Substrate On A Budget - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate On A Budget

I'm curious if there are any suggestions on a less expensive planting soil for my 55g. I'd like to have black soil. I've heard a few, just curious what works best on a budget.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 05:50 AM
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I've heard of using potting soil as the bottom layer and then topping it with something so it doesn't float around the tank. You could maybe try this and then top it with black gravel, sand, or a small amount of one of the black planted tank substrates available. Just make sure you put your plants where you want them the first time so you don't end up with dirt floating around the tank later. Perhaps put the soil in, plant the plants where you want them, and then add the top layer...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 06:06 AM
 
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Just go with mineralized topsoil.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html

Cap it with pool filter sand. I don't think that you can get any cheaper than this. Judging from the tank pictures posted by people who have or are using it, it seems to work really well.

Substrate is only on piece of the puzzle. You need to also focus on c02(preferably pressurized) and appropriate lighting(not too high) to increase your chances of success.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 01:48 AM
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I use soilmaster select in my planted tanks. 50 pound bag was just right for my 75 gallon tank. My cost was $15. The product is not made anymore, but they make something very similar that will work. I got mine at a Lesco lawn place. The only bad thing about using it is that it clouds the water. I simply put pillow stuffing from walmart in two hang on the back filters and ran them for about a week to clear it up. Great stuff if you can get your hands on a bag of it!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 02:09 AM
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3m colorquartz is also a nice alternative. It's about $30 for a 50lb bag. Have fun cleaning it though. Lol.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer_Simpson View Post
Just go with mineralized topsoil.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html

Cap it with pool filter sand. I don't think that you can get any cheaper than this. Judging from the tank pictures posted by people who have or are using it, it seems to work really well.

Substrate is only on piece of the puzzle. You need to also focus on c02(preferably pressurized) and appropriate lighting(not too high) to increase your chances of success.

Agreed, mineralized is the cheapest and there are quite a few members using this method successfully.

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