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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

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    Question Substrate for Beginner planted tank.


    0 Not allowed!
    Hello. I really want to begin aquascaping and planted tanks. I've tried to do a lot of research but there are a lot of different opinions and a lot of different options when it comes to planted tanks. I've watched a lot of videos and have read a lot and they tell me to mix gravel or sand into the substrate or make it into layers so like, enriched minerals, soil, and then sand or gravel. I just want to make a very basic planted tank. I'm going to try it out first on my 10 Gallon Betta tank and if things go well I would really like to do the same with my 30g Angel Tank. When I went to look at dirt the other day the package told me not to put gravel or sand with it, that it should just stand alone. The majority of videos i've seen are using soil at the bottom and then some sort of like nutrient enriched top soil and gravel. I did not buy it because I wasn't sure what to do. So should I buy it and just use the dirt or are there other things that I need to buy.

  2. #2

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    1 Not allowed!
    Honestly I never tried dirt in a tank, I couldn't imaging it working well with water clarity and I don't like capping layers off with other substrates. I know a lot of people have no problem growing plants in sand. I use a product called Eco-Complete from Carib-Sea and have for about 8 years now. I like it and it is in my 75 gallon right now. I had a 29 gallon and went from gravel to sand-but wanted something better for the plants so I did a 50/50 with Eco. Then when I upgraded to the 55 I added all Eco, it will never wear out (like dirt). It is an ion exchanger and pulls/stores nutrients from the water column for the plants. I like it so much it is in my 5 five gallon beta tanks, my 10 and 20 gallon microfish and shrimp tanks. My tanks in the future that will be planted will have Eco-complete. To me its worth it.
    75 Gourami/Eel tank
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    DebinWhitmore

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    I'll add my vote for Eco complete. I have it in three tanks - a 40b, 25g and 20g. I switched to Caribsea Super Naturals Tahitian Moon sand for 2 of my 5g tanks and those have done well, but I do not have heavy root feeders in those. I tried a 3rd substrate - Caribsea Instant Ocean - which is also a sand in my last 20g tank. While I loved this sand at first, I'm now not happy with it. It's been great as far as ease of planting, but I have had all kinds of diatoms and hair algae and other algae in this tank. I find it harder to keep clean even though it's the black Tahitian Moon sand.

    Eco Complete is great for planting, easy to gravel vac and needs NO rinsing before use. It's packed in a liquid. I've had great luck with this.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    I have Eco Complete and a dirted tank with sand cap. Of the two I like the Eco Complete better. The dirt one is a lot of hassle if you plan on adding anything after the fact. You can also add a little flourite to the eco complete and just mix them together and it'll look nice. To be honest, all that does is help boost the plant growth but isn't really necessary for plant growth. My other tank is nothing but gravel and it is booming, it just took longer to get there. So if you really want to kick start your plants, go with the plant specific substrate. If you don't want to spend the money you can just go with regular gravel or sand and let the plants do their thing.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  5. #5

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    1 Not allowed!
    Pool filter sand, plants do great with it, around $6 for a 50 pound bag

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Quikrete-...5350/202314677
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  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by SueD View Post
    I'll add my vote for Eco complete. I have it in three tanks - a 40b, 25g and 20g. I switched to Caribsea Super Naturals Tahitian Moon sand for 2 of my 5g tanks and those have done well, but I do not have heavy root feeders in those. I tried a 3rd substrate - Caribsea Instant Ocean - which is also a sand in my last 20g tank. While I loved this sand at first, I'm now not happy with it. It's been great as far as ease of planting, but I have had all kinds of diatoms and hair algae and other algae in this tank. I find it harder to keep clean even though it's the black Tahitian Moon sand.

    Eco Complete is great for planting, easy to gravel vac and needs NO rinsing before use. It's packed in a liquid. I've had great luck with this.
    I added some tahitian moon sand to the 10 and 20 ( though it would be better for the shrimp/micro-fish) and now wish I hadn't. It looks nice but is a pain to clean and I have problems getting the plants to stay down-which is why I added Eco to both tanks, so its 75% eco and 25% sand. Wish it was 100% eco but too late now. Hey live and learn, right.
    75 Gourami/Eel tank
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  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    My first planted tank was 30 gal now 55 gal. I used play sand (rinsed well) and have black aqurium sand on top. Its similer to ECO COMPLETE but I think it was store brand. I don't remember anymore. Low light and no co2 my java ferns, amazon swords and anubius are great looking.
    New tank is 30 gal with miracle gro organic potting soil and old fish gravel mixed, mostly soil. With some aqua sand on top to cap. Does well but heavy algae issues. I mostly have java fern and a few anubius in it along with some argentine swords. It can be messy and like I said, lots of algae unless heavy planted. I'd stick with sand or eco complete. It works just fine. I'm finding the plants don't seem to care as long as they get nutrients somehow from maybe root tabs or ferts. Most of the time mine is left alone to grow however it can and I've ha good luck with it
    Define busy ~
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  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Eco Complete is not sand. There is no sand, store brand comparison. It is like a very small pumice rock, in no way sand-like.
    Last edited by Boundava; 06-20-2015 at 01:57 AM.
    75 Gourami/Eel tank
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    DebinWhitmore

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