'Cheap' planted substrate? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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'Cheap' planted substrate?

I know, cheap is a relative term. Long story short, I'm trying to get stuff together to set up a 20 gallon aquarium (tall). I hadn't planned on starting another tank but I'm 'inheriting' an adult gold gourami that's been housed in a 5 gallon. I want to plant it but don't really want to spend $50 on a couple bags of Eco Complete. Any less expensive suggestions? I'm a poor lowly college student... :)

Last edited by iriskai; 07-22-2010 at 01:05 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 04:15 AM
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there's a discussion of substrates here that might be of help http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-i-need-47539/

plus i'd advise you read all the stickies in the Aquarium Plants section
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 05:14 AM
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I agree with sik80, go ahead and check out that thread and read Byron's four part articles on the "basic planted aquarium".

but to give you a straight answer, sand is by far your cheapest option. a 50 pounnd bag at Lowes is around $5, which will be more than twice what you'd need for a 20G, let alone a 20G tall. If, after reading the articles you decide to go sand bottom,

I advise you to check this out :: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...utorial-28436/

~ Johnny

ďThe space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 08:23 AM
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I'd also like to point out that sand looks amazing. Don't use it unless you're ready to give up on gravel forever because once you've got a sand bottom aquarium you're not going back.

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, you all. I guess after spending forever reading things online, pricing different substrates, calling places and reading MORE articles about different options, I kind of just wanted someone to tell me what to do. Thanks for the links!
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 11:04 AM
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You might also want to look into Diane Walstad's Natural Planted Tank (NPT) method, as it's one of the cheapest ways to get a planted tank going.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 12:18 PM
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Pool filter sand is a nice sand that is courser then the sand you get at HomeDepot or Lowe's cost a bit more but not much $11 or a 50lb bag. at a pool supply shop. I sold the extra on craigslist that I did not want or you can hold onto it for a spare tank. If you know of anyone that has a tank set up already ask if you can have their old filter pad to start up your new tank. Also a cheap way to get plants is from someone that you know that has a tank. Most people are willing to give you a peice of their plant to start. Try posting a ad on craigslist in your area. Looking for some free aquatic plants for new tank. Many college students have small tanks in their dorms. Good luck on setting up your tank!

I posted a picture of my pool filter sand up close and one of my tanks with the sand.
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File Type: jpg Planted 20 gal. tank 4.jpg (106.3 KB, 26 views)
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyyrlym View Post
I'd also like to point out that sand looks amazing. Don't use it unless you're ready to give up on gravel forever because once you've got a sand bottom aquarium you're not going back.
I agree, nothing looks nicer than sand.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Do you rinse pool filter sand the same way you would play sand? I can't get over how helpful everyone is here. :) Thanks again!
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iriskai View Post
Do you rinse pool filter sand the same way you would play sand? I can't get over how helpful everyone is here. :) Thanks again!
Yes, you do.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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