125 planted tank substrate

colbywebre47

I just purchased the 125 gallon tank I had been looking for a while. I am going to do a mostly fish tank, but I also want some beginner plants like amazon swords and such. Could someone give me a suggestion on what substrate to use? I was planning on black sand because I think it looks the best, but I don't know which brand is the best. If someone could shed some light on this it would be appreciated.
 

Tigerburp

I just purchased the 125 gallon tank I had been looking for a while. I am going to do a mostly fish tank, but I also want some beginner plants like amazon swords and such. Could someone give me a suggestion on what substrate to use? I was planning on black sand because I think it looks the best, but I don't know which brand is the best. If someone could shed some light on this it would be appreciated.
Have you considered a dirt substrate like fluval stratum, because Amazon swords are heavy root feeders
 

colbywebre47

Have you considered a dirt substrate like fluval stratum, because Amazon swords are heavy root feeders
I like the look of the sand, so I was just going to do fertilizer tabs that you put in the ground next to the plant. Does that not work?
 

Tigerburp

I like the look of the sand, so I was just going to do fertilizer tabs that you put in the ground next to the plant. Does that not work?
It would work but it’s might not be at its peak effectiveness because sand is quite dense
 

colbywebre47

It would work but it’s might not be at its peak effectiveness because sand is quite dense
Well would the plant still grow and look good?
 

Tigerburp

U
Well would the plant still grow and look good?
Yes but you would have to use more
 

StarGirl

I like the look of the sand, so I was just going to do fertilizer tabs that you put in the ground next to the plant. Does that not work?
Yes that will work. That is what I do in my tank. I just have regular black sand. You may need some liquid ferts along with the root tabs.
 

colbywebre47

Yes that will work. That is what I do in my tank. I just have regular black sand. You may need some liquid ferts along with the root tabs.
Ok thank you.
Yes that will work. That is what I do in my tank. I just have regular black sand. You may need some liquid ferts along with the root tabs.
One more question, how many pounds of fluorite black sand do you think I will need to cover up my 125 gallon tank effectively?
 

86 ssinit

There is another type of sand people use. Black diamond blasting sand. Can be found at most brick and mortar type stores. 50lbs for I think under $20. This sand needs to be rinsed before using. But aging it’s used by many and plants do well in it.
Amazon swords will grow in it. A root tab under its roots and some liquid ferts added weekly should keep it growing. Crypts and hygro are Ali easy plants. What type of lighting do you plan to use.
 

John58ford

Black diamond blasting sand
If you go with this advice (I use mostly BDBS myself and stand by it) I recommend you go with 1630 or 2040.

I explain some of this in this link: Black Diamond blasting sand grades | Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand Forum | 440700

The most important thing is not to go courser than 1630, I have found glass extrusions in the courser sand (starting at 1240), but the glass that is formed in the slagging process is too big to pass through the sifters once you get down to 1630 and smaller. Much smaller than 2850 and it will blow around like a dust storm with any decent flow.

Also, be sure to wash it thoroughly half a bucket at a time, I have a post about that somewhere too.
 

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