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I'm not very happy with the substrate I have in my planted tank at the moment. It is flourite mixed with sand on top. I was attempting to make my Aquarium a Congo biotope but I have not so far been successful and the flourite has risen to the top of the substrate in many places as I believe it may be lighter than the sand.

None of my plants have done very well in this tank. In fact, most died except for the Anubias, Red Lotus, Flame Moss, Vallis Torta, water lettuce and Phyllanthus Fluitans.

All the rest died and I spent loads of money on them. The hair grass died the quickest. The Bolbitis Heudelotii seemed to disintegrate. Not sure what happened to the Aponogeton. My Cuba died. It just wouldn't take root very well in the substrate. The Glossostigma died because I don't think I had enough light getting down to it. And the Ludwigia also died. I think that was very fragile and other plants outcompeted it. I did have one plant that I put in there to keep the algae from reappearing and it seemed to do the job and work but the trouble is it went everywhere and got out of control. Not sure what type of plant it was but I had to take it all out. It seems like a fern with lots of thin thread type leaves. I think my Congo Tetras may have eaten some of the plants.

My plan now is to take the substrate out and put in a different substrate that will be better. If you have any advice on what I should use I would appreciate it. I want something as natural as possible to the River Congo which seems to be quite a muddy silty brown/beige coloured river in many places so no gravel or sand. Are there any muddy aquarium type substrates I could use that would fulfill this purpose and allow plants to take root very well? At least the plants that feed more from the substrate than the water column that is? I'd appreciate any advice and help on this.
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