Ideal substrate for a 55 gallon? Fluorite sand and EcoComplete? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ideal substrate for a 55 gallon? Fluorite sand and EcoComplete?

I've been thinking about getting black sand for my 55 gallon but am worried about the anaerobic gas build up I've read about. Could I lay EcoComplete down first and a thin layer of black diamond blasting sand or Flourite sand over that without issues?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 11:16 PM
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Why not just go with EC? It is black, and looks pretty good, IMO. Or, if you want fine, just go with sand. Enough to come above the rim a bit in the front, then a couple of inches deep in the back. Rocks or driftwood to hold it in place- these will tend to settle down and end up level.

Adding a finer material over a coarser won't last. The sand will sift though the larger pieces and end up on the bottom. Granted, this will take time. The more you disturb it with transplants the faster the materials will blend.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Why not just go with EC? It is black, and looks pretty good, IMO. Or, if you want fine, just go with sand. Enough to come above the rim a bit in the front, then a couple of inches deep in the back. Rocks or driftwood to hold it in place- these will tend to settle down and end up level.

Adding a finer material over a coarser won't last. The sand will sift though the larger pieces and end up on the bottom. Granted, this will take time. The more you disturb it with transplants the faster the materials will blend.


I like EC, but the only thing I dislike about it is I have a hard time getting some of my stem plants to stay planted. I had always read that you can't layer sand too deep and at one part of the tank I want it four or five inches deep. Will I have a problem with that?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 12:24 AM
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I mixed flora max. flourite black, eco-complete and activ-flora in a 90. The flora max and eco-complete are dark gray, while the flourite black and activ-flora are black. The activ-flora is a shiny black and very small, but larger than the flourite black sand. It has been a year and the strata that were created pretty much stayed as original until I pull out a plant.

I kept some areas with the finer substrate in order to plant hair grass but had limited success.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 06:52 PM
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smaller substrate particles will always find their way to the bottom of the pile. Layering sand over eco complete will really only result in the eventuality that your substrate will become eco complete over sand.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 06:57 PM
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Just go with the black diamond. It works great. I have used it in two tanks with great results.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 07:03 PM
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I was looking to buy more eco-complete for my 75g then found the black diamond blasting sand thread and saw burr740's beautiful tank. I ended up buying one 50lb bag of blasting sand and have purchased another to add to it. For the price it can't be beat. Tractor Supply Co. had it on sale around here $8, but it's normally $8.50 before tax. Cheapest I could get a 20lb bag of eco-complete was $24 on amazon and I'm guessing I needed 2-3 more. I really like the look of the BDBS, and having some of the larger eco-complete mixed in looks very nice.
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