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Ok. I have been keeping fish for four years now, and I want to try my hand at planted tanks. I currently have a 75 gallon tank, and a 10 gallon tank established. Before I even touch the 75 gallon I was going to try a planted tank in my 10g, but reading the forums gets so confusing. I'm just looking for a simple good looking substrate that plants can thrive in. The stores I have available out in this dust bowl I live in is very limited to corporate and a select few mom and pop shops. Any advice would be very helpful.
Thank you!:iamwithst
 

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Basically there are 3 types of substrate, normal substrate, rich substrate, or one with a CRC.

Most plants will grow fine in a very small gravel/large sand type substrate.

You can go with a rich substrate, and it will help plants with large root systems (swords and crypts). There are several brands of rich substrates, eco-complete, aqua-soil etc. You can make your own by creating mineralized soil. Search for the posts on here which explain that.

As for the CRC, these substrates absorb some ferts from the water and store them for plant usage. Examples are Schultz Aquatic Soil, Soil Master Select, and Flourite.

It seems that no matter which you choose you will always use some ferts and root tabs.
 
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