The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just bored and sick of YouTube. Thought I would check out the forum and share the little wisdom that I do have pertaining to substrates and my personal experience. Comment with your favorite combo. If it be a single substrate, layers, custom-DIY or retail-Aquasoil etc... Defend your experience and conclusions!

1.Custom organic dirt- I don't care for it. Not worth the mess, what is the point.
2.Mineralized topsoil- I feel a little better about it considering there are less organics. But it is still dirt. What is the point. I do not like the mess.
3. ADA-Aquasoil- Now this is a lot better. Compounding agent seems to be used to hold the dirt together in the form of pellets-if someone could please explain how this is done. Less mess, but for me, unless you get the powder form, is hard to plant in. The plants don't stick down in the hole as easily and it seems too spongy making them want to rise back out. And of course it is expensive when taking shipping into consideration. And I have had the biggest and longest lasting algae outbreaks using Aquasoil. I don't think the plant growth really outweighs the cons.


4. Substrate-EcoComplete/rootabs- Now for me this is the winner. It isn't messy, the plants can easily be planted and will stay put. It is very inexpensive, for me, I live close to the LFS. Now it isn't that great all on its own, but with the use of Osmocote+ or DynamitePlantfood DIY root tabs it is outstanding! I can get even better plant growth using this combo than I can with Aquasoil. I don't understand why more people don't use it. Slow release chemically balanced pellets. Who wouldn't want that in their substrate. I don't ever get huge gigantic algae outbreaks. I was even doing huge water changes and still had major algae issues. I am still having some algae issues with my Aquasoil tank. Now this all could be from the fact that I am used to Eco/root tabs so I know how to manage my dosing and what not. If that be the case then I will continue with what I know. Now I am not saying my Aquasoil tank doesn't grow plants remarkably well because it does. I am just saying that Aquasoils pros don't outweigh the cons and Eco/root tabs is easier to manage in my experience. I do my own custom perpetual dosing schedule not EI method. This is what works for me. Share what works for you and what you like. Don't start any subjective or what you may think objective arguments. This is just for fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"2.Mineralized topsoil- I feel a little better about it considering there are less organics. But it is still dirt. What is the point."

For me the point is plants grow in dirt in nature.
Haha, very true, great point. They also grow under sunlight and not in a glass box. LOL

Too messy. I don't need to use it to get amazing plant growth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good point Frank!

I use ADA AS, Eco, Flourite, Clay, and MTS all mixed together. I get all the pros and alot less of the cons
Now that sounds like a good idea. I have done Eco and Aquasoil in the past. And I have tried Eco with MTS, but never all of them at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad to see another YouTuber off the videos for a bit. I haven't posted a video in awhile since I needed a bit of a break too.
I don't have the same amount of experience as you do, but I have been pondering the same. I will offer a slightly different perspective since I haven't tried anything other than mineralized topsoil and safe t sorb.
The only complaints I have about safe t sorb are that it is dusty and can make a mess. That and it is lightweight and can get blown around the tank until you learn how to work around that.
In terms of aesthetics, I like the look of the Aquasoil, but given the price, I would probably opt for ecocomplete.
But I have also heard decent things about Fluval stratum and I really like the way it looks. So I might try that at some point.
Another idea I have been toying around with is capping one of the above substrates with sand since I think it would be easy to plant in--and I think it works well with a lot of different catfishes that I have been interested in keeping. From the best I can tell, all of the inert substrates (eco, flourite, stratum, etc) are about the same, so I think at some point it is just about whether you like the look of it or not-- or other factors like you mentioned i.e. how well it holds down plants.
I haven't tried the Stratum. I have done Eco with MTS and I have done Aquasoil with Eco. I have used Flourite in the past and don't like the overall texture, it is a lot more flat and it is super dirty. You can see that for me I can't handle mess and the reason isn't OCD it is because I am constantly rescaping little section here and there to get it just right. And slow release pellets are going to provide way more balanced nutrients than even MTS. I know you are using it right now which is fine. It is always nice to find your own method. But I am done with all that jazz. The more you get into it the easier you want it to be. That's why people turn to Neptune Apex controllers and what not. For me Eco with Osmocote+ and Aquavitro grows plants amazingly well and I don't have to work as hard and I do very little water changes. Now Aquasoil works just as good I just don't think plants root very well in it. I know everyone would probably disagree, but my plants do way better in Eco than in Aquasoil. And with shipping it IS more expensive.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top