I’m planning on setting up a 29 gallon heavily planted aquarium during fall semester. I am currently locked in a debate between pool filter sand and ADA aqua soil as substrates, but I’d also consider eco-complete as an option. I would love any input on this topic. A CO2 system…
I’ve never used it but I’ve used a combo playsand and Eco complete basically for everything and it works fine. I honestly would save the money and buy Eco complete plus ferts or something.
I’ve never used ADA Aquasoil in part because my LFS doesn’t carry it but mostly because it costs half a fortune to put into any tank, about $70 for a 9 liter bag. That 9 liter bag in your 29 gallon is going to give you a substrate about 1.5 inches which isn’t really enough and even if you did try to get away with just one bag you’re left with almost nothing to do any actual aquascaping with so it kind of defeats the point of buying Aquasoil forcing you to get at least 2 bags (depending on what exactly your intentions for the final scape are) so minimum you’re talking $140 minimum on just your substrate. That being said you do get what you paid for (you’re also paying for the name AMANO attached to it but thats a whole different point) everything I’ve read about the stuff leads me to believe its the best of the best and does have many benefits which I don’t believe other straight out of the bag substrates provide, e.g. lowered pH and Kh. However unless you’re running a super high tech tank with very difficult species you don’t really need those benefits, it would be like buying a Rolls Royce just so you can get to work.
Pool filter sand is on the other end of spectrum though people started using the stuff because its dirt cheap (<$10 for a 50lb bag) compared to advertised for aquarium substrates, its inert so it wont screw up your water column chemistry and it just so happens to be fairly aesthetically pleasing. The first and last things points are positives for a planted tank but the second point presents some issues; being inert the root systems of any of your substrate planted plants will have a difficult time pulling many of the necessary nutrients they need in order to grow fast and healthy, which as far as I can tell is the whole point of going to the trouble of setting up a high tech tank. This can be circumvented somewhat by using root tabs placed into the substrate near your plants for them to get nutrient from but I have a suspicion that if you wanted to do a carpet of something like dwarf hairgrass or baby tears you’re going to have some issues getting it as thick as you might want. Also if pool sand is anything like play sand it has a fairly high silica composition which will bleed out into your water column and give you some difficulties with diatoms/brown algae if you’re not diligent with your water changes and even then you can get some spikes early on. Another worry about sand substrates is their risk of compaction and the creation of anaerobic zones which if released will kill pretty much everything in the tank.
If you’re trying to set up a high tech tank I wouldn’t skimp too much on the substrate so straight pool filter sand as your only substrate material is probably a poor choice but ADA aquasoil is a bit overkill especially if its your first high tech tank. I’d go with peaceypanic or trevblogs recommendations and use something like Eco Complete or Fluorite. I’ve heard only good things about their ability to provide a good active substrate for plants and the main complaints I’ve ever read come in the form of it being messy to start with or having large granules. If you like the look of the pool sand you could do like they said and cap either of those base substrates with a layer of pool sand to provide the best of both worlds.
There are several other options available if you’ve got a DIY attitude like minearlized soil substrates or if you’re parsimonious like me there are some exceptionally cheap options (e.g. kitty litter) available which will still provide a good base for your plants. If this sort of thing peaks your interest I’d be happy to point you in the directions of some good articles on them
sorry for the excessively long post
And 6 months later she’s lookin alright
Because I’m a slob and don’t know how to submit
Strip I use for my bedroom 20, lights are on the timer with heater and filter running from the strip
Also got the last angelfish for this tank. Hes been here since yesterday, his name is smokey joe and i love his fins.
Those fins are babe status
In 1983 a man was tested to see if he could sense god if all his senses were taken away. Every sense nerve in his brain was disconnected. He could not feel, hear, see or smell. He began reporting he could hear the voices of the dead and gave precise details that he could have not known. He then said he could see them and began clawing at his eyes, it turned to screaming and biting chunks of his flesh off. His last words were “I have spoken with God, and he has abandoned us” and died.
this is terrifying
Bullshit bullshit bullshit
Billiam is out and about enjoying the evening
I love the side view of my 20. Which is good because that’s the side I see from my bed
The Greatest Tattoo Artists in the World, and where to find them.
Love the different styles