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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be a dumb question but...

I'm planning a new tank, and I'm trying to decide if a cheap inert substrate (like blasting grit, for example) would be sufficient for my needs. I'm not really planning on planting anything that derives nutrients from the soil - just anubias varieties and bolbitis for now.

However, I have heard that substrates like ADA aquasoil can have lots of benefits for an aquarium, such as adjusting the pH and absorbing excessive nutrients out of the water column.

So what are your thoughts? Can I use an inert substrate and still have a healthy tank? Or would it be worth considering aquasoil, even if I'm not planting directly in it? Or is there another option I might consider?

Many thanks.
 

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This may be a dumb question but...

I'm planning a new tank, and I'm trying to decide if a cheap inert substrate (like blasting grit, for example) would be sufficient for my needs. I'm not really planning on planting anything that derives nutrients from the soil - just anubias varieties and bolbitis for now.

However, I have heard that substrates like ADA aquasoil can have lots of benefits for an aquarium, such as adjusting the pH and absorbing excessive nutrients out of the water column.

So what are your thoughts? Can I use an inert substrate and still have a healthy tank? Or would it be worth considering aquasoil, even if I'm not planting directly in it? Or is there another option I might consider?

Many thanks.
For me, I've had my best results using blasting abrasive over "nutrient rich" substrate. I can't speak for aquasoil as I've never used it.
 

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I would go with the blasting sand, if that is the look you like.
If your tap water is not the right parameters (GH etc) for the fish you want to keep, then it is better to adjust the water before you use it in the tank. If you depend on the substrate to make the adjustment for you then you will be subjecting your livestock to varying conditions with each water change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback everyone. @Diana - Good point about the water parameters, I hadn't really thought about it that way. Also, @ichy - I like the root tab idea. I hadn't considered it.

Well I'll probably go with some kind of inert sand then. Any recommendations? I've heard of pool sand? Blasting grit?
 

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Blasting sand if you like black, pool filter sand if you like white-ish
exactly

AND just FYI. Blasting sand comes in different grades of fineness....I use the medium grit.

Bump: Hey UrsaMajor...if you tell me you are in the Mpls, Mn area you can have a 50lb bag for free!
 

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I'm at a standstill with my tank as well on this. There seems to be no consensus lol.. I've not had much luck with root tabs, but have had an easier time with Aquasoil.

Much rather have sand though.. OP at least with blasting sand or any black sand, you can cap over flourite black sand or dirt. I'm looking at dark brown sand and am leaning at capping over Aquasoil powder but am worried it will just become a mess..
 

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I use pool filter sand and have just resorted to shoving some root tabs in there every few months whenever my Swords show signs of being unhappy, usually very thin and almost see through leaves. I do regret the use of a light colored sand because it does show everything. For whatever reason I'm having difficulties in getting the flow just right so the white sand has little pockets where the debris and detritus settles.

Sent from my XT1095 using Tapatalk
 

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I love the look of the blasting sand! Where do you guys source this stuff from. They don't have it at my big box store in town (Lowes). Also, how many pounds would I need for a 6' 125 gallon tank??

Thanks!!!
Look up tractor supply co. I just picked one up from there. Look for the 20/40 (medium) grit one because there is a much finer version.

You're probably looking at around 160 pounds with a 2" substrate depth.
 
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