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Hi so I’m starting up a 34 gallon aquarium and would just like To know what substrate I should use for a planted tank. See I’m new into the planting side of the hobby with this being my first planted tank so I want to know if I should use eco complete (Have heard it gets muddy and cloudy after time) fluorit (very expensive in Australia at $70 for 7kg) diamond black sand ( have heard it’s not a planting substrate) or any cheap sand I can get from my loval store. Thanks 🙏
 

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Hi so I’m starting up a 34 gallon aquarium and would just like To know what substrate I should use for a planted tank. See I’m new into the planting side of the hobby with this being my first planted tank so I want to know if I should use eco complete (Have heard it gets muddy and cloudy after time) fluorit (very expensive in Australia at $70 for 7kg) diamond black sand ( have heard it’s not a planting substrate) or any cheap sand I can get from my loval store. Thanks 🙏
My favorite substrate is pool filter sand. In the state's you can buy a 50lb bag for 15 dollars and its pre-washed and ready to be put into a tank. It also looks natural because it is. Its arguably the easiest substrate to plant into as well.

I have in the past put down 1/2 inch + layer of aquasoil and then covered it with 1.5+ inches of sand. This works really well but the aquasoil will mix with the sand overtime as some of it works its way to the surface. Straight sand is also fine but you will need to use liquid fertilizer of your choice to keep everything happy.
 

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A ton of guppies, mystery snails, japanese trapdoor snails, ghost shrimp, & tons of plants in a 10G.
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My favorite is Samurai Soil! It releases the nutrients of the soil over large periods of time. Also, it keeps your tank pH slightly lower (around a 6.8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My favorite is Samurai Soil! It releases the nutrients of the soil over large periods of time. Also, it keeps your tank pH slightly lower (around a 6.8)
Very interesting! In Australia where I live its quite expensive at $37 for a container but might use it for a 10 Gallon shrimp tank later on. Thanks
 

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its pre-washed and ready to be put into a tank.
Be sure you confirm this before you dump it into your aquarium. The pool filter sand I buy at the local spa shop has to be washed quite a bit before I can use it. I do like it though.
 

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I’ve had red Eco Complate in a ten gal shrimp for about 4 months. So far I like it. Eco Complete does not require washing and the substrate was cloudy for a few days, but cleared up nicely. The substrate looks nice and the plants seem to be growing well. The main disadvantage is that Eco is made from light weight materials and I had to be careful when putting the plants in. I don‘t know how it will work out in the long term, but so far so good.
 

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Really depends on the look your going for. All of those substrates are inert so it’s really a matter of preference. The flourite and eco will retain nutrients through cation exchange but I wouldn’t say either is that much better than using a quality sand or fine gravel.
 

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I used a 2" layer of eco complete, then topped with medium grit blast sand with a fine layer of black sand from petco and am loving it. Used in a 29 that's been going a little over a month and the plants are loving it. Also I still use liquid ferts
Water Plant Organism Terrestrial plant Pet supply
 
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