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Old 04-06-2015, 03:40 PM   #1
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Best substrate for planted tanks?

For those of you who have experience with a successful planted aquarium. What is the Best substrate for planted tanks? Dirt? Petsmart has a planted substrate in a bag. Not sure of the name . Looking for advice as I'm going to attempt a small planted aquarium soon. Thanks for any advice in advance Ppl

Any idea what kind of substrate was used in this aquarium.?

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Old 04-07-2015, 11:18 AM   #2
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There are a bunch of different types of substrates out there. Some of it depends on the types of plants you're planning to grow.

If you're looking for a low light low tech setup I'd probably recommend Eco Complete, it's a pretty good price for 20 lb bags and it works really well to grow plants.

There is also ADA aqua soil which I've heard is really good, though a bit more pricey.

Flora max is made from the same company as Eco complete I believe, and is a bit cheaper.

You can use some type of planting soil and cap it with sand or gravel, though if you're planning on switching your scape up a lot I wouldn't recommend it cause it can be a bit messy.

Depending on your setup you could even do sand. But I'd stay away from Flourite as I've heard it isn't great to work with and is outclassed in general by other substrates like ec and floramax.

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Old 04-07-2015, 11:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gab_attack View Post
There are a bunch of different types of substrates out there. Some of it depends on the types of plants you're planning to grow.

If you're looking for a low light low tech setup I'd probably recommend Eco Complete, it's a pretty good price for 20 lb bags and it works really well to grow plants.

There is also ADA aqua soil which I've heard is really good, though a bit more pricey.

Flora max is made from the same company as Eco complete I believe, and is a bit cheaper.

You can use some type of planting soil and cap it with sand or gravel, though if you're planning on switching your scape up a lot I wouldn't recommend it cause it can be a bit messy.

Depending on your setup you could even do sand. But I'd stay away from Flourite as I've heard it isn't great to work with and is outclassed in general by other substrates like ec and floramax.

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I have floramax in my planted tank and my sword seems to LOVE it!! Click image for larger version

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Old 04-07-2015, 01:31 PM   #4
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Ecocomplete is a common favorite. So is Aquasoil.

I use Flourite and Ecocomplete in my tank.


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Old 04-07-2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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Honestly, substrate isn't super important. The time invested in maintaining the tank is far far far more important than the perfect substrate.

My normal example:
My 55g tank with plain black diamond blasting sand and root tabs. I had more than enough time to devote to maintaining this tank and it flourished because of it.



I transferred everything to a dirted 40b and just don't have the time to invest in keeping my tank up to par anymore. This is how it is now.... That piece of mopani isn't helping things any with the tannins.




Now to actually answer your question. If I were to invest in a special planted substrate, I would choose Eco complete over pretty much any of the others.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:46 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for their input . Here's what my local petsmart has. Click image for larger version

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Old 04-08-2015, 03:25 PM   #7
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I'd go with the floramax over the flourite

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Old 04-08-2015, 04:00 PM   #8
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I believe Eco complete and FloraMax are the same thing-crushed lava rock. The difference is $$ and the eco complete has liquid in the bag while floramax doesn't.

Out of the two options(floramax vs. flourite) I would go with floramax. Haven't tried or read up on flourite so I can't make a decision on it.

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Old 04-08-2015, 04:15 PM   #9
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I believe Eco complete and FloraMax are the same thing-crushed lava rock. The difference is $$ and the eco complete has liquid in the bag while floramax doesn't.

Out of the two options(floramax vs. flourite) I would go with floramax. Haven't tried or read up on flourite so I can't make a decision on it.

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Flourite can make a mess of things I use floramax


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Old 04-08-2015, 05:25 PM   #10
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Flourite can make a mess of things I use floramax


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Every substrate can make a mess of things at first if you don't wash it. I wash all my substrates before adding to a tank. Never had a problem out of Flourite.


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