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Discussion Starter #1
so what do you think? flourite black? red sea max? flora max? what else?

pros and cons of each? what do you use? why?

just curious as to what you think, setting up a new high tec planted but want to see whats best (not for me, but in general)

so far i have used all three i mentioned and i can say i was most happy with Red sea max substrate.
 

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without EI dosing i've had the best looking plants with florabase. Reds were still intense, insane plant growth, just didn't like how easily it clouded the water so now i used it for potted plants in the window :D
 

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haha..when i first started up my tank i did some "research"..well..kinda. i wanted a substrate that is reasonable price, good for live plants and safe for dwarf shrimps. therefore i ended up with flourite black so that the plants and livestocks will be able to show off their colours. well i started with cherries..and yah...the red/pink of the shrimps and the different colours of the plants/wood definitely looked nice with the black substrate...kinda wish i had used the "sand" instead of the regular substrate. plus it was available in store...

i see/read a lot of people like the ADA substrates...
 

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i have used flourite gravel for about a year now, getting boring so i think ima switch over to sand, i currently use the flourite gravel for very-low tech set up and the plants actualy grow pretty good for .65 watts per gallon.
 

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i dont think there is a BEST, there is so much speculation with substrate i think you just gotta try something and go from there.

FloraBase by RedSea - This stuff is almost a redish color. I really liked this substrate but it does get very cloudy when you disturb it. It's basically a clay type.

Flourite Black(not sand) - I have been using this for the last year and i really like it. I like the color alot. It's not a clay based, more or less a rocky type substrate similar to eco complete. it did not cloud on me at all, i did not rinse it before. Worked great
 

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I used Florabase in my 25g and have been pretty happy with the results, I capped it with regular fine grained natural colour gravel.

I'm in the process of mineralizing a load of topsoil which I'm going to use in a spare 33g. I plan on capping it with either sand or fine gravel and seeing how that works out. All going well I hope to use the same soil in the 50g in my living room when I upgrade its lighting and turn it into a high light planted tank.

Ryan in Richmond
 

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I like eco myself....

If you buy it new you don't need to cycle your tank. I don't like ada too much of a buffering nightmare to get the ph neutral, and I got alot of crypt melt in it. Right now i'm experimenting with a layer of peat as the base layer and then eco ontop. So far so good. The eco buffers the water to a nice neutral ph....
 

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Eco-complete by Carribsea is the way to go!
It's pre washed and wet in the bag, so it's basically pour in and start planting.
Sea Chem products require loads of washing, to a point where one might just give up. :D
 
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