Plant Substrate Questions.

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FloydtheBetta

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Hi everyone,

I’m upgrading my betta from a 3.7g to a 6.8g in the next couple of days because I realized I could exchange it for the bigger one for essentially the same price.

Anyways, right now I have plain white sand with florish tabs, but was thinking of adding a bottom layer of something specifically for plants if I have to set up a new aquarium anyways, then just layering the sand on top for looks and to keep the good bacteria. (I’m also keeping my filter media so it should be fine).

Should I go with that idea? If so what’s the best plant substrate?
 

Crazycoryfishlady

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Someone recently mentioned this in another post...
Seems like It's supposed to be good stuff?


You'd probably only need a 1 pack of the 4.4lb bag.



Seems a bit expensive though.

A fluorite/eco complete or anything else similar to that should be fine though.

Supposedly this is best because it contains nutrients as well as being a substrate.
 

Morpheus1967

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I tell you what. I have had good success with Seachem Flourite. I was skeptical at first, but the plants really grew. Now, I don't do anything fancy with my plants like a lots of folks here. I have only bought plants you can get at say Petsmart. But they really grew in this stuff, and it looks great. You can see the red variety of it in my avatar.
 

Morpheus1967

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Crazycoryfishlady said:
Someone recently mentioned this in another post...
Seems like It's supposed to be good stuff?


You'd probably only need a 1 pack of the 4.4lb bag.



Seems a bit expensive though.

A fluorite/eco complete or anything else similar to that should be fine though.

Supposedly this is best because it contains nutrients as well as being a substrate.
I had purchased this but returned it. You can't vacuum it, and it supposedly turns to mush after a year of two. (Not sure if that is common in planted tanks)
 

Crazycoryfishlady

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Morpheus1967 said:
I had purchased this but returned it. You can't vacuum it, and it supposedly turns to mush after a year of two. (Not sure if that is common in planted tanks)
Oh yucky xD
I haven't used anything fancy for my plants, so I'm not totally sure.
It's probably slightly biodegradable for some reason? Maybe it's supposed to become mushy?
No idea..
And considering it's supposed to be a buffer under any gravel or sand, you likely wouldn't vacuum it anyway
Does it fall apart when you try to vacuum it?

Someone in their earlier post really wanted it as their substrate lol

You could also try something like a walstad, doesn't have to exactly follow the rules...
But sorta lol

Something to keep the soil down so you don't accidentally soil your water... Hehehehhee
 

Morpheus1967

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Crazycoryfishlady said:
Oh yucky xD
I haven't used anything fancy for my plants, so I'm not totally sure.
It's probably slightly biodegradable for some reason? Maybe it's supposed to become mushy?
No idea..
And considering it's supposed to be a buffer under any gravel or sand, you likely wouldn't vacuum it anyway
Does it fall apart when you try to vacuum it?

Someone in their earlier post really wanted it as their substrate lol

You could also try something like a walstad, doesn't have to exactly follow the rules...
But sorta lol

Something to keep the soil down so you don't accidentally soil your water... Hehehehhee
Not sure why it's like that. But not only is Amazon a cheap place to buy things, the reviews are the tool I use the most there.
 

Fahn

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Morpheus1967 said:
I had purchased this but returned it. You can't vacuum it, and it supposedly turns to mush after a year of two. (Not sure if that is common in planted tanks)
Fluval Stratum is good stuff, not quite as good as something like ADA Amazonia but much better than sand/gravel or something like EcoComplete.

You're not supposed to vacuum aquasoils, you rely on a heavy plantload and you kind of siphon a few inches above it to suck up larger bits of debris. After a few years they do start to break down as the organics in them are used up by plants, but that's the trade-off. I use Controsoil in my tanks and love it.
 

scarface

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You're not supposed to vacuum Fluval Stratum, as it's clay based, commonly found in natural lakes and ponds where aquatic plants grow from.
 

Morpheus1967

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scarface said:
You're not supposed to vacuum Fluval Stratum, as it's clay based, commonly found in natural lakes and ponds where aquatic plants grow from.
The flourite is clay based as well and I can vacuum that, so just thought it was odd. But good to know. You learn something new every day.
 

Fahn

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Morpheus1967 said:
The flourite is clay based as well and I can vacuum that, so just thought it was odd. But good to know. You learn something new every day.
Fracted porous clay =/= aquasoil. The fracted clay substrates like Flourite are said to have a high cation exchange capacity (CEC), meaning they're supposed to hold onto dosed nutrients for a long time and slow release. However, on their own they contain almost no macro nutrients and only trace. The hobbyist has to provide all the nutrients they release.

Aquasoils are created from baked and rolled pellets of soil, clay, and volcanic ash, so they are very nutrient dense and full of nitrogen, potassium, and iron. They will also usually contain humic substances that lower your pH and soften your water (which would be perfect for bettas). This affect is finite and eventually exhausts itself, as does it's ability to feed plants.

There's advantages and disadvantages to both for sure.
 
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FloydtheBetta

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Wow lots of info up there! Not sure I understood it all but I’m thinking I’ll add a little fluval stratum if it’s good because they have it in stock at the store I’m picking up the tank at! I’ll probably just add a small bit underneath the sand to help the plants stay healthy and keep them from uprooting! The sand is giving me a bit of trouble with certain plants.
 
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