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Was told by shrimp guys that this was the cheapest active substrate for Caridinas
SL-Aqua Nature Soil ? DiscoBee
$40 shipped. Doesn't sound like a lot in the bag, but it is cheaper than competitors.
If you have high KH in the water you are using, you need R/O water along with the active sub to get KH/pH where you want them.

I'm thinking about trying a high CEC substrate then adding an acidic source like Diana is mentioning. I will see what I can do.
Still searching for more acidic source options though besides the basic tannin/humic acid sources such as peat moss, IAL, alder cones, etc.
I guess you could use high CEC sub and just use remineralizers/buffer products.
 
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