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[APD] Different Substrates

I've been conservative with substrates and was very conservative with
Flourite which was trhe first decent substrate and made by a company that
is very involved in the plant hobby.
I used it for many years before touting it.
I also had a good reference point to compare it's usage in a variety of
water column routines/substrate types.
Using exclusively(assumed no nutrient input from the substrate in a RFUG
system) sand and RFUG's, and water column dosing only, this allows a good
comparison of a substrate since any changes to the best water column dosing
system will be due to almost entirely to the substrate.

If you are going to compare one vs another, you need to fully understand
the water column's contribution to plant health.

I would say that Eco complete, Flora base, Flourite, Onyx are all fairly
New folks will do fine with each.

That being said, I will say I do not care for a comopany that suggest you
can replace the substrate and that it replaces CO2 additions which is what
EC/FB suggest in their advertizing. I do not NEED CO2 for any substrate.
This is wrong and suggest to new folks something that is not true.

If you want something that is going to add CO2, organic matter is the
source for that in the substrate. There is only a FINITE AMOUNT OF POSSIBLE
CO2 THAT CAN BE DECOMPSED in the substrate for plants.
You cannot get away from that fact.
But some sources of waste can come in from the fish waste etc, but not
enough to supply the fully planted tank with high light etc.

This is why I like Flourite/Onyx.
You want richer? Add agar laced substrate tabs/Flourish tabs for traces etc.

I suggest peat(a source of nutrients from binding/CO2 and provides a slight
reductive nature) and mulm(source of particulate organic matter, another
source of CO2/nutrients and bacteria that is present in an established
aquarium) to any of these substrates.

SeaChem is the only company that has been involved here and with the
hobbyist and with any web based discussion that I have seen.
Therefore they get my loyalty.

You can use any of these 4 substrates with equal results. 

Nutrients are only going to come from the substrate and or the water column.
There are no other places and this is what plants use to grow.
They need the esssential nutrients to grow, they don't get these, they
don't grow, adding more nutrients beyond their max is not going to cause
the plants growth faster.

You can supply these from the sub or the water column, there are no other
places you can it from.
No "secrets", voodoo etc. 

Be glad there are several to choose from vs the sand laterite days(which
still works pretty good).

I would suggest adding more peat /mulm to these if you want to play around,
SeaChem's tabs/agar DIY tabs etc.

I would not suggest using Jobes sticks etc(Has uera and NH4).

Tom Barr

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