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Thread: preferred substrates

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted klew's Avatar
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    preferred substrates

    Hello: Kinda returning back to the aquarium hobby after a looooooong absence, but totally captivated by low-tech aquascaping. Any suggestions on a lower budget planted tank substrate?

    Also, from what I can tell, the scapes generally get redone after a couple of years or so (not sure if it-s out of boredom or the substrate was no longer viable ...)

    Anyway, I'm looking for some more economical substrate options to get a feel for it. I have some experience the last year or so with barebottom scaping (e.g. moss, java fern, buce, anubias) which I still love, but the design palette really explodes with options with the plants that require substrates. I have some understanding of root feeders and column feeders (the latter being okay with an inert substrate), but I really don't know what low-tech species would fit this category (excluding floaters of course)

    Any input/experience is greatly appreciated.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted AnsleyBleu's Avatar
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    Substrate

    There are so many options:

    [LIST][*]Pool filter sand (fine sand can suffocate your plan roots)[*]Black diamond blasting sand[*]Gravel - tumbled Sunset Mix from a landscaping rock yard is pretty.
    • Crushed coral


    All of these options will likely require root tabs, depending on the type of plant you use in your scape.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Turface (baseball infield conditioner) is a fired clay product, like fluorite, but cheaper (something like $25 or $30 for 50 lbs, if I'm remember correctly). I used their "champion brown" color (which is a medium brown in an aquarium - not dark) for the first few years I had my planted tank up. I used it to cap a dirt layer, but you can use it on its own, too. It's distributed locally at Ewing Irrigation, which has locations around LA, though call your local one before you go to make sure they actually carry it:

    https://www.ewingirrigation.com/

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted klew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnsleyBleu View Post
    There are so many options:

    [LIST][*]Pool filter sand (fine sand can suffocate your plan roots)[*]Black diamond blasting sand[*]Gravel - tumbled Sunset Mix from a landscaping rock yard is pretty.
    • Crushed coral


    All of these options will likely require root tabs, depending on the type of plant you use in your scape.

    Good luck!
    Thanks... I had seen the Black Diamond blasting sand mentioned on various forums, but couldn't figure out where to get it locally. I'm guessing there's different brand that is sold locally, but wasn't sure what to look for. Definitely interested in the black substrate, however.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted klew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayo View Post
    Turface (baseball infield conditioner) is a fired clay product, like fluorite, but cheaper (something like $25 or $30 for 50 lbs, if I'm remember correctly). I used their "champion brown" color (which is a medium brown in an aquarium - not dark) for the first few years I had my planted tank up. I used it to cap a dirt layer, but you can use it on its own, too. It's distributed locally at Ewing Irrigation, which has locations around LA, though call your local one before you go to make sure they actually carry it:

    https://www.ewingirrigation.com/
    Hmmm.... that sounds interesting too...

    Loving the options... Thank you!

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted PMMouchet's Avatar
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    Tractor Supply carries the Black Diamond Medium Blasting Abrasives, FTS245, $12/ 50# bag.

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