Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Melissa 02-10-2007 06:57 AM

What is the best kind of substrate for planted tanks? I have heard many thing. What i have it is like pebbles. its bigger that gravel, and im thinking i shouldnt have bought it as the plants dont stay rooted well. Being the first time im trying a planted tank i want to get it right.

Derek-M 02-10-2007 07:14 AM

You should have a laterite layer mixed with some fine 1/8"gravel first,,then top up with more fine gravel to a depth of 3" rear sloping down to 2" at the front

Aquaticmoon 02-10-2007 10:13 AM

The grain size should be 2-5 mm for the best results. There are a lot of choses on the market today. I like to use Eco-complete, or Onxy sand.

jones57742 02-10-2007 11:02 AM


The following are photographs of the substrate very similar to that which Derek was describing:


fish_4_all 02-11-2007 12:36 AM

Hey Mel, to make it really simple, it all depends on what you like and want to use. The size is the only real key when it comes to hloding them and letting the roots become established. I started with standard aquarium gravel and had mixed results with plants. Once I mixed in some of the smaller river run gravel my plants too off and I have not had a problem since.

The only time you need a more fancy substrate is if you are trying to grow a small root plant like HC or similar. These plants really require a much smaller substrate like Eco Complete or Turface so their roots can actually get a hold of the substrate. If you are only wanting to grow the normal plants, then a small substrate, like an average size of a BB will work fine. I have grown Red Melon Swords, Crypts, Pearlweed, Elodea, Anubias, Primrose and most other plants that my light levels will support. The large pebbles could stay but they will wind up on the surface with the smaller gravel.

Melissa 02-11-2007 07:36 AM

well i have the plants with wights on them so the roots can grow a bit. In my tank i have some swords, water sprite, moneywart, and bronze wendtii. I also have a small plant thats supposed to spread with time. Well i was just worried that the plants wouldnt stay rooted. Idid take out my gouramis because they kept pulling the plants out. Well im sure with time the plants will start rooting good. We have only just bought most of them. And thatnks for all the advise everyone.

fish_4_all 02-11-2007 05:26 PM

Just make sure that the weights aren't too tight or restricting the roots. It can cause the stems to break and the roots to grow slowly or not at all. If you can, simply put the plants in at an angle with a leaf on the bottom so they will stay in the substrate. I actually had to bury pearlweed to get it to take root and now it is growing in very nicely and is likely one of the best plants I have even had for live bearers and baby shelter.

Melissa 02-28-2007 09:47 AM<>prd_id=84552 4441781444&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302030109&ASSO RTMENT<>ast_id=2534374302023693&bmUID=117267746256 8

if i put this into my tank, how much will i need. also i can still put some gravel on top if it still right? i want to change the substrate because i have the wring kind and i want to do it right this time. i really want a good planted tank.

fish_4_all 02-28-2007 11:03 AM

Fluorite can be mixed with anything or layered if you want to. Just make sure to rinse it really, REALLY good as I have heard it clouds tanks really bad if you don't. You will still get some clouding but it is supposed to go away after a couple days.

Hopefully someone who actually uses it will chime in but I have never heard a bad thing about it.

hamdogg08 02-28-2007 12:30 PM

I have Florite in my tank, and it clouded the water like crazy, however about a week later, the water was crystal clear. I would pick up a $3 pack of filter floss when you buy the substrate to take care of the water clarity.

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