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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, i feel like dirt just isnt working out for me, it's leaching too many nutrients into the water column, and that + Direct Sunlight is creating so much algea i dont know any other potion, but change the substrate, no price is really out of my range. I've been looking at Eco Complete, also theres some at Petsmart i've looked at.

So basically... Whats everyones favorite substrate for a planted tank?

I could also go just gravel or sand and root tabs, i don't mind that idea at all.

Yet another thing, if anyone has any tips on getting aout most of my Trumpet snails from the substrate to change it out, i would love to know those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Best is relative to the purpose of the substrate.

What problems are you having with the dirt? I have a 300g dirt tank and the water is never murky.
The largest issue im having is that my tank recieves direct sunglight, and excess nutrients, that i have found is caused by the dirt, helps feed the algea. My waters not murky, its just instead of feeding just my plants the dirt is feeding all the algea, also im looking to get a darker substrate.
 

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To get the snails out of your substrate, take a soda bottle, put a slice of zucchini in it, submerge it, and wait overnight, you'll have a bunch of them in there in the morning, do this 2-3 nights in a row, you'll get most of them, for even better results cut the top off, and invert it, to make a trap, you can search the site, on how to do this
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe you are getting some extra ammonia > nitrates production from the organic matter. Extra water changes will help to correct that.
It's not that, i do change weekly and i usually test before hand, the only time i've had ammonia issues was when cycling, which was nearly 6 months ago.
 

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My favorite is Flourite.

As it contains no nutrients, it can neither leach them nor become depleted. Nutrients will stick to it where roots can easily access them (CEC property), and although it's not the best at this, it's still far better than gravel or sand; use of root tabs can provide additional benefit, but aren't required. Doesn't turn to mud after a few years, requiring another investment and tank teardown.

Gives you total control over nutrient levels. Depending on your point of view, this is either a blessing or a curse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My favorite is Flourite.

As it contains no nutrients, it can neither leach them nor become depleted. Nutrients will stick to it where roots can easily access them (CEC property), and although it's not the best at this, it's still far better than gravel or sand; use of root tabs can provide additional benefit, but aren't required. Doesn't turn to mud after a few years, requiring another investment and tank teardown.

Gives you total control over nutrient levels. Depending on your point of view, this is either a blessing or a curse.
I never really looked at flourite, i like the fact that it doesn't leach nutrients, my only question though is what will it run me? i'll need enough for a 40 gal tall (30 in long)
 

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40lb bag of saf t sorb $4.50 at tractor supply. Dose or add root tabs as needed.

A well formulated soil is better than any other substrate when it comes to growing plants, but it's a PITA if you ever want to rescape or pull out a heavy rooter.
 

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I never really looked at flourite, i like the fact that it doesn't leach nutrients, my only question though is what will it run me? i'll need enough for a 40 gal tall (30 in long)
I bought seven bags from thatpetplace.com, $16.13 each, with a free shipping promo. It's heavy, and free shipping or a good local price makes a big overall price difference, so shop around.

Seachem has a calculator that tells you exactly how much you need, given your tank dimensions and desired substrate depth:

http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Flourite.html

I recommend getting an extra bag or two. It's good to have on hand in case you want to fill out a particular area some more later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I like this... now Petsmart Has seachem flourite plant substrate, any takes on that? it would be way easier because i could go there and get it instead of having it shipped.

I also really like the idea of the sand and root tabs, i do have a tractor supply and all that good stuff close, now i have to make a more preference based decision, i wanted a darker substrate, but in the big picture that isn't too much of a bother if it doesn't happen, and something that won't leach nutrients into the water column, helping keep a check on algea.

Another thing to note is that i have several heavy root feeders that i really value, a brazilian sword and red indian as well as 5 or 6 healthy old Amazons, so i want something that can take care of that, i could add root tabs to the flourite for these.
 

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Flourite, turface, saf t sorb and (some) oil dri are all basically the same thing. The latter will strip KH initially (it's supposed to), not sure if flourite does or doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Flourite, turface, saf t sorb and (some) oil dri are all basically the same thing. The latter will strip KH initially (it's supposed to), not sure if flourite does or doesn't.
I have never heard of flourite doing that, but my knowledge is limited, im leaning towards flourite right now, but i still don't know.
 

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Flourite, turface, saf t sorb and (some) oil dri are all basically the same thing. The latter will strip KH initially (it's supposed to), not sure if flourite does or doesn't.
They are similar, but not exactly the same.

Compared to Flourite, Turface has higher CEC. So it's a bit better for growing plants. But it's also a lot lighter, so light that some people have a hard time planting in it. I just had to replace the Soilmaster Select (a discontinued Turface clone) in one tank because the filter was blowing it around.

Saf-T-Sorb and Oil Dri are like Turface, but made from clay that's not guaranteed to be fired to as high a temperature. So it may be less stable in the tank. Sometime you luck up and get a good batch, which lasts for years. Other times you get mud within months.
 
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