Best substrate for plant growth

  1. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    I have recently bought a 55 gallon tank and have plans to make it into a planted tank. I didn't realize in my 35 gallon that gravel isn't the best substrate for plant growth until after I wanted to grow plants so I'm going to avoid that problem in my new tank. I've looked at a number of different substrates but can't decide, I want to have a darker substrate with black sand on top of it for my cories that I will be getting. If anyone has recommendations that would be amazing!
  2. Protim Sarkar Well Known Member Member

    You can add root tabs under the substrates .

  3. clk89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Gravel actually works just fine for plant growth. As far as I can tell sand versus gravel neither are better nor worse for plant growth. A lot of it depends on lighting, fertilizers, and the actual plant.

    Some plants need root tabs, others need fertilizer through the water column (liquid or dry). Some plants are okay with low lighting, others need high lighting and CO2. Some plants even do best out of the substrate because they have rhizomes like anubias.

    Now some people do a dirty substrate, meaning they use actual plant soil. I haven't done much research into that myself.
  4. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    For my 35 gallon gravel I'm using both root tabs and liquid ferts. Due to the fact I have only rooted plants in there and none beside my java moss get their nutrients from the water, I was mainly curious because I've heard there are specific substrates that really enhance plant growth. I was going to use some type of nutrient rich soil for the bottom layer of substrate and then top it off with black sand. So I really just need to know what to use and my bottom layer of substrate.

  5. Skyy2112 Member Member

    Theres auhm... Justin? On youtube. He used organic plant soil, and sand or gravel over it. The soil has nutrients, but he also has algae blooms beginning tanks. Something to look into, his channel is huge.
  6. martini4 Member Member

    I just used eco-complete for the first time. Haven't had it long enough to really say much about it except it looks good!
  7. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Could you post a picture of your set up?

  8. AndrewJ54 Member Member

    Thank you I'll definitely look into it before adding any substrate.
  9. velveteentuzhi Member Member

    In case you're having difficulties finding it, the channel is "Dustin's Fish Tanks". He should have an older video called dirted tank or something
  10. martini4 Member Member