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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What is the best substrate for a planted tank that won't alter the water parameters or cause an ammonia spike? I am planning to add eco-complete to my 10 gallon aquarium, which is already established. Will adding the new substrate cause an ammonia, nitrate or nitrite spike? And will it cause a pH swing? Will I have to cycle the tank again, even if I keep the same water in the tank as I had before changing the substrate? I need some advice on this. Thanks. :icon_mrgr
 

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Eco is inert and didn't mess with my pH at all. Some people have reported differently saying that it raised the pH but I did not experience any of that.

And as long as you have a decent filter changing out the substrate should not cause any spikes except for a nitrate spike if the old substrate is particularly dirty. But the water changes and plants will fix that anyways.
 

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i have 2 bags of eco-complete in my 10 gallon. have had algae and ph problems but i'm assuming its my local well water causing this. from what i gather the biological filtering of your substrate is minimal. there is a post somewhere in this forum where a guy named Snapple changes his substrate to eco-complete while his fish are still in the tank. i couldn't find it with the search. i remember Snapple has a tire with blinging rim on it in his profile pic. anyway, Snapple loved the eco-complete until he upgraded to ada aqua soil and then he said he'd only use ada soil from then on. i think he grew out some hairgrass and then quit his tank. some people may remember Snapple giant ball of japonica.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...um/28520-snapples-90-gal-final-aquascape.html

somewhere in here, boss is looming around my desk, need to get back to work :/
 

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I am in the midst of experimenting with substrate. If I had the money I would buy Red Sea Flora Base. It is sold at Dr Foster & Smith ,

Since I don't have the money I am making my substrate
Bottom
Scotts potting soil
Middle
Scotts
Top soil------------------- 8 cups
Organic Charcoal crushed---2 cups
Dolomite--------------------------- 1 cup
Calcium sulfate------------------ 3 Tbs

Sodium bicarb------------------- 3 Tbs
Top
River sand

To enhance the mineral content I will be letting the river sand soak for a week. Also in a separate bucket will soak the middle substrate for a week. This is my version of mineralised soil.
 
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