Thread: Substrate planted tank
06-27-2012, 08:43 PM #1
Substrate planted tank
Hello what are some good substrates for plants? I heard or fluorite, Eco complete and onyx sand. Are these good or are there better substrates?Just because I just joined this site, Doesn't mean I am new to this Hobby!
06-27-2012, 08:58 PM #2
Those are all good for planting. Also if you are feeling adventurous you can use miracle-gro and then top it off with sand or gravel over that. That way the roots have a good soil to grow it but the sand/gravel on top keeps it from ruining your water. The only downside to this is that if the sand/gravel on top get stirred around it can let some of the soil up into the water and make it dirty.
I personally use playsand for my planted tank. Its cheaper and doesn't do anything good for the plants but doesn't do anything bad either. It's worked fine for me so far. Also, a small gravel is good, probably even better than sand.
Stay away from really fine sand as that will make it hard for the roots to grow through it. A more course sand is fine for planting though.
Hope that helps.
06-27-2012, 09:55 PM #3Member Oscar
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Kitty litter with no additives, or oil absorbents such as Safe T Zorb.
They're nothing more than fired clay and have higher CECs than Flourite or Eco Complete.
And they're cheap.
You have to test to make sure whatever brand you use doesnt turn to mush in water though.
06-28-2012, 05:30 AM #4
Well I was planning to do a layering. Some fluorite or plant substrate on the bottom, then sand on top because I was put some Corys or other substrate fish. Also I don't think I can handle kitty litter yet nor miracle grow(second aquarium but first planted).
But I do have miracle growJust because I just joined this site, Doesn't mean I am new to this Hobby!
06-28-2012, 08:31 PM #5
It happens that I did some research on calcined clays and vitrified clays.
Those range in order of hardness - fired clay kitty litter, Oil-Drt, and aquatic substrates including bonsi potting media. I don't have the specific temperature ranges for each product handy, but they they range between 1200 degrees F to 1500 degrees F. Kitty litter at the low end and substrate at the high end.
Vitrified Clay is fired at about 2000 degrees F.
All have a high CEC. Cation Exchange Capacity that depends on the specific clay and not on the firing temperature.
Planted tank mixes usually have some clays, organic material of some sort, and some mineral additives that act as fertilizer.
One of my favorite substrate mixes, for color, is Oil-Dri and Fourite.
06-28-2012, 10:11 PM #6
I use eco-complete and kinda wish i didnt.
I find it very hard to adequately clean - the particles arent very dense and are therefore sucked up with a gravel vac..
Just something to consider if you were considering going that way.150g Malawi + Cuckoo cats
45g Community - Pearl Gouramis, Tetras and Crayfish
06-28-2012, 10:38 PM #7Member Oscar
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
I ran across a few on-line references that said that kitty litter/oil absorbents had CECs around 30. Flourite and Eco Complete were around 10. Peat/soils were around 100. Low temperature fired clays like kitty litter had higher CECs than high termperature clays such as Flourite.
The best substrate I've ever used was my Hi Dri tank. Plants grew like gangbusters with the addition of a few root tabs. I changed it over to black Flourite and I'm not seeing anywhere near the growth. I'm thinking of changing to Safe T Zorb. It looks almost identical to regular Flourite but is only $5 for a fifty pound bag.
07-09-2012, 03:53 PM #8
I use black diamond sandblasting sand $8.99 for 50lb bag. Plants grow fine I use no tabs or liquid fertilizer of any type. However I did transfer these from an established tank where gravel with tabs was used. It has been two months since the transfer and no change in plants is noticeable. Personally I think the fish give off enough for the plants to live off of, and I also think the finer sand helps the roots vs gravel.