Cheap alternative to Eco-Complete or Flourite?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by wintori, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. wintoriNew MemberMember

    hi guys! im a newbie from the Philippines. we dont have Eco-Complete or Flourite here. i just want to ask if there are cheap alternatives? i found a home improvement depot nearby and they sell various sands and gravel, can i put those in my tank? i have a 15gal planted tank with rocks in it and just rocks! the plants are all in pots that came with them when i purchased them. i have a nerite snail and 8 guppies. my filter is a sponge filter for a 50gal tank and i think the snail and guppies are happy with it.
    im planning to cover the bottom with hair grass and im having a hard time looking for flourite substrate here in manila. any suggestions would be appreciated.
    btw, some stores are selling what they call a "black sand", is that flourite? heres the link  

    i asked the seller if its flourite and hes clueless about it.

    thank you :)
  2. ZiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome:;hi1!

    Certain plants can grow in regular gravel. My old tank had dwarf sagg and some other plants Java fern and I think hornwart (really dont remember that one), and a few others with just gravel and nothing else (no ferts, co2, nada!) and they did fine! My anubias is fine in my sand only substrate too. So, yes, you can have a "low-tech" planted tank with just gravel, the fish waste acts as a natural fertilizer. What plants do you have/are you thinking of getting?

    I dont think that sand in the link is flourite supplemented, I think it's just pretty black sand. Have you tried any other online stores? I dont know which would ship to the Philippines. You could also try a "dirted" tank, but research it first.
  3. chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    Another thing that may be worthwhile to research is oil dry as a substrate. Some oil dry (safe-t-sorb for example) is made up of fired clay that is similar to flourite but cheaper. I am not sure what is available to you, so that is where the research comes in to find something that will work. Anyway, it offers a high CEC (cation exchange capacity) allow for fertilizers to transfer from the water and soak into the substrate over time. Otherwise you may be able to find inert pool filter sand (no additives) that could be used as a substrate.
  4. wintoriNew MemberMember

    thanks ziggy and chevyguy8893!! i guess i just have to stick with regular gravel, i think its the only thing available here. i talked to one of the pet store owners here and he said flourite is too expensive here but is worth buying if i could find one :)

    anyway, i was thinking of carpeting the plant with dwarf hairgrass do you think my guppies and snails would love it? or do they have a specific favorite? i like hairgrass, its simple and cute esp if i could get them to carpet the bottom of the tank. i also have a fern like plant which the guppies love because they always swim on top of it and chase each other :)

    im not planning to use any fertilizers at this point, plants grow like crazy here in the tropics. my nerites doesnt even notice the lettuce i gave him because hes so busy going back and fort the glass and some left over food from the fish.

    i appreciate your response guys, thank you and mabuhay! :)

    oh, by the way, im also planning to put some yellow shrimp in the tank w the guppies and 3 snails. is it okay? some petstore owners here tell me that its difficult to raise shrimps but my research told me the contrary about yellow shrimps.
  5. featherblueWell Known MemberMember

    The guppys eat their fry, they will eat shrimplets. If u heavy plant ur colony should still grow, just slowly

    Can u get miracle grow organic choice potting soil? Ive used it well rinsed to plant 3 tanks with a gravel cap and really like it.

    Ur stocking list looks great,leaves some space for potential Guppy and shrimp population growth

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