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Guys,

What are your recommendations for planted tank supplies? I’m trying to get an idea of where to makes purchases of material and equip. I don’t want to spend extra money just for a name brand unless it is quality.
What websites and brands do you recommend? Should I use all ADA substrate / ferts? Please help me understand.
Thanks
 

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For substrates, depending on your location/availability, you could look into things like ADA, EcoComplete, even sand.

For fertilizers, the cheapest will be bulk chemicals; these can often be found at hydroponics stores (A pound or two will last a long time!)

For other equipment, some of the name brand stuff is good (heaters, filters, lights). For smaller tools (scissors, tweezers, etc), I just use whatever I have readily available. A good pair of sharp scissors is invaluable, as are long tweezers (you can probably find these cheap on Amazon, or even the dollar store).
 

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For fertilizer I recommend Nicolg products if in America. They have an all in one fertilizer which is easy to dose or you can buy dry salts from them and mix your own.

For substrates and anything big I recommend finding a good local fish store (not a big box chain) since they will likely have the best prices (you won't pay shipping). If they sell good quality plants so much the better.

For lights, filters, etc. It depends on tank size and budget. Recommendations for a 5 gallon are vastly different than a 200 gallon.

For hardscape, the cheapest option is picking stuff up from the woods because it's free. Local laws may apply. After that landscaping supply companies are good for stone and local fish stores are good for wood.
 
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