Suggestions about Eco system substrate? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-22-2011, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Suggestions about Eco system substrate?

I'm thinking of getting a bit larger tank, and just can find the energy to wash more playsand. I can't easily take out the sand I have in my tank, because I laid small pebble gravel underneath it, and seperating it may be too tough. So, I'm wondering about buying Eco system. Can this be laid down all by itself?
Is there another reasonably priced substrate that looks as close to sand, that would work?

I'll go to a fish store and see how much a bag of aquarium sand is too, that may be a good option.

Anyone who has these products, can you give me your thoughts, suggestions?

The tank is for German Blue Rams and Cardinals. Thanks

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post #2 of 4 Old 10-22-2011, 09:25 AM
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I got my substrate from

The prices are reasonable even with shipping tacked on. I got the brown coffee colored .02mm gravel and it looks really nice. If you want to see what it looks like its the substrate in my birthday tank under my aquariums on the left.

I ran water through it one time, and that was it. It was really clean and didnt cloud my water really at all. It also arrived in 2 days from west coast to east coast, so thats not so bad either.

Just a thought. :)

Also, I got 1 38lb bag for a 29g tank. They actually gave me a little more than that though.

Last edited by Jbrofish8; 10-22-2011 at 09:27 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-22-2011, 12:53 PM
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The substrate Jbrofish8 mentioned does indeed look lovely in his tank photos. If the only fish planned are what you (Gwen) mention, this is a good choice as it would appear quite natural. There are also other black sands/fine gravels, they are quite expensive.

As for an enriched substrate, these too are very expensive. I have Flourite in my 70g and so far cannot recommend these heartily. For one thing, substrate fish are a problem, they are sharp grained (both Eco-complete and Flourite are, other brands may not be, I've not seen them first-hand). Second, I am not convinced of the extra benefit for the plants over sand or gravel, and this is after more than 6 months.

Having prepared new gravel, playsand and Fourite during the past few months as I reset all my tanks with new substrates, I still prefer playsand not withstanding the extra rinsing. It is cheapest by far, looks natural, is inert, plants like it, fish like it...what more could one ask for.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-22-2011, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both. I did check out the "birthday tank" does look nice. I'll go check that site, and see about getting from there.


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