Plant substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Plant substrate

Does anyone know a good plant substrate I can find for my aquarium?
Iv used gravel and have been successful in the passed but I want a more natural look and would like to try a more dirt type substrate.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 01:41 PM
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If you're interested in a soil substrate, I'm using Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix, covered with a layer of fine sand.

If you're alright with fertilizing, you can use just sand, which along with gravel is inert.

MY TANK: Planted 10g; 2 x 10W CFL; Fluval U2 internal filter; MGOCPM/black sand cap

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 01:49 PM
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Eco-Complete looks pretty natural, it has different grain sizes and is a not-quite-grey color

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the info

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 05:08 PM
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I use pond soil (the type used for aquatic plants, sold at garden centres) topped with CaribSea Peace River gravel. This is fine gravel, particles average 2-3 mm in size which is great for planting. Occasionally I mix this gravel with larger particles of Caribsea Kon Tiki gravel to get a mix of sizes.

I find the pond soil has a lot less chunks of wood or bark pieces, and feels more like loam. I have a box of API laterite so I throw a little bit in with the soil prior to topping with the gravel.

My plants are very happy and it makes a really nice low tech substrate. I dose excel twice a week usually.

Majority of my tanks in this thread uses the pond soil-fine gravel cap -
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/22...ml#post8388489
Timmy!! and Timmy!! like this.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that suggestion I think I'm going to try that it seems quick and efficient.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 11:50 PM
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I'd go with ADA aquasoil if it doesn't hurt your pocket, it is nutrient rich and great for any plant as well as safe for fish after letting your tank cycle for a few weeks.

Now using potting soil such as miracle gro or anything like that is very risky.

Sure you will see good growth from your plants due to the fertilizers inside the soil, but once it starts to decompose, harmful gasses will be released which are very toxic to fish and can wipe out your tank in no time. Which is why I would avoid the cheaper dirt tank route because it can be more expensive in the long run.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 12:54 AM
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I've used flourite, Safe-T-Sorb, and activflora. All grow plants well each has a different look.
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