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Substrate

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I'm an unemployed full time student, and I was wondering about substrates. I'm sick of aquarium gravel, I'd like richer, earthier tones than the "natural looking" gravel.

I was told to look into Amazonian Aquasoil, don't think I can afford it.
I was told to look into Schultz Aquasoil, can't find it.
Told to look into Soilmaster Pro, same thing.
Then I was told to look into Turface, which is fired clay and looks kinda sandy brown... not dark enough.

So what is an affordable, dark soil/substrate I can fill in my 29 with that will also benefit the plants?
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Eco-Complete
Fluorite Black
3M Color Quartz (black, t-grade)

Those are your best options. You will need around ~40lbs for a standard 29g. You can order both Eco-Complete and Fluorite from greenleafaquariums.com, so go check them out. The color quartz has to be purchased from a pool-supply or masonry supply company, but it's considerably cheaper if you can find it locally.
 

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Do you have any interest in sand? CaribSea Tahitan Moon Sand is good but it doesn't really benefit plants. Fluortie Black Sand would be a good idea. It cost about $20 per bag but I don't know how many LBS. there are in a bag.
 

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Take a look at the new 'Mineralized Top Soil Substrate' sticky in the
"Substrate" forum if price is your biggest factor other than that
SMS/Turface, SAS, Florite, Eco, and Aquasoil will all do very well.

- Brad
 
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