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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
http://www.petsmart.com/global/include/inc_product_detail_popup.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524441781444&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302030109&ASSORTMENT<>ast_id=2534374302023693&bmUID=1172677462568

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.
 

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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.
 

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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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is it ok to have a base of small gravel then a layer of sand ... i want to have fresh water gobbies
 

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I've got flourite mixed with regular aquarium gravel (5-7 mm spectrastone) in 3 of my tanks. Seems to work all right, but I haven't had much luck with grass type plants - hairgrass or sag, and I have a hell of a time getting hygro to root (but once it does it stays rooted.)

The trick with fuorite is to get a big old wash tub or 25 gallon storage container and rinse the suffering f____ out of it. I rinsed it until I could see the fuorite in the bottom when the container was full. The rinse water was still cloudy as all get out, but putting it under a layer of gravel in the tank before filling and then filling slowly kept me from getting a cloudy tank.
 

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I used a kitchen colander. Filled it 1/2 way with Flourite and then blasted the heck out of it with a sprayer attachment on the garden hose. Put a tray underneath to catch all the little pieces that fell through. Went to WalMart the next day and bought a new colander :)
 

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I am just starting a new tank and it will be a well planted one... From the aquarium store I bought a special type of gravel at the bottom that is rich with nutrients. It is a little pricey so I mixed it with another finely ground gravel.. Make sure to rinse it VERY WELL if you get it because for a couple of days my tank was very cloudy... luckily there was nothing living in there..
 
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