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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a 20g High that's in the planning stages right now and I'm making a list of what I will need and the costs of such things. Substrate is something that I haven't quite settled on yet. The qualities important to me are low price and black color.

Now if I recall, a 15lb bag of Flourite costs about $20 bucks and a 20lb bag of Eco-complete is about $24. What I don't know is how many pounds of substrate I need to buy. I know that the Eco is packed in water so I am assuming the two bags are close to the same volume? Would I be able to buy one bag of either and then add some cheapo black aquarium gravel to make up the difference? Which of the two types would you recommend or is there something else I've missed?

I want to add that I have looked into the mineralized topsoil but due to my lack of indoor space and snow outside, I'm not really up for it for this tank.

Thanks! :proud:
 

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In the long run, $20 or so more for substrate isn't that much. I'd suggest to save up and get two bags of Flourite Black and be done with it. Mixing with cheaper gravel is an option, but I don't think it's worth it really. Keep in mind that substrate like Flourite pretty much lasts indefinitely.

For bigger tanks, saving on substrate becomes more important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The money is there, it's just more of explaining to my fiance why we'd be spending 40 bucks on rocks so to speak. Anything is possible though, just exploring my options while I wait for the new year. :icon_wink

In your opinion, the Flourite is the better choice? If that's the case and I went with buying two bags, could I switch it to the Flourite Black Sand and still be just as good?
 

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You don't want your substrate to be too deep (3" is a gracious plenty) or you run the risk of developing anaerobic spots. 1 bag is all you should need for a 20H tank (same footprint as a standard 10gal just 2x as high, right?)

Flourite black is currently my favorite substrate. You could use either/or mix with the black sand if you wish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This tank is 24" long, 12" deep and 16" high.

I should also ask if these substrates are cory safe.
 

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The money is there, it's just more of explaining to my fiance why we'd be spending 40 bucks on rocks so to speak. Anything is possible though, just exploring my options while I wait for the new year. :icon_wink
Skip a dinner. :biggrin:

In your opinion, the Flourite is the better choice? If that's the case and I went with buying two bags, could I switch it to the Flourite Black Sand and still be just as good?
From what I understand, Flourite Black is blacker than EC, which is more of a gray tone. Which one is better, hard to say... EC has a bit of a troubled past, but doesn't need the rinsing, and is not as "sharp" as Flourite.

I would not use the Sand... I think the regular F grain size is perfect, allowing for some circulation of nutrients within the substrate, and allowing for some detritus to fall through the cracks and become plant available over time. Again, others prefer sand for other reasons.

Edit - just saw your response. You might be okay with one bag, especially if you keep it a bit more shallow in the foreground, and raise it up towards the back.

I haven't kept Cory's for a long time, so not sure about that one. I know barbel damage is being discussed, and some say Flourite caused it, while others swear it's water conditions. Do some search on the topic.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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That's a regular 20gal, then.

I'd probably get 2 bags.

Yes, they're Cory safe. I've never believed the "sharp substrates cause Cories problems" bit- I caught Corydoras in the wild on rough gravel that hurt to walk on barefooted, but they didn't seem to mind at all LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does that mean that my tank is the middle sized 20g? Sorry if that's a ridiculous question, lol. I'll work on the two bags of Flourite and hope for the best. Thanks so much for all of your help! :red_mouth
 

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I love the look of the Flourite black but in my 3g the grain size looks huge. I've got enough left over for a few more tanks. lol

SteveU
 
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