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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a 20 gallon long for free!!! I was just seeing if anyone has any ideas of what would be a good black substrate. I'm looking for something that is pretty nutrient complete and great for plants.Also something safe for for cories and shrimp. Any suggestion would be great!

Thanks
 

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Most solutions are inert and so they don't have any nutrients. Having said that, they're still great for planted tanks bc plants can grab and hold onto the substrate and they're capable of holding nutrients that you introduce into a tank (i.e. potting soil, roots tabs, column ferts).

Good choices are:

Eco-Complete
Flourite
Amazonia
Fluval Stratum

ADA substrates are not inert, they release ammonia, and are typically the cadillac class of substrates - also the priciest.

I personally like Eco-Complete.
 

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I've used ADA Aquasoil, Eco-Complete, Flourite, and Turface. All comes down to how much you want to spend. Eco-Complete and Flourite are about the same in price and in quality (both high quality inert substrates). Turface will be a lot cheaper, but it doesn't come in black, only in dark grey (which can be hard to find these days), and it also is very light in weight compared to the Eco and Flourite so it was annoying for me to plant in (hence why I don't use it anymore).

Right now I use Aquasoil in my 60-P and a mix of AS and Eco-Complete in my 120g. I guess my bottom line is, if money is no object, aqua soil all the way. If money is a concern, but you want something really nice, Eco-Complete.

Final notes: 3M used to make a product called Colorquartz that was like sand and came in pitch black. It's been discontinued as a product, but you can still find it in some pool supply stores. Also, MTS (Mineralized Top Soil) may be worth looking into if you are a DIYer as a way to provide a nutrient rich substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have you guys ever tried using flourite black sand? or the black fluorite? Do these substrate have inert? or will i need to add something to them?
 
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