So many substrates, so many decisions

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by funky, 5 Apr 2009.

  1. funky

    funky Newly Registered


    I have just shut my reef tank down, and have a 4ft 260 litre aquarium with which I want to keep Discus in. I am looking at a nice planted tank, not eally looking to get anywhere near what some of you guys have achieved, but want good plant growth, and a nice clean set up to show off the Discus.

    I have already purchased a Pressurised CO2 system, with solenoid, an Eheim professional filter, and a hydor external heater. I also have the external that was with the tank, and another hydor external if needed.
    The tank will have 4 x 39w T5's for lighting, which will be set to come on at different times. The Eheim is currently running alongside my ex700 on my 180l freshwater set up.

    So, the question is, which substrate is going to be best for me? Not too fussed at the cost, as I want to do this once, and dont want to be messing around with something I could have got right in the beginning. Any tips or advice would be appreciated. I would like some form of carpeting plant in the foreground if at all possible.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Superman

    Superman Member

    I've recently setup my nano using the AquaSoils from ADA, they don't need any capping but do have an ammonia leech into the water for some time.
    I also have the Tropica planted substrate under a gavel cap. Thats been good for me but using a purely planted substrate such as the Aquasoils or Nature Soil would be better.

    At the end of the day, there's so many out there each slightly different from the other. But most will deliver reasonable results.
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    By consensus the best substrate to date is ADA Aquasoil which is a clay product and is highly nutrient enriched. This doesn't man though that you should ignore water column dosing...

  4. funky

    funky Newly Registered

    Ive just been reading about aquasoil, and it seems to be very popular.

    I will be dosing too, I already dose my 180l, but at present that is run on DIY CO2, which I will likely replace when funds allow.
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Leamington Spa, UK.
    An alternative might be the new substrate from Oliver Knott. It apparently doesn't leech amonia like AS, but it's still early days yet...
  6. Nelson

    Nelson Member

  7. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    And also for shrimp ;)
  8. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Daventry, Northants
    Do you subscribe to PFK? if so, George did a good review on almost every substrate available in the January issue (i think it was Jan) If it were me it would be ADA Aqua Soil because I and many others have had great results. The whole ADA substrate system is clearly fantastic but to do the "whole" system is expensive. I use just Aqua Soil and it rocks. Oliver Knott's new one is next for me to try.
  9. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Thanks mate. The substrate review was in the planted special issue (March). ... blogid=249

    ADA Aqua Soil came out top for complete substrates, with Tropica Planted Substrate for stuff that need topping with regular gravel/sand.

    I've used a lot of substrate products and ADA are the best so far. If you're on a tight budget then the Tropica product with Tropica capsules works very well.

    The new Oliver Knott product looks interesting and one I will try out at some point. Our very own aquascaping prodigy, Mark (saintly) is clearly having great results with it.

    It's worth mentioning that a good substrate is only part of the equation to a successful planted tank. It's probably more important to concentrate on other aspects, such as CO2 (if used), other nutrients and filtration/circulation.

    It is possible to grow great plants in plain gravel or sand, as long as water column nutrients are dosed appropriately.

    However, a good nutritious substrate will give you more room for error with regards nutrient dosing. This is why Aqua Soil works well with those that prefer lean dosing. Plants do even better, however, with both a nutrient-rich substrate and water column.
  10. funky

    funky Newly Registered

    I have just dug that issue out and aout to read it again.

    My 180l just has a laterite base, topped with gravel, and I have diy co2, and dose and I have good plant growth.

    With this set up, I just want to start right, and do it once, rather than change my mind halfway through :rolleyes: :D
  11. amy4342

    amy4342 Member

    I personally like the Eco-Complete because I've had good plant growth with it, just as good as my other tank which has ADA Amazonia, and I think the colour compliments my Discus.

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