Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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fishrush93 01-24-2013 04:18 PM

Question about substrate
So I have a simple question. Do I need to put anything over my substrate? Or can I just leave it as is?
Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate - Aquarium Rocks and Fish Tank Rock from

funkman262 01-24-2013 04:39 PM

What size tank is it? In larger tanks, some people mix it with another substrate to offset the costs. For example, in my 90g I used 80 lbs of ecocompleted topped with 50 lbs of black blasting sand. Using a finer sand on top may also help certain carpeting plants spread.

Byron 01-24-2013 04:56 PM

Either, as was noted by previous post. But mixing substrates does not always work, as the finer (sand) will end up on the bottom with the larger (gravel, Eco-complete, etc) on top.

Another problem with this is fish, substrate fish especially. If you intend corys or loaches, I would not use this or any similar substrate, but stay with fine gravel or (preferably for corys) sand. I have Flourite in my 70g, which is near-identical to EC, and I choose it because it felt less rough than EC in my fingers. But my corys in this tank began having issues and I ended up removing them to the sand substrate tank; they recovered nicely. I have also been advised by a catfish breeder never to put corys over EC or similar substrates. I think that is good advice.

Plain sand will be better (with substrate fish), and plants grow fine in it. And that's another issue; I spent $180 for Flourite for my 70g, and now after almost 2 years the plants are and have been no better in this tank than in my other 5 tanks with sand (some of the same substrate-rooted plants, same light, same fertilizing, etc). It would have cost me a grand total of $15 for sand. Actually, I have the sand, and any day now I intend tearing this tank down, throwing out the Flourite, and using play sand.


fishrush93 01-24-2013 05:16 PM

Its a 50 gallon. I have no idea as to what fish I will put in yet. I actually wanted feed back on that as well. I want a pleco and wanted to make sure it was okay with that gravel. Thanks for the replies!

fishrush93 01-24-2013 05:26 PM

Also, where could I get good plants for a reasonable price? The local stores (Reno, NV) don't really carry much for a good price.

funkman262 01-24-2013 05:52 PM

I've personally had good experiences with Planted Aquariums Central. You can also see if there's a local club that you can join. My local club has an auction each meeting with fish, plants, equipment, food, etc.

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