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Old 08-25-2011, 07:54 PM   #1
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how to use substrate?

So im starting a 75 gallon planted tank and have been doing a lot of research. I have been reading very conflicting information about the use of substrates. I am looking to use a black colored substrate but am unsure on first what some good brands that I can look for? How many pounds do I need of it? And should I do half substrate and half sand or grab or all substrate?
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:59 PM   #2
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I am looking for black substrate, too. There's Carib Sea Eco Complete & Tahitian Moon Sand, Seachem Fluorite Black, Fluorite Black Sand, Seachem Onyx Sand is dark gray-black, Black Beauty/Black Diamond blasting sand (from what i've read the 20/40 or 30/60 are best for substrate)
These are all really good substrates for planted tanks. Personally, I am still deciding. I'm leaning toward the blasting sand, it is the darkest black and the cheapest of them all, but I'm concerned about how my kuhli loaches will do on it.
I found this helpful....tons of pros and cons for many different substrates. There is another link toward the bottom of the page called data chart something- I missed the first couple of times I read it- It is very helpful as well...talks about the nutrients inherent in each of them.
Substrates for the Planted Aquarium
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:03 PM   #3
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+1 on Eco-Complete, it's black and dark so it looks good with most fish and has nutrients for the plants too.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:11 PM   #4
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+1 on Eco-Complete, it's black and dark so it looks good with most fish and has nutrients for the plants too.
So i still dont understand how many pounds i need. and im still looking for more info on sometihing good to put on the bottom of my tank
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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So i still dont understand how many pounds i need. and im still looking for more info on sometihing good to put on the bottom of my tank
The substrate calculator in the link below show help you ... Good luck!

Substrate Calculator.

With a dark planted tank ... your two options are black blasting sand which I've heard works great! The other is eco-complete if cost isn't an obstacle. which comes with necessary nutrients plants need .. especially when starting up.

With the blasting sand, you'll have to supplement nutrients .... but you'd have to do that with eco complete anyway ... eventually the nutrients it comes with are used up.

If you don't necessarily just the smooth flat look sand has, you can get black gravel at any LFS and mix it with the blasting sand.

One recommendation ... if your going with a dark substrate, also consider a black background (if you haven't already) The two will really make the colors of the stock / plants pop!
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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The substrate calculator in the link below show help you ... Good luck!

Substrate Calculator.

With a dark planted tank ... your two options are black blasting sand which I've heard works great! The other is eco-complete if cost isn't an obstacle. which comes with necessary nutrients plants need .. especially when starting up.

With the blasting sand, you'll have to supplement nutrients .... but you'd have to do that with eco complete anyway ... eventually the nutrients it comes with are used up.

If you don't necessarily just the smooth flat look sand has, you can get black gravel at any LFS and mix it with the blasting sand.

One recommendation ... if your going with a dark substrate, also consider a black background (if you haven't already) The two will really make the colors of the stock / plants pop!
Yeah i have been planning on going with a black background not really sure how I do this just yet but I plan on figuring something out.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
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mi substrate is flush with the trim around bottom of tank
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:44 PM   #8
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You can get black 3m colorquartz (or estes brand) sand from industrial supply places, that's where I get mine from.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:25 PM   #9
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You can get black 3m colorquartz (or estes brand) sand from industrial supply places, that's where I get mine from.
I can't find the 3M quartz anywhere!! Is the Estes something that is sold in fish stores?? The blasting sand is actually my third choice behind Turface and black quartz because I couldn't find either.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:40 PM   #10
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Have anybody tried to use basalt sand?

I saw some in the reptile section of a pet store. Read somewhere that it can be used but haven't heard from anybody who actually tried it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:47 PM   #11
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I can't find the 3M quartz anywhere!! Is the Estes something that is sold in fish stores?? The blasting sand is actually my third choice behind Turface and black quartz because I couldn't find either.
Estes is the same kind sold in fish stores, it's just cheaper through an industrial supply place. You may be able to find out a local one if you contact a pool supply place and ask them if they have any, if they don't, ask them who they get their supplies from. This particular sand is used when setting in ground pools up, I believe they use it as non-slip material.

I dunno about the blasting sand, I've heard it's o.k. but I've also heard that it has iron in it, so idk.
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