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Thread: need substrate recommendation

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr tw33kerloki's Avatar
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    need substrate recommendation

    So, my 65g AiO has 3/4 Volcanit and 1/4 Fulval Stratum since July 2019...

    1. they're brown, despite bags saying they're black. I want black.
    2. despite a LOT of rinsing, they released a lot of dust (what's dust in water?) when I first put them in
    3. they're disintegrating into muck that swirls around and clouds the water and clogs the filter socks.
    4. all the muck coated my plants and it was a losing battle blowing the plants clean with a turkey baster

    The Clown Loaches are fine, but I was thinking about scooping out all the soil and making it a bare tank for a while.
    And then finding a black, round (3mm-ish) substrate that I can grow low-med light plants in (java ferns, various anubias, various rotalas, etc.)
    can anyone suggest plant soil that's black and won't crumble easily?

  2. #2
    SCAPE Member 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr MARIMOBALL's Avatar
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    Whats brown? The stratum or the volcanit? Floramax or EcoComplete or Samurai Soil might be what your looking for.
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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Dr Green Thumb's Avatar
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    Black fluorite may work also has kinda of a black shimmer to it

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr tw33kerloki's Avatar
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    Both the stratum and the volcanit are brown. They were black on the bags. and worse, crumbly as heck.

    I'll check out Floramax, SS, and blk fluorite.
    Ecocomplete my be too sharp edgy for scaleless loaches that like to dig in the substrate and grab mouthful of it.

    No love for inert black sand? Like that Tahiti stuff.

  5. #5
    Moderator Master SCAPER Nick Shades's Avatar
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    I always preferred to use a nice strong ammonia/nutrient rich soil and then to cap it with a fine grain sand.

    Fluorite is definitely great at providing iron, but using a laterite clay (kitty litter) is nearly as effective.

    However, many loaches enjoy digging in the substrate and will cause problems for decorative intentions.

    Ada has its line of substrates that tend to work very well in combination with each other, but most folks have had very good success by using the UNS alternatives, which are ussually less expensive, and more easily acquired.

    They also tend to have a bit less of an ammonia spike by having a longer release buffer in their nutrient release.

    Generally, I have found it best to do the soil with sand topper, and just provide nutrient enrichment via the water column with liquid ferts.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Flighty Zeus's Avatar
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    Hey Nick Shades!!

    What ratio of soil to sand would you suggest??

    Also, favorite soil?

    What's the smallest tank you would suggest with this substrate method?

  7. #7
    SCAPE Member Just Planted Kongro's Avatar
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    Landen soil. Cleanest soil I've used.

    You should never rinse soil, that's how you ruin it.

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