The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
Welcome aboard!

I will start by saying that there is no "BEST" substrate for anything. All substrates have their pros and cons. What works best for one person might not be the best choice for the next person. There are many vastly different substrate approaches on this board and many very successful tanks even through the approaches might seem diametrically opposed.

Rather than starting a huge fight over what the "Best" substrate is for carpeting plants I will tell you what I like and its pros/cons when it comes to carpeting plants.

My new tank is a 180g with a fancy dirt bottom capped with 5mm gravel with Amazonia sprinkled on top of it and allowed to fall between the grains of the gravel. Then Amazonia powder sprinkled. Then black sand sprinkled on top and also allowed to fall between the grains of the gravel. I chose this configuration for its looks, for its ease of working with as it pertains to my personal style, its fertility for growing the plants that I want to grow and its low maintenance for my style of aquarium keeping.

In this 180g I am growing my first carpet using DHG (Dwarf Hairgrass - Eleocharis parvula). About 4 weeks in right now I am very pleased with the DHG growth and its spreading to start forming a carpet. One thing I had not anticipated is the size of the gravel physically limiting the density of the DHG carpet. At only 4 weeks in it is hard to say what the long term affects will be of the gravel limiting the shoot density. Once it grows in I am sure it will be fine but currently it looks a little sparse. If my goal was DHG and only DHG I would go for dirt with a sand cap. All things considered I am very pleased with my choice of dirt with a gravel cap and allowing finer particles to intersperse between the gravel and would not change this if I started my tank over again due to its other attributes that make it work very well for me.

I challenge future posters to post what works well for them while not demeaning the choices of others and their approaches to a tanks substrate!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,924 Posts
There are a few substrate types that are not good, like gravel 5mm and larger, and then everything else just gets a big depends label added. Aquasoil (of various brands is good) but not required depending on your fertilizer dosage levels. I have done carpets with dirt capped with sand and with sand capping aquasoil and with just straight sand. I like sand for aesthetics and ease of planting. I don't like straight aquasoil because I don't like the aesthetic or the cost. These days I do a thin layer of aquasoil capped by sand. The aquasoil is whatever I can get cheapest.

No matter what you pick though you will need to do either 1) a dry start method, or 2) co2 injection. And regardless of co2 or not, you will need to be dosing fertilizer on a regular basis.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top