Help Best Substrate For Low Tech Planted Tank?

Andreas Georges

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Hello I have a new 55 gallon community tank that I want to set up. But, first I need a substrate to start. This is my second tank so I’m a bit experienced but not a pro. So what would be a good planted tank substrate for me, I would like a darker substrate because I like how it contrasts my fish. Thank you for your help!
 

86 ssinit

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Being your going low tech. I say use gravel. The smaller the better. I like the 1/8” stuff. Any color will work (plants are color blind :) ). Again cause low tech keep it easy. Use root tabs and liquid ferts and either api co2 booster or flourish excell. Feeding plants is as important as feeding fish :). Also the more water changed helps. Lighting is the next thing. Finnex is making a very nice 24/7 fixture called the HLC and it’s reasonably priced on eBay. Also cheaper still is the vivagrow 24/7. It’s a great starter light that I use on all of my tanks. My 125 planted discus tank below. All low tech :).
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kallililly1973

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All my tanks have pool filter sand . I add root tabs for the root feeders and Thrive for the water column feeders. Although i did an outside experiment tank this summer with organic soil capped with PFS and i have to say it did amazing with a solar powered air pump and a dual sponge filter. My Bacopa and anacharis were showing a pinkish hue from natural sunlight. Since bringing it in and adding some stock even though i had 12 guppies in there most of the summer when i brought it in i added 10 tiger barbs and a Sunsun 302 and the plants look absolutely amazing with a Nicrew Skyled.
 
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