Substrate choice - all-in-one

nry

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2007
Messages
1,227
Location
Cumbria, UK
I've always gone for a plant substrate topped with sand/gravel in the past but have wondered on some of the all-in-one products like FloraBase etc. which I noticed on PlantedBox. The easiness appeals, chuck one bag in and away you go, but how do they fare over time? FloraBase mentions it maintains pH for a year - what happens after a year?

It also seems that it can break down over time - if I have no specific plans to re-scape on a fixed schedule, am I better off sticking to my usual choice of e.g. AquaBasis Plus (prefer this over the clay-style Tropica products as it doesn't tend to make as much mess when re-planting) topped with a fine gravel?
 

JamesM

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2008
Messages
1,913
Location
The BIG End, South Wales
AquaSoil is known to break down to mud after a few months to a year, but Oliver Knott's NatureSoil and Flora-Base have a different structure which isn't so easily crushed, and even if crushed it doesn't go to mush.

FB, NS and AS will all lower the pH and soften the water for roughly a one year period, after this any water you add to the tank will be roughly the same as its source. There's nothing to stop you using the substrate for more than 1 year however :)
 
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