Best Low Maintenance Substrate For Plants

TagTeam

Am I thinking correctly that this is one of the best approaches for a "low maintenance" planted substrate?

Bottom layer: Eco Complete
Mid layer: Black Flourite
Top layer: BDBS

I'm trying to create a situation where I won't have to bother with the substrate once it's set up.
 

Thunder_o_b

BDBS from Tractor Supply company. $8.00 for 50 lb. I like the med-coarse.


I hate Echo Complete, very bad experience with it.

I would just do the BDBS with root tabs every 3 months. With Flourish (weekly), Flourish Excel (daily)

As you see, everything from Madagascar lace plants to red myrio do great this way....Well, very good lighting is a factor as well.

I have it in the 150, 44 and the 37 gallon aquariums. The 37 is newly set as of last night. I got the finer grain by mistake. It will be interesting to see if the plants like it as well as the other.

1. 150.
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2. The 44.
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TagTeam

BDBS from Tractor Supply company. $8.00 for 50 lb. I like the med-coarse.


I hate Echo Complete, very bad experience with it.

I would just do the BDBS with root tabs every 3 months. With Flourish (daily), Flourish Excel (weekly)

As you see, everything from Madagascar lace plants to red myrio do great this way....Well, very good lighting is a factor as well.

I have it in the 150, 44 and the 37 gallon aquariums. The 37 is newly set as of last night. I got the finer grain by mistake. It will be interesting to see if the plants like it as well as the other.

1. 150.
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2. The 44.
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Thank you, your plants look fantastic!
I was really hoping not to mess with tabs & flourish. Would it work to just do Black Flourite and BDBS?
(I have a Beamswork DA on a 20 gallon tall and a Beamswork EA on a 25g)
 

Thunder_o_b

Thank you, your plants look fantastic!
I was really hoping not to mess with tabs & flourish. Would it work to just do Black Flourite and BDBS?
(I have a Beamswork DA on a 20 gallon tall and a Beamswork EA on a 25g)
Thank you TagTeam

I really can not say, I have only done it the way I described. Hopefully someone will be along that can be of more help.

There are some plants that need to be fed through the leaves and need CO2. Rather than injection I use liquid CO2 (Excel)
 

TexasDomer

I wouldn't bother with EcoComplete or Fluorite. I also vote for BDBS and root tabs.

If you really want EcoComplete, go with Turface Pro League - it's the same thing (high CEC value) but much cheaper. You'll still need to add ferts with these (EcoComplete and Turface).
 

psalm18.2

Why not dirt the bottom. Less maintenance.
 

86 ssinit

I have the eco-complete with some florite mixed in and I’m getting good plant growth. I also use root tabs and liquid ferts though no co2. Not bragging about it I also have a tank with just gravel with pretty much the same results. As for the sand I’m not a fan. It just doesn’t stay put as you vacuume it it’s getting sucked right up and as you refill it’s all over the place. Must put a bowl in to break up the flow. First time I refilled I had so much sand in the water the filter sucked it up and it got into the impeller. Had to take the filter apart to clean the impeller. Best bet is just gravel with root tabs and liquid ferts.
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If your growing plants you will need ferts.
 

TexasDomer

You shouldn't really be sticking the siphon in the sand, and sand shouldn't be going everywhere when you refill. It's shouldn't be hard to work with

Personally, since you need ferts anyway and you can get the same great growth from any of them, just go with the cheaper option that appeals to you in looks
 

Thunder_o_b

I have the eco-complete with some florite mixed in and I’m getting good plant growth. I also use root tabs and liquid ferts though no co2. Not bragging about it I also have a tank with just gravel with pretty much the same results. As for the sand I’m not a fan. It just doesn’t stay put as you vacuume it it’s getting sucked right up and as you refill it’s all over the place. Must put a bowl in to break up the flow. First time I refilled I had so much sand in the water the filter sucked it up and it got into the impeller. Had to take the filter apart to clean the impeller. Best bet is just gravel with root tabs and liquid ferts.
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If your growing plants you will need ferts.
Med-large BDBS is different. I think it is denser so it does not dust up. Even the finer that I bought by mistake yesterday does not dust up. We run canisters and HOB's for 10x the water column GPH flow with it never clogging the filters or getting into the impellers. Vacuuming is no issue at all.

Those are fine plants you have there. That lace is great.
 

TagTeam

Why not dirt the bottom. Less maintenance.
I seriously considered going this route but after doing all the research I decided it wasn't for me. The whole idea of breaking the cap stressed me a bit
 

TagTeam

I have the eco-complete with some florite mixed in and I’m getting good plant growth. I also use root tabs and liquid ferts though no co2. Not bragging about it I also have a tank with just gravel with pretty much the same results. As for the sand I’m not a fan. It just doesn’t stay put as you vacuume it it’s getting sucked right up and as you refill it’s all over the place. Must put a bowl in to break up the flow. First time I refilled I had so much sand in the water the filter sucked it up and it got into the impeller. Had to take the filter apart to clean the impeller. Best bet is just gravel with root tabs and liquid ferts.
You must be registered to see images
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If your growing plants you will need ferts.
Well those pics are certainly stunning!
By "sand" are you referring to BDBS?
I'm heavily leaning toward doing BDBS w/ root tabs and liquid ferts
 

86 ssinit

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No not BDBS some other very fine sand. It’s in a 5gal fry tank. In the pic even the filter was moving the sand. I had to put gravel under the filter.
 

TagTeam

Thank you for your help everybody.
I've decided to go with BDBS medium + root tabs + Seachem Flourish.
If there's anything else that comes to mind I'm all ears!
 

TexasDomer

For your root tabs, I would consider the cheaper/DIY route. I use Osmocote Plus balls inside gel capsules. You can buy them pre-assembled from Ebay or you can assemble them yourself. So much cheaper than name brand root tabs and they have both micros and macros (while Seachem root tabs have just micros, I believe).
 

TagTeam

For your root tabs, I would consider the cheaper/DIY route. I use Osmocote Plus balls inside gel capsules. You can buy them pre-assembled from Ebay or you can assemble them yourself. So much cheaper than name brand root tabs and they have both micros and macros (while Seachem root tabs have just micros, I believe).
Would be a good option?
 

TexasDomer

That doesn't seem like a bad price! I think I got mine for around the same price per capsule.
 

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