Need help with choosing plant substrate

Awesomeneptune

Hi,
So I'm going to get a bigger tank at some point in the near future and have decided, with help from some of this forums members, to use a light coloured sand in the tank.
Its going to be a planted tank though and so I was thinking about layering a plant substrate underneath the sand. I did a bit of research and am now pretty confused after watching videos that said very different things. Some said you could grow plants in just sand and others said I needed 3 layers at the bottom of my tank ; 1 of substrate, 1 of plant soil, 1 of sand/gravel.

I'm not sure which one I should listen to and so need some help. Should I just use sand and root tabs, or do I need multiple layers of substrate? Thanks in advance!
 

Fishstery

Hi,
So I'm going to get a bigger tank at some point in the near future and have decided, with help from some of this forums members, to use a light coloured sand in the tank.
Its going to be a planted tank though and so I was thinking about layering a plant substrate underneath the sand. I did a bit of research and am now pretty confused after watching videos that said very different things. Some said you could grow plants in just sand and others said I needed 3 layers at the bottom of my tank ; 1 of substrate, 1 of plant soil, 1 of sand/gravel.

I'm not sure which one I should listen to and so need some help. Should I just use sand and root tabs, or do I need multiple layers of substrate? Thanks in advance!
You could accomplish a similar outcome using different mediums. You could use something inert like sand and then use root tabs or capsules. You could use an active substrate like aquasoil. You could use powersand or powder capped with inert sand or gravel. Truthfully it's a matter of personal preference. To better answer your question though, it would be helpful to know what plant species you plan on keeping.
 

Awesomeneptune

So far I plan on keeping:
. Java fern
. Anubius
. Red tiger lotus
. Cabomba
. Vallisinera
. Some type of moss
. Madagascar lace plant
. Floating plants

(Possibly some more or less depending on what I can find online and at my lfs
 

Awesomeneptune

Yeah I've heard that, my only concern is that it says it lowers PH and I already have to raise my aquarium water PH as otherwise it is too low.
 

Tigerburp

Yeah I've heard that, my only concern is that it says it lowers PH and I already have to raise my aquarium water PH as otherwise it is too low.
Easy fix, rinse it before putting it in
 

ProudPapa

I have a wide variety of plants doing just fine in inert sand. I fertilize weekly with a liquid fertilizer (when I don't forget)

You absolutely don't need layered soil to grow plants. They might do better in special soils, but it isn't necessary.
 

Awesomeneptune

Ok thank you all so much! I think I'll go with a layered soil if I can find a good, not too expensive plant substrate and if not I'll go with root tabs (although those will probably cost me more money long term)
 

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