Coco fiber mats in planted aquariums?

Trish2627

I am newer to the planted tank world, not as new to the freshwater aquarium world though. I have been doing a lot of googling and now I am curious about coco fiber mats in planted tanks. I am finding very polarized opinions, but not a lot of solid explanations behind those opinions. So hopefully you guys can help me out here.

I am planning on using CaribSea Eco-Complete for my planted tank substrate. However, I've had small issues in the past with some plants with smaller more fragile roots not staying put long enough for their roots to grow a strong root structure. I have also had some plants that have great root structures pop out of place due to my own error (usually because I accidentally knock into them while vacuuming or moving driftwood).

So, coco fiber mats? I noticed CaribSea sells an item called Rhyzomat Planted Aquarium Mat.

When I looked into it, I easily discovered it seems to just be a coco fiber mat similar to those sold for reptile tanks (I'm sure there are some differences though I can't figure them out). Here are 2 examples:

My MAIN questions here are:
  1. Are coco fiber mats safe to use in my planted aquarium, that will include small fish, in general?
  2. What are the differences that I may be missing between the CaribSea Planted Aquarium mats versus the coco fiber mats sold for reptile tanks?
  3. Would it be safe to use a coco fiber mat as a base with CaribSea Eco-Complete on top? The thought process is that the mat will help my plants root better and stay put easier over time.
  4. If yes to both, do you have any suggestions on other coco fiber mat products? I ask because if I purchase the CaribSea brand, I would have to purchase a couple and Frankenstein them together to fit my tank. Where as there are rolls available that would fit perfect but I can only find those if I look for reptile coco fiber mats.
Thanks for all your help guys!! I promise I am not trying to sound dumb asking this stuff.
 

mattgirl

I will be following this discussion. It sounds very interesting and I too would like to know if anyone has done it, what they have used and how well it works.

Last fall I put some annual plant cuttings in a container lined with poly-fill and watered with tank water. The plants grew good strong roots over the winter. I just planted them with the poly-fill still attached and the plants are growing well. I probably could have removed the poly-fill but feared damaging the roots. I am wondering if coco fiber would have worked and maybe would have worked even better.
 

ilovefrogs

yes i'd like to know to I'm thinking about doing a background with it
 

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