Aquariumplant.com substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Aquariumplant.com substrate

Been pricing and shopping around for a black substrate as I get ready to re-set up my 55 gallon again tank.

I am set on a black substrate but the idea of 150 dollars for eco complete makes that a show stopper.

Has anyone tried the 5 gallon bucket from aquariumplant.com?

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55 gallon, 2x55 watt, 2 x 15 watt, 2 hob filters, diy co2. My goal is to have a healthy community tank with a lot of healthy plants.


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 04:05 PM
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im like you in that I looked desperately for a cheap quality substrate. the gravel you mentioned is the same as SMS(soil master select) and has similar pro's and con's. After alot of reading here on this forum and reading product info there is unforunatley only one way to go. Cut corners sopmewhere else and do it ruight the first time, youll like it
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 04:37 PM
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I used one bucket in my 55 and it filled it up no problem. I was able to grow every plant that I tried using it and have no complaints. I can't really compare it to another substrate (even though I also use eco-complete) since it would be high tech vs. low tech.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 03:35 PM
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I was going to order a bucket of this substrate this week but also just heard it's the same as SMS. But it claims:

All natural. No artificial coloring.
Contains minerals and nutrients and rich in iron. Provides optimum fresh water aquatic plant growth.
Used with our exclusive "Aquariumplants.com's own Substrate Fertilizer Pellets" we GUARANTEE success.
Black in color
Will not break down or dissolve or turn to mud like others do.
Does not cloud water

SMS, a whole year later, makes a cloudy black mess whenever I want to rearrange plants and is supposed to be inert and contain no mineral or nutrients. Now I am confused if they are the same or are they not because I do not want the SMS again.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 04:53 PM
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Not quite sure why some people have had troubles with SMS and others don't. I've used it in 3 tanks just fine. (two of them didn't even have the SMS rinsed)

That being said I've never used Eco. So maybe it's truly awesome and feeds your fish and trims your plants, I don't know. I just think substrate should look nice, hold plants down, and provide good conditions for roots. SMS did that for $13 just fine.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 06:06 PM
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from what I've read, it's not a bad substrate, and grows plants fine. It's just that it's alot more expensive than other alternatives. If you can't find SMS/Turface Pro/etc then it would be a reasonable alternative. From what I remember it's also not black in color....but they may have changed that.

If you have alot of mulm in your substrate any substrate, including sms will make a big mess when uprooting plants.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback.

I had to take my 55 gallon down after my DIY CO2 tubes became separated and 40 gallons of water emptied into various parts of my house.... Of course the tubes pulled from the wrong side of the check valve too.. expensive lesson learned.

Now I am getting ready to set it up again and want to do it right. Previously I had many plants that I more or less experimented with to learn what I could grow, what I could not grow.

I can not find any of the other products mentioned in this thread locally except eco complete for $33 a bag at the LFS, which is way more than I can tolerate.

So with that in mind, do you think that the aquariumplant.com substrate is decent?

No matter how hard you work, you can't fix dumb.

55 gallon, 2x55 watt, 2 x 15 watt, 2 hob filters, diy co2. My goal is to have a healthy community tank with a lot of healthy plants.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 06:15 PM
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If it is the same as SMS as everyone claims then your fine. If you can deal with cloudyness for a day ot so when setting up your tank and saving a ton of money then it will work for you. I used un rinsed SMS in my 110 and used like 75 pounds of the stuff. cloudy as hell for the first day but by next day tank was almost clear. stuff poofs up when uprooting plants but disappears fast enough. for having bought enough for my 110 for all of 16 bucks i cant be happier. (eco would have cost me 100's)


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 06:19 PM
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I have it (3 buckets for my 210). I was unaware of the similarities to SMS when I bought it. For the ease of everything, I would buy again. I love it personally. It is more of a gray than black. I have been able to grow anything in it. Loaches can dig, plants can send runners easily, doesn't cloud during WCs or rescaping. If you have any questions, I can try to answer.

Here are a couple pics










See, plants grow fine


210 g - Empty right now
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 07:27 PM
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It has worked great for me. I have a 29 gallon moderately planted aquarium and my plants love it. I do not dose ferts and they weren't lieing when they said it contains plenty of iron. When I briefly let my rotala indica go, it went from a dull pink to almost light red. I will soon dose ferts but it does work well and does contain iron. Also, this substrate is great for immersed growth too. I'd recommend it pretty highly.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2008, 06:18 PM
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Just an update. After readingthis thread I decided to go with the aquarium.com substrate instead of the eco for my new 30 ga. I did have to rinse it but it was easy to rinse and when I added the water to the aquarium it only to0k about an hour for the water to be clear. It also held all the plants nicely. Looks beautiful too!
Now we'll see how stuff grows as opposed to the eco.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 04:40 AM
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well how does aquariumplants.com substrate compare to seachem flourit black...i just bought 2 bags for my 55 gallon as a top layer...should i have gone with the aquariumplants.com stuff instead?

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55 gal planted, 10 gallon electric yellow cichlid fry tank (gone), 18 gal electric yellow cichlid mouth brooder holding tank (gone), and soon to be a 55 gallon pimpin discus tank (workin on it)!

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate the follow up, thank you.

My 55 will be set up again in about another month and I am going to give this a try. Will post pics when I get it going again.

Thanks!

No matter how hard you work, you can't fix dumb.

55 gallon, 2x55 watt, 2 x 15 watt, 2 hob filters, diy co2. My goal is to have a healthy community tank with a lot of healthy plants.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 08:58 PM
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I have it in my 75 gallon tank.. it took 2 buckets. the only thing I can say is that when it is still new.. it gets stirred up easily when planting and like to float around alot. but looks great and works fine

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 02:15 PM
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Well it's been several months and I was wondering if everyone is still happy with there
Aquariumplants.com substrate?
Joe

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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