Mental battle of substrate..Help? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Old Dog 59
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
AccaliaJay's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,179
Mental battle of substrate..Help?

Long story short I want to cause myself chaotic hassle and upgrade my 5 gallon Mystic Waters to my 30 gallon. Since my move last year in October my 30 gallon has been sitting just being the storage of all unused fake decorations. I believe it would be called a 30 gallon breeder. It just seems taller and less wide than the normal 30 gallon tanks I see. Mystic Waters is a dark mystic set up. White mermaid, dark gravel, live plants..

The pic is during a full tank clean and redecorate day thats the decor im working with. Calisco and a dwarf mexican brazos crayfish are its current inhabitants. Calisco tends to hide toward the back on those days like in the pic. If I only do some simple tank maintenance though he doesnt both to hide. Thats why I think he might like the upgrade. Less bothering of him in a bigger tank. Plus the crayfish might feel safer. Its always hiding under the rock stack or in the back. I'm 80% sure theres only one crayfish. I say that because it tends to prove me wrong and another one randomly shows up. I'm not sure if there will be any more showing up though I honestly think its over for crayfish this time. But I've said it before and then its not..

Anyways the mental battle is all substrate and money lol. "I dont remember how much gravel it took." "I want to do soil substrate to help the plants.." "I still like the black gravel look but dang does soil and gravel both have to cost so much on amazon" XD Then that leads to the "Can't I just say screw this and use black sand" and then it goes back to "Sand doesnt provide much if no nutrients to the plants dumby" then it goes to the amount I might need not being known and so on and so forth...

I have a $70 limit. First off how much substrate should I be looking at? Pound wise I mean.

I'll be waiting to look at petsmart again see if they have anything at all if not I'll have to ask my mom to order it on amazon. I'm really hoping petsmart will though. So sand? All gravel? Or soil with a gravel top like I heard is best? If you have amazon links or pictures of the brands that would help a bunch. Theres alot of brands of both soil and sand.

I'm still hoping to save as much money as possible for a new filter..

Future plans include some sort of carpeting plant incase that would affect substrate type needed.

Also I have this plant as well I don't remember its name lol
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 50898570_368183620398323_361896817694081024_n.jpg (50.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 53506291_2191800004469884_1360200242674270208_n.jpg (27.8 KB, 7 views)

Rest in peace:
Blaze, BBB, Liberty, Justice, Nymph Phlox
AccaliaJay is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 03:38 PM
Old Dog 59's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Oil City PA. USA
Posts: 581
For the substrate (sand) to cover 2 inches deep you would need about 60 pounds. Small gravel would be about the same amount.

If you use sand and want to plant live plants You may want to use Plant tabs and (SeaChem) liquid Flourish. to keep the plants happy and growing.
Rainbo likes this.
Old Dog 59 is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 07:45 PM
TFK Moderator
Rainbo's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,004
The absolute cheapest way you'd be able to do it is to get some Black Diamond Blasting Sand, it can be bought at Tractor Supply, on Amazon it cost a fortune . It's a black sand that can be used in aquariums, but be prepared to spend a long time washing it prior to use to get all the sediment out. The second cheapest would be to go with Pool Filter sand, You'll also have to wash the heck out of this sand. If you go with CaribSea sand you'll have more color options BUT it will eat up all of your budget, Chewy has the best price but Amazon has more color options If you go with an NPT tank you'll need a combo of organic potting soil, and sand or gravel, it'll probably be your third most expensive option, but gravel tends to be relatively cheap so it may come out equal to the play sand option. Make sure to match the color of the gravel or sand to the soil. With the soil try and get a brand that does not use Perlite as it floats in water.
Rainbo is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 08:12 AM
blubird101's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
As far as substrate goes, I really like the fluval stratum. I've used it in both my planted tanks and its these little soil balls (so it looks a little like gravel) but they eventually break down over time into just soil. They are black. They've always worked great for my plants, though it does lower the PH a little. They aren't the most cheap, but not the most expensive either. You can find them on amazon.

You can also do the caribsea like Rainbo said, and they do have an "eco complete" version that isn't just sand, its basically like fluval stratum but just a *liiittle* less on quality. Cheaper on price though. :) Either way, good luck!
blubird101 is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:28 AM
Ratvan's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Leeds, UK
Posts: 322
What I have done to cut down costs and the amount of black sand I have used with my planted tanks. Decide where you want to place your plants, add a small amount of substrate/soil and surround the area with largish stones. You can now cover the area with the black sand for the aesthetic, the plants have the soil substrate and you have taken up volume (and saved £$) by using cheap stones or large gravel

Kojin's Keeper Since 08/11/2018
Ouro's Keeper Since 13/12/2018
Opal's Keeper Since 21/01/2019
Rose's Keeper Since 11/03/2019
Ratvan is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Temperamental..or just mental?? Agent13 Betta Chat 6 04-23-2013 06:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome