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Old 07-03-2020, 05:18 PM   #1
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Cheap/DIY substrate for planted aquarium?

Hey guys, I'm wondering if anyone could share some experiences of how to DIY cheap substrate or what cheap substrate you used for planted aquarium and it's a success.

I'm asking this because I just got a 350-gallon fish tank and I'd always prefer real live planted aquarium instead of plastic decorations. I used to use Carib Sea Eco-Complete or Seachem Flourite and of course they work very good but expensive, especially if I want to use all of those in this 350 gallon tank.

I have a few ideas but really don't know if any of them will work because I have never tried to use other substrates besides Carib Sea Eco-Complete or Seachem Flourite.

1. mix of top soil and Carib Sea Eco-Complete or Seachem Flourite? Do I need to process top soil? How?

2. top soil on the bottom and gravel or sand or something above the top soil?

3. some type of dirt on the bottom then something on the top?

As long as the substrate substitute doesn't cloud the tank every time I do water change and also provides plants enough nutrition and foundation for their roots, I'm all up for them. Please share your thoughts! Thank you.
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:49 PM   #2
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You can do the dirt with a pool filter sand cap. I've never had pool filter sand cloud up my tank and it looks good but most importantly it's cheap.
I got a 50lbs bag for $10
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