Planted tank substrate? - The Reef Tank





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Old 02-10-2017, 03:07 PM   #1
Clemtine pace
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Planted tank substrate?

Im new to planted tanks and im not sure about what kind of substate i need. I have plants in my 15 gal. "Showroom" tank and its thriving and it has considerably large regular old gravel in the bottom but that tank has been running for many years and ive only just now ever cleaned the gravel.
Do i have to buy special substrate
I was thinking about getting eco complete and rinsing it dispite the instructions.
Can i just use regular aquarium substrate and take some 'fertilizer' aka three years of fish poo and put all that in together? (This, as mean as it sounds would be the preferred method)

If i buy eco complete or any other special gravel like that ill have to order it, and i really dont want to do that. My planted tank will be 5 to 10 gallons and have a betta and maybe some shrimp and hopefully a pleco depending on how agressive the betta is.
Any advice appreciated!
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:04 AM   #2
pmarkj
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My beautiful bride says Eco-complete is the best for your money and do NOT rinse it...follow the directions.

And , it's not fertilizer it's bacteria that you want...like Live Rock to a Reef.

If you get a pleco make sure it's a dwarf and not regular...they can grow. My wife also suggest getting a group of Amano shrimp to control algae.

HTH...good luck
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
Clemtine pace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmarkj View Post
My beautiful bride says Eco-complete is the best for your money and do NOT rinse it...follow the directions.

And , it's not fertilizer it's bacteria that you want...like Live Rock to a Reef.

If you get a pleco make sure it's a dwarf and not regular...they can grow. My wife also suggest getting a group of Amano shrimp to control algae.

HTH...good luck
Good plan. Ill definitely look into those shrimp! And thats a great subject about the dwarf pleco. And if youre that sure about not rinsing the eco complete ill give it a try!
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:54 PM   #4
spec33
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Make it a dirted tank! Get a bag of miracle grow organic choice potting soil or any cheap topsoil WITHOUT additives. Then put about an inch of sand or pea pebbles on top and you will have all the nutrients you need. (Inch of dirt inch of sand or pebbles)Eco-Complete does not have nutrients in it and only has a high CEC. Which means it is good at storing nutrients. If you plan on growing anything besides mosses anubias or java ferns long term then I would either go with a dirted tank or use another substrate with root tabs which will provide the plants with the proper nutrients and promote growth. Also you can add plants immediately. They don't care about a cycle.


I would definitely suggest going dirted. Get play sand and dirt from home depot for 10 dollars and you will have more than enough for your tank. Just watch some youtube videos on how to do it. If you want more of a plug and play scenario go with ada amazonia. It is expensive but very good for plants and is very aesthetically pleasing in my opinion.

Eco-complete is good because the roots of plants can grab on fairly well( I believe it is crushed lava rock or something) Try going for crypts or some dwarf sag. Ludwigia or rotala if you want some simple stem plants. Again I would get root tabs if you go the eco route.
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