11-06-2012, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by maxw47
Impresive tanks! I see what you're saying. I guess I didn't realize dirt had such highs and lows. Would you recommend the plant substrates or just regular sand for the soft water tanks?
I've tried one enriched substrate, Flourite, and found it disappointing. It cost a lot, $180 compared to $14 for playsand for the same sized tank. I've had it in my 70g for 19 months now. I would not waste the money. My plants (same species, under the same light, with same fertilization) in the sand and gravel tanks are doing just as well. Now, having said this, I have read that some of the newer substrates are better. But still seems a money pit to me. Another issue is substrate fish, some will not do well over these because they are angular and a bit sharp. I had to remove my corys from the 70g, and I would never have loaches in this. I'm planning on tearing this tank down one day and replacing the Flourite with sand; I have the sand, just getting myself geared up to washing it.
Quikrete Play Sand from places like Home Depot or Lowe's is very inexpensive and works well; I now have it in 5 tanks. Liquid fertilizers are sufficient; I do also use substrate tabs in 2 tanks but only for the larger swords plants and the Tiger Lotus lilies.