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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I currently have 3 tanks. My soon to be ex main 37 gallon cumminty tank which houses a 3 platies, 2 mollies, 5 danios, and a Rainbow Shark. It has fake plants and regular gravel that you would get from like a local fish store.

I have a small ten gallon which is housing about 23 baby molly fry and one danio fry for now. They will be going to my local fish store soon. Sand substrate with fake plants as well.

All the tanks have filters, decorations, bubbler, heaters, etc. No new tanks. These are all about year plus at this point. I know how to care for the fish and such, but am wanting to venture out and add a new element. Live plants.

Since I will be keeping some of the baby fry and Posiedon my Rainbow shark has grown very fast I have purchased a 55 gallon tank and have all the decorations and tank care stuff needed (Filter, Heater, etc.)

I want to start up the tank with live plants and have seen a few I like, but my main concern is the substrate to use. I have done by best diligence researching what would work and from what I found it seems pretty much anything but sand would work with most plants. I also want to make sure the substrate is safe for my Rainbow Shark and I don't want anything too sharp so he doesn't get hurt when he goes cleaning/searching mode.

The substrate I was looking at was the Seachem Flourite Black and the sand version. I also saw Eco-Complete.

The Seachem seems fine to me but a tad expensive and I read it requires a lot of pre-washing to get rid of dust and such.

The Eco-Complete seemed good but based on what I read and saw looks like it could be sharp which may not be good for Posiedon.

So I'm not particularly sure as to which substrate to use and was hoping someone on here could suggest what to go with based on my fish and some of the plant types I was looking at in the list below. I am more concerned about the fish first, but I don't want to kill any plants either. I care for house plants and succlents, but have never done aquatsucculents,

Plants I was looking at:
  • Anacharis
  • Jungle Vallisneria
  • Coffee Leaf Anubias
  • Java Fern
  • Lobelia Cardinals
  • Echinodorus Cordifolius
 

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You could do aquasoil under sand, that would give you the benefits of using an active substrate with the benefit of using sand for your rainbow shark, plus it won't break the bank- you could get a bag of aquasoil and some pool filter and for less than buying enough eco complete or seachem sand to fill your tank and get better results. That's just my opinion, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You could do aquasoil under sand, that would give you the benefits of using an active substrate with the benefit of using sand for your rainbow shark, plus it won't break the bank- you could get a bag of aquasoil and some pool filter and for less than buying enough eco complete or seachem sand to fill your tank and get better results. That's just my opinion, though.
Thank you. I will definitely look into that. I had actually looked into doing sand over substrate buy kept finding mixed results online of people saying you can and can't do it.
 

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Yea, I wouldn't suggest using dirt (potting soil) with a cap for a rainbow shark or anything a little bigger that likes to dig but you can definitely use aquasoil as it's perfectly safe even if dug up and it does work for providing nutrients.
 
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