Best planting substate?

  1. m

    mutantguppy New Member Member

    I recently got some plants from my LFS (jungle val, sword, elodea), and i was pretty concerned when the amazon sword started browning... it recovered, but I still want to get a substrate. My main candidates are soil and flourite. Which one of these is better, and if soil, should it be capped with sand or gravel?
  2. A

    AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Sword plants are root feeders, so root tabs are beneficial to them. I use Flourish Root Tabs.

    As for Flourite it is a good starter substrate rich in iron but doesn't last forever and you would need to supplement with root tabs down the road.

    I'm not familiar with using soil.

    I just use fine gravel with root tabs and dose fertilizer in the water column. Good lighting and I've got happy plants.
  3. escapay

    escapay Well Known Member Member

    If you use Flourite, make sure to rinse it out really good and then rinse it again.

    I've heard soil is not recommended for those newer to a planted tank. I have not attempted it yet since I stocked up on Flourite instead... mixing it with my gravel so the gravel isn't a total waste since I already have it.

    And I agree, root tabs are great. Especially the Flourish ones since they have more of what your plants need than the API one. (Those are the two available at PetSmart anyway)
  4. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

    I have used top soil and pool filter sand here for years.

    Heavy root feeders like swords still need root tabs, but light root feeders or plants that pull nutrients from the water, like the other plants you mentioned, should do just fin without added supplements.
  5. TrogdorSlayer22

    TrogdorSlayer22 Valued Member Member

    Soil/dirt (miracle grow organic potting/garden soil to be specific would be best) and red clay. and also, if wanted root tabs. If you were to go with dirt I would top it with gravel.
  6. OP

    mutantguppy New Member Member

    Would things like loaches and catfish stir up the dirt?
  7. TrogdorSlayer22

    TrogdorSlayer22 Valued Member Member

    Fish who bury would, but I have clown loaches and yo-yo loaches with dirt and no problem. Kuhli loaches probably would mess around with it. You just have to make sure the layer of gravel/sand on top is not too thin.

    Sorry for the late response
  8. Dino

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

    I use an inch or two of sand to cover the dirt.
    This keeps the fish from disturbing the soil.
  9. CichlidSWAGA

    CichlidSWAGA Well Known Member Member

    dirt for sure! miracle grow organic soil with very fine gravel to top it off