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Old 07-19-2014, 06:19 AM   #1 
BambooTikiBettaGirl84
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Substrate help

I currently have my tank with aquarium colored gravel and sand. The sand is confined to a small portion of the front of the tank which is held in place by large zebra rocks and red striped rocks. The colored gravel is on the other side of the rocks. It's meant to look like a white sandy beach kinda haha.

I know that plants can live in gravel and sand but I was considering possibly adding this stuff I saw at Petsmart. It was like nutrient substrate, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name. It was like argonite or something? I would keep the same idea using the gravel and sand layout but I would put the nutrient stuff under it. What stuff do you guys use under sand and gravel to make the plants more happy?
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:29 AM   #2 
Betaphototramp
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Cribsea makes a good product. However I have always used Flourite as a substrate It is Iron and mineral rich and my plants thrive in the environment. I also use Flourish once a week and a CO2 Booster daily. My plants have gone from sparse and no roots to a jungle that I have to keep trimming in a month.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:36 AM   #3 
BambooTikiBettaGirl84
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Does that Flourite harm shrimp and snails?
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:39 AM   #4 
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No it does not. Flourite is a Substrate for plants and will not harm fish or invertebrates.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:43 AM   #5 
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I was only asking because you wrote Iron and mineral rich. Everywhere I look people have said metals and stuff are bad for fish and inverts so it's very confusing to figure out. Thank you, I'll look into getting a bag of the Flourite maybe but I wanna see what others say. I know there are a few kinds of substrate besides sand and gravel and dirt.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:08 AM   #6 
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Only copper is harmful to inverts, everything else is fine. There is a lot of substrates to choose from like Flourite, Eco-complete, Organic Soil, and ADA aquasoil. A lot of them are high in CEC, which adsorbs nutrients from the water column for the roots to feed off. Iron is important, but it's not the only nutrient root feeders need. Your 3 major nutrients for root feeders is still your 3 main macros nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. I ran eco-complete for a year with my shrimp and fish with no ill effects. I also did organic soil with a sand cap with no ill effects. My next project is ADA aquasoil with power sand S, bacter 100, and tourmaline BC, but this stuff for my next project is super expensive.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:11 AM   #7 
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Organic Soil is like potting soil or am I totally off? Also, does Flourite and Eco-Complete come in colors? The ADA aquasoil sounds interesting, what is that like? I won't do that since I am still alil newbie but curious of it.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:43 AM   #8 
RussellTheShihTzu
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Here's a site with reviews on various stratum and inverts:

Fluval Shrimp Stratum Review | Shrimp Fever
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:48 AM   #9 
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Okay so I just read on some of the different kinds, but still a bit confused. Eco-Complete comes in Black or Red and then there is Flourite which comes in Original, Red, Black and Black sand. What is the differences of these? Are they dirt (not really wanting dirt)? Could I mix them together to make like a mega mix?

CaribSea Instant Aquarium Freshwater Substrates - Is this even a nutrient rich substrate? Would this be a better alternative than my regular white sand I have?
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:53 AM   #10 
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Oldfishlady made a topic for dirt for it here. Link---> http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=114575

Eco-complete and Flourite I believe does come in colors. I have black eco-complete, because I love how the black makes the green pop.

ADA aquasoil is great product, but the down fall is ammonia spikes when you first get it. I feel it's great for new set ups, because I can just cycle it. I also feel it's the same to potting soil mix just without the cap and I love how it looks naturally. It's very expensive and feels like your just paying for the name, but every planted tank using the stuff had great results in the end. I just payed $250 just for the substrate and 7.2gal ADA tank. Only reason I want it is because I just wanna try it out lol.
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