Are There Any Bottom Feeder Friendly Plant Substrates? Fine-grained And Smooth?

Akeath

Does anyone know if there are any nutrient-rich substrates that are sand and very smooth that would work for bottom feeders?

The plants I intend to keep rooted are Water Sprite, Hornwort, Bacopa australis, Echinodorus var. Vesuvius, Dwarf Lily, and Dwarf Sagittaria. I don't intend for the Dwarf Sag to fully carpet the tank. The rest of the plants will be rhizome or floating types.

I want to prioritize the fish over the plants. I have fish that really require smooth sand for a variety of reasons - they feed by taking up mouthfuls of sand, keeping the food in, and then spraying the extra sand out of their gills and they can not feed like this if the particle size of the substrate is too large. I also have fish with scaleless bellies that can be injured by rough substrate and barbels that can become infected if detritus collects in larger-grained substrates. So I really do need a smooth sand of some sort, but I'm hoping to have a planted tank. I have kept other tanks with standard Eco-Complete and with Laterite, and know for a fact that those would both be too sharp.
 

XYZ1234

Does anyone know if there are any nutrient-rich substrates that are sand and very smooth that would work for bottom feeders?

The plants I intend to keep rooted are Water Sprite, Hornwort, Bacopa australis, Echinodorus var. Vesuvius, Dwarf Lily, and Dwarf Sagittaria. I don't intend for the Dwarf Sag to fully carpet the tank. The rest of the plants will be rhizome or floating types.

I want to prioritize the fish over the plants. I have fish that really require smooth sand for a variety of reasons - they feed by taking up mouthfuls of sand, keeping the food in, and then spraying the extra sand out of their gills and they can not feed like this if the particle size of the substrate is too large. I also have fish with scaleless bellies that can be injured by rough substrate and barbels that can become infected if detritus collects in larger-grained substrates. So I really do need a smooth sand of some sort, but I'm hoping to have a planted tank. I have kept other tanks with standard Eco-Complete and with Laterite, and know for a fact that those would both be too sharp.
It’s not really a sand but I use neutra-soil with Cory cats and it’s fine
 

-Mak-

I can't think of any nutrient rich sands. You can use a liquid fertilizer for all of those plants though. I'm assuming root tabs are also a problem with the sand-feeding?
 

JenC

I use Black Diamond Blasting Sand ($7.99/50 lbs) in my planted tanks and the plants do fine with root tabs and water column fertilizers. Folks use both the 20/40 medium grit and the 30/60 fine grit with scaleless bottom dwellers like corys. Pool filter sand is a lighter-colored option.

I think any sand you get will need fertilizers.
 

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