Newb with Substrate Q's - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Newb with Substrate Q's

I'm planning a low tech 29 gallon tank with bleeding heart tetras, silver hatchet fish, and dwarf chain loaches.

My question is about substrate, which is the best choice for a low tech setup? I'm guessing it's ADA.

Also, please tell me if I'm right on this:
ADA power sand is the base substrate that provides all the nutrients and such to the plants while Aqua-Soil is the top layer that is decorative and lower pH?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 02:28 PM
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well it really matters on how much you want to spend on substrate. fluorite or eco-complete would work just as well, along with plenty of other alternative substrates like SMS or sholtz's aquasoil.

no aqua siol buy it's self has all the nutrients you need, the power sand i just always took as being extra filler for tank though i really don't now much about it

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 03:40 PM
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For substrate, I think the biggest thing you want to look for is aesthetics, at least when looking at the various substrates that are normally used in the hobby. I think nutrient-wise, everything is somewhat similar, but a little bit of research into the quirks of each might do you some good, but as Ozymandias said, no one substrate by itself is going to provide 100% of everything your plants need.

In my 29 gallon, I have eco-complete and haven't had any issues. Flourite/Flourite Black/Flourite Black Sand is also popular too. If you have your heart set on Aquasoil though, it's a good choice. If you want to save a few bucks though, consider Eco or Flourite.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 03:49 PM
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I have used every substrate that is available in the hobby.

IMO, the best out there is SMS. It also just so happens to be the cheapest. Go figure.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone. what's SMS?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 05:35 PM
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Soil Master Select. www.Lesco.com Turface is a pretty similar product also carried by Lesco.





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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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is eco-complete too sharp for bottom dwellers like dwarf loaches? also, an LFS have some old eco-complete thats been there a long time, is it still OK to use?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 06:44 PM
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Eco would be fine for bottom-dwelling fish. You can also leave an area with just sand if you want, but it's not necessary.

If the liquid is still clear then the bag is probably OK. If the bag has been punctured or the liquid is cloudy, I'd probably pass. You also need to look carefully at the contents of the bags to make sure they don't contain shells or other pieces of white rock, and that the substrate is solid black. If not, then I'd also pass.





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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcvtys View Post
is eco-complete too sharp for bottom dwellers like dwarf loaches? also, an LFS have some old eco-complete thats been there a long time, is it still OK to use?
If the bag has no holes in it, and the water is still in it, it should be fine SMS is a sand like substrate, and your loaches would love it

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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If the ecocomplete is no good I'll get the black flourite sand.

Is it OK to use the flourite sand as the only substrate?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 07:42 PM
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yes should should be fine. that what i plan to do when i replace my substrate at the end of this month.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 04:11 AM
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I have one tank with SMS which is a low tech tank... one tank with flourite black sand (just poured 2 days ago)... and my main tank is a mix of eco/flourite black.

Honestly...all depends on what you're doing? if it's high tech my recommendations are flourite/eco... ADA is far too pricey IMO. SMS if you're low-mid tech.

if you're going to dose dry powder nutrients you can do SMS for budget purposes, but still go for the good stuff!
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