco on the bottom followed by the smaller grained aquasoil, followed by two bags of Eco. Yay or Nay?
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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 05:30 AM
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Don't mix them.
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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por que amigo
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 04:08 PM
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They will mix over time.
I like Black flourite over EC.
They also have a nice sand and normal size.
I like it better aesthetically and as far as planting stems etc in it than EC.
I have a lot of experience with all of these sediments.

Only bad trade off, you need to rinse Black flourite.
I do not mind vs paying for water and getting less sediment with EC.
ADA As needs no rinsing, is the most consistent of all of them and is about the same cost as Flourite.


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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so I think I made a decision. I need about 3" in a 55 gallon right? I figured Ill try to sift out as much Eco as possible that I already have in my tank. If im lucky, that will give me just enough to coat the bottom. Then Ill get 2 bags of Aquasoil, which are 26 or so if Im not mistaken. Ill also get 1 bag of the same aquasoil but in powder. Three 9 liter bags + w/e Eco I have now should do the trick and give me ~ 3 inches. That will run me about $80-90 which isnt THAT bad. Now as for the three bags, does the powder go on top or on the bottom?
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 05:53 AM
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I wouldn't mix substrates either. Why not just use the Eco you already have and buy more of it to get the 3" depth your after? Seems like the cheapest and easiest solution.



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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah but from what Ive read around here aquasoil is prime. Plus people keep saying dont mix yet they never state WHY? I really don't see what hard could be done from mixing 3 bags of AS with like 1 lb or w/e I can scrape up of the Eco I have in my tank now.
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 07:11 AM
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It'll mix. And it'll look like crap. Don't tell me it won't mix...it will.

Forget powder-type AquaSoil too. It's more trouble than you want.

Either spend the money and use all ADA AquaSoil from the start, or don't...it's pretty simple.
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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 09:14 AM
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Yep, don't mix them. Substrates look different and just plain don't look good together. If you want, continue with EC, or just redo it with AS, but don't mix them. If you want to, go ahead, but don't say we didn't tell you.
And won't the smaller grain substrate end up on the bottom anyways?
But if you honestly like the looks, go right ahead.
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 03:53 AM
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i'd suggest SMS but that's just me, I use it... I have some flourite underneath it though.... again, that's me... I have 1-1.5" of flourite below 3.5-4" of SMS..very deep base I know ...I use dry ferts and DIY CO2, high lighting...plants growing like weeds

the grain size doesn't really matter, you stick the stems in deep and they root, and root hard, I just moved a few plants around earlier today and it took some actual force to get them out, not just a tug and their out like with pebble gravel
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 03:59 AM
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Unless you care what the substrate looks like THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MIXING DIFFERENT TYPES.

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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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I just thought since Eco and AS are black you wouldnt be able to tell the difference.

But, I have made a final decision. Save the Eco that I have now for later, just in case. Then to get a 3" depth I should need (bottom layer) power sand, but which one? And then on top of that 3 bags of regular Aquasoil.
Sounds good?
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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 04:59 AM
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as isnt black it is brown.....


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