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Aniket Mishra

16 Sep 2014
Hi guys,
I am planning on buying a 29g tank(75cm x 30cm x 45cm) and wanted to know about a good substrate for a low tech tank. No EI or CO2. I am thinking between laterite or indian river sand or ADA Amazonia. I feel I should go with amazonia because the former gave me a lot of trouble while doing a 4g bowl that I had. I wanted to know whether it clouds up the water, and if so, then how long does it take to settle? Also, when is the best time to plant my plants, after misting the soil, half or quarter way thorugh, or after the dust has settled(If there is any)? I don't want any dust to settle on my leaves.
I used this in a low tech for many years...couldn't fault it!....in fact it go better with age!
Needs some rinsing but is good to go after that doesn't cloud that much on set up either!
Its a tad expensive...but it doesn't break down..after 6 months!
There is also a sand version!
I grew some lovely low tech plants in this substrate.
Flourite was my first choice bu then, I will have BN Plecos, I have heard flourite is sharp. Should I be concerned about that?
Well first of all, thank you for the reply, but I want to avoid dosing ferts as I find it a bit cumbersome. Since amazonia is a nutrient rich substrate, I thought I I could just use the subs nutrients and then provide moderate lighting for growth. Is there something wrong with amazonia? I am a beginner, should I avoid it?
If you've got plecs I would fear clouding issues with Amazonian - it does crumble a little over time and mine has always released clouds of particles if disturbed. I'd go with sand, perhaps with plain old pond soil underneath if you're confident the bristle nose won't dig too much.

If you don't fancy soil, then a good all in one fert is really not a chore to dose. I'm using plain sand in my current 570l tank and just dose 2ml of ferts daily - takes 5 seconds with a pipette. Weekly dosing would also be fine, or just as needed a la Darrell's Duckweed Index.

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I'd go with Tom's suggestion of pond soil covered with sand. If you're worried about your plecs digging and disturbing it put some greenhouse shading mesh between the soil and sand - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Greenhouse-Shading-5m-x-6m/dp/B001P3SPIU/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1411382353&sr=8-13&keywords=greenhouse shading netting
Soil is dirt cheap compared to Gucci substrates, like Amazonia, which cost the earth:D And there are many other synergistic benefits. Check out the link below for more details...

And no Ed I don't think Richard is a Dr and Clive's not a black gangsta rapper either...:eek:
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