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Re: [APD] Other Substrates

--- krisa at demilune_net wrote:

> Does anyone have an opinion (should I have to ask?) on
> Red Sea's plant substrate 


> or Eco-Complete? 

I find it works as well as Onyx or Flourite. In fact I set
up two identical tanks, side by side differing only on that
one had Onyx andone ahd Eco-C. The Eco-C is a darker color
than Onyx, if you like something blacker. The pieces are
sort round balls, while Flourite and Onyx are clearly
created by fracturing. The Eco-C bits are of various sizes
and the smaller ones tend to find their way to the bottom,
leaving the largest pieces to cover the substate surface.
they might be good or bad aesthetically, depending on
individual tastes. It's probably good insofar as finer
stuff staying on top might tend to "seal" the substrate.
It's certainly unavoidable -- if the density is about the
same, the smaller bits will find their way to the bottom.

Regarding such stratification, it is one reason that mixing
1-2 mm sand with Flourite doesn't do much to diminish the
appearance of Flourite, since despite any disturbances to
the substrate, the sand finds its way back towards the

I found that it's slightly easier to insert a plant into
Onyx and have it stay in place than with Eco-C. But the
diff is very small. I think that diff is due to Onyx being
a finer sized material.

Eco-C is essentially dustless if that's important to you.
Personally, I don't find the dust that comes with Flourite
and Onyx hard to deal with.

> Also, what's
> a good depth total for gravel on Fluorite?

Often "about 3 inches" is recommended as a rule of thumb.
However, in tank less than 30g, 3" might look like a bit
much. I've used 1.5" in the 10-15g range, 3" in 30g, and
3"-6" in my 150g and haven't noticed any diff I could
attribute to substrate depth. 

When planting a mature plant with a well developed root
structure, the extra substrate depth makes it a bit easier
to plant the plant. In a couple tanks smaller than 1g I
have about 1/2", but the plants are very small and it
doesn't take much substrate to hold them down. At that
depth of substrate. The few plants I've tried in these mini
tanks seem to do as well as they do in other slow growth
tanks that are larger and have deeper substrate.
Hope that helps at least a little,
Good luck, good fun,
Scott H.

Want to get dirty but stay clean? 

Diana Walstad, author of _Ecology of the Planted Aquarium_ will discuss soil supplemented aquarium substrates at the 2004 AGA Convention.

Convention Details/Registration at aquatic-gardeners.org & gwapa.org
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