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View Poll Results: Which substrate should I use?
Inert white sand 0 0%
Black sand (Tahitian Moon Sand) 5 50.00%
Eco-Complete 1 10.00%
Seachem Flourite 2 20.00%
Try another NPT 0 0%
Plain ol' gravel 1 10.00%
Something else 1 10.00%
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:11 AM   #1 
Bombalurina
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Which substrate should I get?

My NPT failed somewhat, so I am going to re-do the tank (still planted, but with a totally different look) and I am curious to see what people think I should use as a substrate. Bear in mind it's all hellishly expensive.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #2 
sparketta
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If you end up with Fluorite, make sure you rinse it really well, even if the water is running mostly clear. Don't leave it in the bag to rinse, put it in a strainer or something. I just ran into a problem of not rinsing it well enough and I had a column of dust for a few days, which still hasn't completely settled or be filtered out. Other than that, in my years' past planted tanks, it worked really well!
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #3 
eden000
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I'd go for stratum; it has more nutrients than eco-complete. If you don't mind me asking - what went wrong with the NPT?
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #4 
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I like ADA aquasoil. Prices seem to have dropped way down in Australia for it. I know it was not on your list, but I prefer it over inert substrates such as gravel and sand.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:39 PM   #5 
Bombalurina
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Eden - I think it might be my lights that caused the plant die-off, but a large part of the problem was my cories deciding that the dirt would look better on top of the sand, rather than the other way around. Much as I adore cories, once these happy fellows leave me, I shan't be getting more for this tank. I shall just get pygmy cories for my non-planting Amazon tank upstairs.

LBF - thanks, I shall look into that. Do you have a preferred supplier? :)
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #6 
LittleBettaFish
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I use Exotic Aquatic in Melbourne. I believe he does ship and looking at the in store prices of some of these substrates, I think even with the shipping you would only be paying around the same amount.

ADA Amazonia contains the most nutrients. However, it also has the highest ammonia spike of the three substrates. I never really noticed any ammonia spike with Malaya or Africana. However, these are obviously not as rich in nutrients as Amazonia.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:56 PM   #7 
Bombalurina
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Hopefully the ammonia won't be too much of a problem - my water softness and low pH would (theoretically) convert it into ammonium, and I'd be dosing Prime daily to neutralise any spikes. I have to put the fish in the same day - do you think that would be problematic?
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:01 PM   #8 
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Hmm. How many plants do you have in there?

I have used Malaya and Africana in tanks with fish in there already, and because neither of these soils release a large amount of ammonia, the massive amounts of floating plants I had in these tanks were able to absorb whatever ammonia was produced. I never tested any spikes in my parameters in the initial weeks after switching the substrate.

However, Amazonia can easily push the ammonia up to 8ppm. I'm not sure how plants would cope with that.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #9 
Bombalurina
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WOW. What do you do in such situations? That sounds dangerous. I might go with something less scary...
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:10 PM   #10 
LittleBettaFish
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Generally people fishless cycle tanks with ADA soils using the ammonia spike as their ammonia source.
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