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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Merry Christmas! - Lab_Rat thank you for the birthday wishes - mommy1 Happy One Year AC Anniversary! - Rue For being understanding, thank you - Cliff (closest I could find to a catfish) Thanks for the nomination! - sheamurai 
    Thank you for the MOTM nomination - mommy1 I think you deserve a random gift. Yes, I think you do. - PhillipOrigami For being a fellow MA native! - Lolita Happy Birthday to you. - jeffs99dime Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    It's a Christmas Bunny, Merry Christmas. - gadget228 I've not seen anyone with an umbrella here. You seem to have an odd collection of gifts...so here's my contribution. :-) - ~firefly~ "genocidex;1139790]stupid question... but would i be able to use lawn clovers in a tank?  lol"  REALLY - Strider199 crayfish! - Brhino thanks for sharing - sheamurai 
    For filling out my school! :) - Flyby Stardancer silly rabbit... - sheamurai They say one of these a day keeps doctors away.... - Trillianne Day Two... - Trillianne Thanks for the frogbit very much :) - Greentoads41 
    World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - genocidex 

    Default over view of cheapish substrates for aquariums


    0 Not allowed!
    geesh i thought this would have already been compiled but any ways:
    with the ever slim budgets we give our selves fro starting fish tanks, substrates can easily break the bank. heres a list of some that can be used in aquariums with good luck.

    black diamond sand blasting grit 8$/50# bag.
    *cat litter non sented or treated please so many choices prices could be 8$+/40#
    Safe-t-sorb 8$/50# bag
    Floramax 9$/15# bag or 10$ /12# bag (this is the black) *petsmart online pricing*
    turface pro league (price not certain and varies sorry) details here: http://www.turface.com/turface-produ...ace-pro-league
    oil-dri ~10$/20# bag
    pool filter sand ~8$/50# bag
    play sand ~4$/50# bag
    "aquarium" sand/gravel ~20$/20# bag
    eco-complete sand/gravel ~23$/20# bag (off sale)
    seachem flourite ~20$/20# bag (off sale)
    organic potting soil. varies.


    sand that inert from the list:
    black diamond
    safe-t-sorb
    oil-dri
    pool fitler/play sand
    "aquarium" sand/gravel"
    cat litter

    might contain nutrients for plants:
    cat litter (depends on what you buy)
    turface pro league
    organic potting soil

    made for planted tank:
    floramax
    eco complete.
    seachem flourite


    please note that just because you use an inert substrate doesnt mean you cant plant. you might just need to use root tabs (depending on the plant)
    also all aquarium substrates should be rinsed before adding them into a tank. some more than others.

    *cat litter. this can be both inert and has some nutrients for plants. make sure you arent using anything that has been treated for scents or anything like that. flourite based cate litters can be cheap and great for plants (as good as flourite from seachem). do your research on what brand you use before you use it please*

    hopes this helps every one with their choices in aquarium substrates.

    BTW these are the more common ones ive come across from reading/using there are most likely more.

    KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

  2. #2

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    Congrats on the cycles! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the Rep and the gift :) - steeler58 Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 Thx4 - pRED 
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    Cesarean Sections - Headaches - Hospice Care - Multiple Myeloma - gronlaura 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Also, Quikrete Commercial Grade Medium Sand (bag is tan and green) from Home Depot - $4.27 for 50 lbs. It is very light colored and looks really nice. No washing necessary.
    My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
    My 75 gal - Gold Pristella Tetras, Scissortail Rasboras, Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, Leopard & Zebra Danios, Wild Caught BNP
    My Dual 29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Harlequin Rasboras
    Future 40 Long - Rummynose Tetras and Cories

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Bag of white sand from menards, 3$. 50 lbs

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I wouldn't really consider safe-t-sorb, oil-dri, or cat littler to be truly inert, even if they don't have any nutrients to begin with. The reason being that they have a high CEC (cation exchange capacity) which allows them to absorb nutrients, making them great for planted tanks. You can soak them in a nutrient solution before placing them in a tank so that the nutrients are immediately available to the plant roots, or you can just add them right away and they'll absorb nutrients from the water column. This won't happen with truly inert substrates like aquarium gravel or play sand.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Merry Christmas! - Lab_Rat thank you for the birthday wishes - mommy1 Happy One Year AC Anniversary! - Rue For being understanding, thank you - Cliff (closest I could find to a catfish) Thanks for the nomination! - sheamurai 
    Thank you for the MOTM nomination - mommy1 I think you deserve a random gift. Yes, I think you do. - PhillipOrigami For being a fellow MA native! - Lolita Happy Birthday to you. - jeffs99dime Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    It's a Christmas Bunny, Merry Christmas. - gadget228 I've not seen anyone with an umbrella here. You seem to have an odd collection of gifts...so here's my contribution. :-) - ~firefly~ "genocidex;1139790]stupid question... but would i be able to use lawn clovers in a tank?  lol"  REALLY - Strider199 crayfish! - Brhino thanks for sharing - sheamurai 
    For filling out my school! :) - Flyby Stardancer silly rabbit... - sheamurai They say one of these a day keeps doctors away.... - Trillianne Day Two... - Trillianne Thanks for the frogbit very much :) - Greentoads41 
    World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - genocidex 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry for the confusion i was trying to say they didnt have nutrients from the start. Tho some cat litter is flourite based and has good nutrients
    KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    No need to apologize, my info was merely an add-on Great list btw. I'm sure this will help many newbies interested in setting up a planted tank. I'm sure many people get deterred when they start seeing all the costs involved for adding plants.

    I personally like to mix plant-substrates with inert to save some money, so in my setup I have 80# eco-complete and 50# blasting sand. That way I can get the height I need and still have some high-CEC substrate for the heavy root feeders. Root tabs are good to use because the eco-complete will absorb the nutrients and allow a slow release for the plants, but many plants are fine simply pulling nutrients from the water column.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Merry Christmas! - Lab_Rat thank you for the birthday wishes - mommy1 Happy One Year AC Anniversary! - Rue For being understanding, thank you - Cliff (closest I could find to a catfish) Thanks for the nomination! - sheamurai 
    Thank you for the MOTM nomination - mommy1 I think you deserve a random gift. Yes, I think you do. - PhillipOrigami For being a fellow MA native! - Lolita Happy Birthday to you. - jeffs99dime Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    It's a Christmas Bunny, Merry Christmas. - gadget228 I've not seen anyone with an umbrella here. You seem to have an odd collection of gifts...so here's my contribution. :-) - ~firefly~ "genocidex;1139790]stupid question... but would i be able to use lawn clovers in a tank?  lol"  REALLY - Strider199 crayfish! - Brhino thanks for sharing - sheamurai 
    For filling out my school! :) - Flyby Stardancer silly rabbit... - sheamurai They say one of these a day keeps doctors away.... - Trillianne Day Two... - Trillianne Thanks for the frogbit very much :) - Greentoads41 
    World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - genocidex 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    indeed i was hoping enough people would see this and find it useful. not even with just planted tanks but for show tanks as well. i found after reading all this, i cant stand paying any more than a buck/# for any substrate... i know i missed some of the very special ones (eco complete cichlid, and argonite sands ect,) but i have little experience with those and they arent cheap lol
    KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hmm.. it's always good to have a list of usable cheap alternatives. Personally I'd gladly pay a few euros more for quality. That stuff needs to last a few years since replacing it essentially means a rebuilt.

    Cat litter. I know people use it, I also know a few horror stories. Waht I do wonder, doesn't it leak tons of calcium?

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Merry Christmas! - Lab_Rat thank you for the birthday wishes - mommy1 Happy One Year AC Anniversary! - Rue For being understanding, thank you - Cliff (closest I could find to a catfish) Thanks for the nomination! - sheamurai 
    Thank you for the MOTM nomination - mommy1 I think you deserve a random gift. Yes, I think you do. - PhillipOrigami For being a fellow MA native! - Lolita Happy Birthday to you. - jeffs99dime Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    It's a Christmas Bunny, Merry Christmas. - gadget228 I've not seen anyone with an umbrella here. You seem to have an odd collection of gifts...so here's my contribution. :-) - ~firefly~ "genocidex;1139790]stupid question... but would i be able to use lawn clovers in a tank?  lol"  REALLY - Strider199 crayfish! - Brhino thanks for sharing - sheamurai 
    For filling out my school! :) - Flyby Stardancer silly rabbit... - sheamurai They say one of these a day keeps doctors away.... - Trillianne Day Two... - Trillianne Thanks for the frogbit very much :) - Greentoads41 
    World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - genocidex 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    some of them might but thats why i said you need to research the brand/type you use. there is pure clay based cat litter that can be "charged" to hold lots of nutrients for plants and theres also flourite based cat litters, that has the same affects on plants as seachem flourite substrate.

    you need to be careful using the cat litters as it easy to slip, they can have loads of random things in it for odor control and clumping... worst yet theres no "aquarium safe" seal on it... lol...

    capping the litter with some other substate also prevents some clouding issues, and a good rinse helps too. i will be doing a pro con in a bit
    KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    methuen ma usa
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    Merry Christmas! - Lab_Rat thank you for the birthday wishes - mommy1 Happy One Year AC Anniversary! - Rue For being understanding, thank you - Cliff (closest I could find to a catfish) Thanks for the nomination! - sheamurai 
    Thank you for the MOTM nomination - mommy1 I think you deserve a random gift. Yes, I think you do. - PhillipOrigami For being a fellow MA native! - Lolita Happy Birthday to you. - jeffs99dime Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    It's a Christmas Bunny, Merry Christmas. - gadget228 I've not seen anyone with an umbrella here. You seem to have an odd collection of gifts...so here's my contribution. :-) - ~firefly~ "genocidex;1139790]stupid question... but would i be able to use lawn clovers in a tank?  lol"  REALLY - Strider199 crayfish! - Brhino thanks for sharing - sheamurai 
    For filling out my school! :) - Flyby Stardancer silly rabbit... - sheamurai They say one of these a day keeps doctors away.... - Trillianne Day Two... - Trillianne Thanks for the frogbit very much :) - Greentoads41 
    World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - genocidex 

    Post pros and cons


    0 Not allowed!

    black diamond: pros, looks great, easy to find, cheap. Cons, needs a good rinsing, needs to be looked over carfully (known to possibly have metal shards in it never in my packs tho…), completely inter (wont hold on to nutrients for plants)

    pool filter sand: pros, super easy to find, super cheap, looks good if you like light colors. Cons, diatoms are likely a problem, waist from fish is super visible, needs a good rinse. Very fine might cause gas buildup if too deep.

    play sand: *see pool filter* additional con, less uniform in size than pool filter sand.

    cat litter: pros, cheap, doesn’t look half bad (depending on what you buy), variety of styles. Cons, needs a good rinsing, might be harmful if not careful, might make ph/hardness rise, needs a lot of research before buying.

    Safe-t-sorb: pros, cheap, looks good (not to dark not to bright), not a sand, not very ruff edges, easily “charged” with nutrients for plants. Cons, needs a good rinse, not very consistent sized grit.

    turface pro league: pros, looks good, 4 different colors, easily charged for plants. Cons, seems like its hard to find, needs a good rinse, not sure on pricing.

    oil-dri : pros, cheap, easy to find (who doesn’t have a walmart around…) not very ruff edges, easily “charged” with nutrients for plants. Cons, needs a good rinse, not very consistent sized grit, lighter than safetsorb.

    "aquarium" sand/gravel: pros, made for aquariums, comes in all the colors of the rainbow, no worries about toxins, consistant grain sizes. Cons, can be costly, still needs a rinse.

    Floramax: pros, cheapest “aquarium” planted substrate, looks good, made for plants with some nutrients in it. cons: needs a rinse, hard to rinse (clay will cause an issue while directly rinsing), can be expensive in the stores.

    eco-complete: pros ,looks good, made for plants with some nutrients in it, “dosent need rinsing” (I still rinse mine). cons, expensive.
    seachem fluorite: pros, looks good, made for plants with some nutrients in it. cons: needs a rinse, hard to rinse (clay will cause an issue while directly rinsing), can be expensive in the stores.

    organic potting soil: pros, can be great for plants, cheap, available, no rinse. Cons, risk of muddy water, hard to plant new plants/remove others, might leach ammonia into the water (fine if you are doing a fishless cycle but not good any other time).

    Im sure I missed somethings here and there and people will defiantly point them out but that is a quick run down of pros/cons for the substrates.

    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Personally I'd gladly pay a few euros more for quality. That stuff needs to last a few years since replacing it essentially means a rebuilt.
    tbh some of these are as good as the quality stuff you can find in your lfs. in fact i prefer my BDS over the black sands in my lfs as those seemed to turn white under high lighting (being died silica sands i think). for planted tanks the safetsorb, and oildry is very good once you add your own nutrients. eco complete (and the like) will become basically the same thing after just a few months with heavy root feeders...
    Last edited by genocidex; 03-28-2013 at 08:21 AM.
    KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
    I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
    gotta love them bunnies!
    I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!

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