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what substrate

Mr P

4 Oct 2011
NW london
hi everyone,
what substrate have you found the best for keeping the plants anchored down.i am using a mix of columbo florabase and akadama.the plants mostly grasses keep lifting out of it and it is driving me mad.
I want a smaller grain size substrate with a bit of weight to it. I also have h.c.in the tank and want something the little roots can hold in,any suggestions?
thanks, roy.
Personally from the types of substrates I've used before, Cat litter, gravel, sand and ebi gold shrimp substrate I find sand to be the best at anchoring plants. I dare say all the plants that I have planted stayed down first time a part from the likes of amazon swords and Crypt Wendtii due to thier size and root structures even after trimming the roots.
I picked up a bag of fluval stratum, having never used soil substrates before I was a bit worried about how it would hold plants as it seems very light but its been superb now plants lifting at all even with my clumsy hands wafting them during water changes, although quite expensive I would definitely consider using it again in the future
I think the main problem of roy's substrate is the Akadama. Florabase should be similar to the fluval stratum. I'm guessing the akadama is on top. I've actual just swapped substrates in one of my shrimp tanks from gravel to aquatic compost and peat mix and the cat litter as always was a pain to plant. The spraybar could actually move bits of cat litter around. Cat litter and akadama is basically the same thing so try using the florebase on its on, it really doesn't need capping.
I originally had the florabase on top of the akadama it has been in the tank about a year now and has become mixed now,i done it that way to bulk it out abit,smaller plants don't really grip in it,in my other tank I have eco complete and the roots grow into the grains but I did not want to use it in both tanks, I have not used sand with small rooted plants and wondered what your experience has been with it ,thanks for the feedback
I don't think HC can root effectively in sand unless you have left a bit of wool on the roots and bury the wool to let the HC root in.

HC roots more efficiently in sand than in whatever other substrate! The fine grains are perfect for the fine HC roots. But off course it has no nutrients in it so you need to do water column dosing. Fluval/akadama/Colombo, it's all the same regarding ease of rooting. The smaller the grains the better it roots. Just use a cm of powder version of the substrate on top and it stays in the substrate way easier. Any Corydoras, kuhlli's or other bottom dwellers trying to find food below the plants in your tank and HC is almost impossible to stay down with any other substrate than sand.
thanks johan I will see about changing the substrate soon to sand,i dose ferts daily any way so that is no problem.
thanks roy.