Substrate for planted aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate for planted aquarium

What substrate should I be getting for a .800L x .600W x .450D tank?

I'm looking to have it planted with ground covers (unsure type) with a minimalist look. However as a starter, just need some good quality substrate brands or mixes that will gve me a healthy start.

Cheers
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 10:09 AM
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i've use stratum with amazing results. but i hear a lot of members using eco complete, flourite ect.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 10:51 AM
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Try a dirt substrate capped with an inert sand/gravel cap. You can have a great low tech and low maintinance tank. No ferts, no co2, and a decent light. It doesnt get much easier, plus you get great results
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 12:17 PM
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If you want the best that is the simplest, go with ADA Aquasoil. It is on the pricier side but it is the best stuff in the hobby.

I've tried a bunch of stuff too.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 12:19 PM
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Only problem I had with soil and gravel if you decide to go that route, is moving or pulling out plants is a DISASTER!

Not to discourage, but the mess it can make when disturbed is something to keep in mind. It does however grow plants quite well.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RyanRX7 View Post
Only problem I had with soil and gravel if you decide to go that route, is moving or pulling out plants is a DISASTER!

Not to discourage, but the mess it can make when disturbed is something to keep in mind. It does however grow plants quite well.
Good point. Probably the biggest downside of dirt.

But if the cap is adequate(1 inch), and you pull plants out very slowly, it should be ok.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 04:50 PM
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This will get you a great start. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184631

Very useful info. Most of the replies you will get are all personal preference and opinions.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 04:52 PM
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I've used eco complete and flourite. Love the eco complete! Only complaint about the flourite is that it initially clouded my water. There could be ways to prevent this that I don't know about though.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 07:13 PM
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i use eco-complete.. and as a beginner, i love it. i didn't have to wash it before use (you're not supposed to wash it) and when i move things around in the tank, it doesn't really get cloudy or anything.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 08:15 PM
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flourite is decent. on par with eco complete. there are plenty of buffered soils out there but few with AVAILABLE nutrients to plants. flourite is packed with nutrients. plants can't even touch them because they are locked into the substrate pieces.

for ease of use, long term reliability, and having a ood benchmark for growing plants
ADA aquasoil is the way to go. and liter to liter its price is not high at all. the worst part is the shipping.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 08:33 PM
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for ease of use, long term reliability, and having a ood benchmark for growing plants
ADA aquasoil is the way to go. and liter to liter its price is not high at all. the worst part is the shipping.
I agree with you up to a point. ADA aquasoil is not easy to use in the beginning as people usually have to wait through the ammonia phase. I've seen quite a few people find this part highly frustrating.

However, my biggest concern is long term use. It is not a good choice for long term use. It breaks down over time and must be replaced. So while a tank with Eco Complete can keep going for 2 years, 3 years, 5 years and more without any problems, a tank with ADA aquasoil will end up with mud and either face all the challenges of a dirt tank or have to be taken apart and started over with new substrate (which means going through the ammonia phase again, but this time with an active tank full of fish).

You can always add nutrients to Eco Complete. You cannot prevent ADA aquasoil from breaking down over time. For that reason, I do not see ADA aquasoil as being easy or long term.

However, when it comes to growing plants, ADA aquasoil is excellent, no question about it. It's well worth the price paid.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 10:01 PM
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true, i had almost forgotten about the ammonia part because it was so easy for me to handle oooooppps

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Cheers All

As this tank will be only running for 6 - 9 months before I move it, im thinking the ADA will suit my tanks interim needs. Substrate will remain in tact for that period and give me good results it appears.

I think I will start a TJ to monitor this ones progress, and get some feed back.

Thanks again!!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:34 AM
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AS and soil tanks are among the best that you can go with for those that don't rescape all the time. The set it and forget it approach. These two substrate also give plants the best growth without having to add fertz. Low tech tanks will go for years due to the fact that the nutrients are depleted at a much slower rate.

There will be many that swear by AS and soil substrates and many that don't. Do a pros and cons list for yourself and find out which substrate works the best for your situation. Use the link provided in post 7 to aid you.
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