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Old 02-17-2013, 11:32 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Western New York
Substrate for planted tanks

What type of substrate would I need for a planted tank? I see on AB someone selling a special 2 pack "dirt looking" substrate? I am new to the planted tank idea, but thought I could plant in gravel and/or sand? Perhaps it depends on what I want to plant?

All I want to plant are plants that are good for my bettas and also in my snail tanks.

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:43 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Washington, United States
I've always just done gravel or sand and it's worked fine for me. The plants rooted and everything... But, I am not a plant expert. The others will know ;)
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:59 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Urbandale, IA
I've used soil, sand and gravel. From my experience soil will give you the best growth out of all the substrates but it's a difficult to clean and rearrange. Gravel has grown all my plants and allow for easy uprooting and rearranging if you don't like the placement. Sand, I haven't had too much experience with sand but so far I prefer this the least.

In conclusion if you want the best utility go with gravel but if you want the best growth, use soil(organic and fertilizer free) with a sand cap to prevent muddy water.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:11 AM   #4 
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Eco-complete works great and you won't have to dose with root tabs that way!
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:03 PM   #5 
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Location: Massachusetts
You can use anything for low-light tanks. I've used Eco-Complete, sand, and organic soil with sand cap all successfully with my tanks.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:08 PM   #6 
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I'm using gravel, I'm having minimal growth but it is growing. I just use fert and co2 booster.
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planted tank, plants, substrate

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