What kind of substrate is best for a carpeted/heavily-planted aquarium?

dboll2

Member
I don't want gravel

I really would like a brown-ish sand substrate, but I just read that sand can trap gasses, which can harm fish...

what do you suggest?
 

Paigee

Member
You can always just stir it up a bit when you do your water changes, or there are also snails you can get, possibly Malaysian trumpet snails? That dig in the sand and stir it up for you. Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken on the type of snail!
 

Nutter

Member
Your correct about the type of snail Paigee.

If you want a carpet of small foreground plants it is best to go with a fine substrate such as Eco-Complete or pool filter sand. The fine substrates are easier for the plants roots to penetrate so that you don't end up with floating plants all the time & the runners will be able to spread faster through a fine substrate.
 

snail_chen

Member
If you want "best" substrate, of course the fabled ADA Amazonia substrate, only available online. It is like $40 a bag though, a little pricey. I just bought a bag for my sof-water plants, but it does work - my Tonina, Egleria fluctuans, Rotala sp. 'Araguaia', Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem' etc. are finally growing after so many failures.

I believe there are cheaper substrates for plants. But those common substrate available at Petsmart/Petco work fine only with easy plants. If you will keep harder plants, you probably will have to get more expensive clay substrates with nutrients in it.

Forget to mention that ADA substrate is available only at
 

Paigee

Member
I use Eco complete and have had pretty good results with my plants!
 

Nutter

Member
Absolute rubbish that you can't grow high requirement plants in Eco-Complete, Flourite or regular sand. I've done it too many times myself & seen it done too many times to be told it can't be done. ADA soils are good but highly over rated & over priced IMO. If you can't grow something in Eco-Complete I 110% garuntee the problem is not being caused by the substrate if your using it properly.
 

Algae Eater

Member
I've used eco complete and just bought Activ-Flora and I got both from my local Petco. They are both available as either fine gravel or sand and in a reddish brown color, too. Great for planted tanks!
 
  • Thread Starter

dboll2

Member
Algae Eater said:
I've used eco complete and just bought Activ-Flora and I got both from my local Petco. They are both available as either fine gravel or sand and in a reddish brown color, too. Great for planted tanks!
can you send me a link that shows what it looks like?
 

Algae Eater

Member
I found links but none of them show the black sand from activ-flora, but I know it exists because I just bought it! Here's the company website, it shows everything but the sand if you scroll down.

And here's Drs F&S website for eco-complete. I thought they had sand, too, but I guess I was wrong, but the eco complete that I have is very fine. The pictures, of course, are enlarged to show detail, like cereal lol...
 
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