What substrates is everyone using?

bobblehead27

Plecostomus
Original poster
MFK Member
Apr 15, 2010
884
120
61
SE Houston
Curious what substrates would be best for a heavily planted tank, I would prefer it still be fine grains, and obviously if there's a cheaper option with equivalent results, that'd be awesome.
 

kno4te

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Global Moderator
MFK Member
Dec 24, 2005
13,226
12,092
480
USA
Using seachem flourite in one tank and another I’m using fluval stratum.
 

mrrobxc

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Nov 29, 2012
3,974
3,663
584
SE PA
Soil based is best for planted tanks since Flourite and the like are inert substrates. Someone did a real evaluation on CEC of Flourite and actually found it to be pretty low. That said, it looks good. I use Flourite sand in brown for one tank and it looks great. I use Osmocote Root tabs under my swords.
 

Hendre

Fight my pet lion
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jan 14, 2016
8,437
7,652
398
17
South Africa
I struggle with fluorite and its ability to hold SO MUCH detritus, it's insane. Flourite sand works extremely well though.

What size tank, fish etc. Makes a big difference in the substrate choice :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: bobblehead27

Gourami Swami

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jul 13, 2006
5,856
5,544
753
DC
I've been using fluval stratum since they sell it at Petco. Seems to work fine. I have used Mr. Aqua aquasoil in the past and noticed no difference. I have heard good things about miraclegro organiz potting soil with a layer of heavier substrate like the stratum on top. If I were to set up another planted tank that's probably what I would do.
 

fishhead0103666

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
May 14, 2018
3,624
3,124
154
I actually had a tank that technically had no substrate but was heavily planted. It was bare bottom but with the bottom covered with driftwood sticks cut to size then bundled together to let water flow through and let the plants take root. I used Anubias nana and Anubias petite exclusively for this as they do well on driftwood and I am a fan of Anubias.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bobblehead27

bobblehead27

Plecostomus
Original poster
MFK Member
Apr 15, 2010
884
120
61
SE Houston
Thanks everyone. I used a substrate that I had in a bucket. Idk what it even is, but I remember when I bought it they said it was for planted tanks. I forgot I even had it. It looks like crushed lava rock. Anyway that's layered under home Depot play sand


I've been using fluval stratum since they sell it at Petco. Seems to work fine. I have used Mr. Aqua aquasoil in the past and noticed no difference. I have heard good things about miraclegro organiz potting soil with a layer of heavier substrate like the stratum on top. If I were to set up another planted tank that's probably what I would do.
I thought of using this method, I'm just nervous that the fish would disturb it and the soil would ruin the tank.
 

Fat Homer

Mmmmm... Doughnuts
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Mar 16, 2009
9,081
2,942
478
----
After getting serious with planted tanks i started using soil for ease of use including ADA Amazonia / Fluval / and there is another asia brand i forgot name of...
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store