Best Substrate For Planted Aquarium

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 As an aquarium keeper to grow and maintain luxuriant aquatic plant, you need to add The Best substrate for Planted Aquarium that is mineralogical and biologically produced into your tank .
They are Iron rich Eco-Complete and they help eliminates the need for laterite. Getting the Best Substrate for planted Aquarium establishes a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer.
The substrate of an aquarium refers to the material used on the tank bottom. It can affect water chemistry, filtration, and the well-being of the aquarium’s inhabitants, and is also an important part of the aquarium’s aesthetic appeal.

Substrate is the base for owning a successful and healthy planted aquarium. Without good substrate, you’ll struggle to grow beautiful lush plants.

You need to understand the type of plants you want to keep, as they’ll dictate the type of substrate you’ll need.

Aquarium substrate serves several important purposes. Far more than mere decoration, it helps your fish feel more comfortable, especially if they are species that tend to burrow and feed near the bottom of their tank.

Getting the right type of substrate can ensure they have a habitat that will help them prosper. It also encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, which allows you to build an ecosystem advantageous to the animals and plants you have in your tank.

Identifying the Best Substrate for planted aquarium that will give the appropriate solutions and remarkably handle the affairs of the water in the tank is very important for you.

However, being able to do this can sometimes feel like achieving a milestone. This is because it can be confusing to choose from the majority of brands that promises to offer the best services for your aquarium.

Choosing the Best Substrate for Planted Aquarium 

There are set guidelines that you should consider when selecting the best Substrate for planted aquarium.

Impact on Fish: The type of substrate that you choose has a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of your fish.

Light-colored substrates, for example, can startle fish when there is an external light source pointed at your tank and reflecting into your fish’s eyes. This can cause them to hide.

Brand: it is essential to check the brand of the product you are buying because there are brands that have a reputation for quality in the market.

Reviews: what other consumers of the product are saying can really steer your decision making when buying your planted aquarium substrate.

Particle Size: Aside from influencing fish behavior, particle size can affect your tank’s conditions in other ways.

Large-sized substrate particles allow for food scraps to drop in between them, which can make your tank dirty and lead to toxic waste buildup.

Small-sized particles, on the other hand, can become impacted, which can affect the levels of oxygen in the tank

Quality: you should have a specific want and need regarding quality and functions you want from the type of planted aquarium substrate you are getting.

Having known this, you should look out for these qualities when buying your product.

 

Top 15 Best Substrate For Planted Aquarium 2020

1) Carib Sea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate

Eco-Complete planted aquarium substrate is produced with a New formula that ensures enhanced root development.

It out performs other products because it is rich basaltic volcanic soil which contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur plus over 25 other elements to nourish your aquatic plants.

Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate is mineralogically and biologically complete, giving you luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae. Iron rich Eco-Complete eliminates the need for laterite.

No artificial dyes, paints, or chemical coatings. Eco-Complete has highly porous spherical grains for optimum diffusion performance and contains live Heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants.

It establishes a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer. Directions: Add Eco-Complete to empty aquarium, then add water, plants, start all filters and pumps.

adding to an existing tank, mix in a few pounds a day over a period of a week or more.

  • Complete substrate for freshwater planted aquariums
  • Contains major and minor trace elements to nourish aquarium plants
  • Substrate encourages healthy plant root growth

2) GloFish Aquarium Gravel

GloFish Aquarium gravel completes your GloFish experience and complements GloFish. This gravel is specially selected to stand out under the blue lighting in your GloFish aquarium. Simply add gravel to your aquarium, decorate with GloFish plants and add your GloFish.

  • Black gravel with fluorescent accents
  • Use as substrate or accent
  • 5 pound bag
  • Rinse gravel before using

3) Spectrastone Shallow Creek 

This Shallow creek regular natural substrate is good for freshwater aquariums. It Will not affect PH and Safe for use in freshwater aquariums.

  • Will not affect PH
  • Safe for use in freshwater aquariums
  • Non-Toxic coating

4) Flourite Natural Substrate

Flourite is a specially fracted stable porous clay gravel for the natural planted aquarium. Its appearance is best suited to planted aquaria, but may be used in any freshwater aquarium environment.

Flourite is most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed, but it may be mixed with other gravels. Gravel modifiers such as laterite are not necessary.

Flourite is not chemically coated or treated and will not alter the pH of the water. Flourite is good for the life of the aquarium and need not be replaced.

Set-up:

Although it is pre-washed, because Flourite is a natural product, it may become dusty in transit and require rinsing before use to remove any residual dust.

When adding water to aquarium, fill slowly to avoid disturbing Flourite substrate bed. Place a bowl in the aquarium and add water directly to the bowl, allowing water to overflow softly on to the gravel bed. Initial cloudiness is normal. To remove cloudiness, use mechanical filtration (such as filter floss).

  • Rinse right in the bag
  • All natural Porous clay
  • For Planted Aquarium

5) Carib Sea ACS00877 Gemstone Creek Gravel for Aquarium

These Super Naturals Essentials substrates are from CaribSea. They are naturals, clean, beautifully packaged, Super Naturals Essentials and no compromise on quality.

FEATURES:

  • Caribe Gemstone Creek 50-pounds
  • Sizes and colors selected to re-create natural environments
  • ph neutral ; safe for all systems
  • larger grain sizes great for reducing detritus
  • made in the USA

6) Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum

Collected from the mineral rich foothills of the famous Mont Aso Volcano in Japan. Fluval Stratum is the substrate for stimulating the growth of aquatic plants in freshwater aquariums.

Plant roots easily penetrate and spread throughout the substrate, allowing plants to obtain a variety of key, readily available nutrients that will make them flourish.

The addition of Fluval Plant Micro Nutrients will ensure a full complement of essential macro and micro nutrients.

The substrate’s light, non-compacting, porous structure is also highly beneficial to nitrifying bacteria, which rapidly colonize the vast porous surface, providing optimal water quality for plants.

Fluval Stratum is the ideal substrate for stimulating the growth of aquatic plants in freshwater aquariums. Plant roots easily penetrate and spread throughout the substrate, allowing plants to obtain a variety of key, readily available nutrients that will make them flourish.

The addition of FLUVAL PLANT MICRO NUTRIENTS will ensure a full complement of essential macro and micro nutrients. The substrate’s light, non-compacting, porous structure is also highly beneficial to nitrifying bacteria, which rapidly colonize the vast porous surface, providing optimal water quality for plants.

Fluval Stratum’s inherent properties will help support a neutral to slightly acidic pH, ideal for most plant species and species of tropical fish or shrimp normally kept in planted aquariums.

Fluval Stratum also provides new born shrimp with the ideal refuge, allowing them to escape predation until they are large enough to emerge. This highly attractive substrate will not discolor water and helps control organic discoloration usually present when natural driftwood is used.

  • Mineral rich volcanic soil
  • Stimulates strong plant growth
  • Promotes neutral to mildly acidic pH
  • Suitable for plants or shrimp
  • 4.4 Pound bag

7) Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel 

FEATURES:

= GRAVEL: Seachem Flourite Black is a specially fracted stable porous clay gravel for the natural planted aquarium. Its appearance is best suited to planted aquaria, but may be used in any freshwater aquarium environment.

=  AQUARIUM BED: Gravel modifiers such as laterite are not necessary when using Seachem Flourite Black as this product is most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed, but it may be mixed with other gravels.

= SET-UP: When adding water to the aquarium, fill slowly to avoid disturbing Flourite Black substrate bed. Place a bowl in the aquarium and add water directly to the bowl, allowing water to overflow softly on to the gravel bed. Initial cloudiness is normal, but to remove this simply use mechanical filtration

= COMPATIBLE: Flourite Black substrates will work fine with an under gravel filter and will not soften or decompose to an unsuitable state within your tank.

= SAFETY: Seachem Flourite Black is not chemically coated or treated, thus does not alter the pH of the water. Flourite Black is beneficial for the life of the aquarium and need not be replaced.

8) Flourite, 7 kg / 15.4 lbs

Sachem fluorite is a specially fracted stable porous clay gravel for the natural planted aquarium. Its appearance is best suited to planted aquaria, but may be used in any freshwater aquarium environment.

Fluorite is most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed, but it may be mixed with other gravels. Gravel modifiers such as laterite are not necessary.

Fluorite is not chemically coated or Treated and will not alter the pH of the water. Fluorite is good for the life of the aquarium and need not be replaced.

9) Mr. Aqua N-MAR-066 1 L Water Plant Soil

Mr. Aqua’ s Water Plant Soil is composed using specific proprietary blends of organic and inert ingredients providing all essential elements as well as a stable and ideal rooting media.

The soil will also provide buffering capacities for softening water as well as a buffering pH from 6.6 – 6.8 depending on water parameters. The soil is a long lasting fertilized plant substrate lasting up to 12-18 months.

It purifies water that is stained from driftwood.  It prolongs water exchange periods up with its porous granular structure that is easily penetrated by plant roots. One bag Covers approximately 12″ x 6″ at 1″ deep or 6″ x 6″ at 2″ deep. Black in Color

  • Composed of organic and inert ingredients providing all essential elements
  • Long lasting fertilized plant substrate lasting up to 12-18 months
  • Prolongs water exchange periods
  • One bag Covers approximately 12″ x 6″ at 1″ deep or 6″ x 6″ at 2″ deep.
  • Black in Color

10) Zoo Med Repti Bark

All Natural. Made from the bark of fir trees. Hygroscopic. This means it absorbs moisture and then releases it, creating humidity.

The perfect substrate for humidity loving reptiles. Conducts and evenly distributes heat. Adds environmental stimulus. Allows natural digging and burrowing activity. Absorbent. Pulls icky waste away from your animal. Decorative.

Provides your terrarium with that natural tropical rainforest look. Re-usable and super easy to maintain. All you have to do is soak in hot water every 2 to 3 months for fresh, clean bark. (ReptiBark should be replaced at least once a year). Smaller chips provide better moisture retention (increased surface area).

Prevents live food from hanging out in your substrate (small pieces interlock).

 

                                  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is eco complete substrate?

EcoComplete Planted Aquarium Substrate contains more than 25 minerals to nourish aquatic plants. … Coarse EcoComplete substrate includes live, Heterotrophic bacteria to convert fish waste into natural food for your plants.

What is the best planted aquarium substrate?

Best Substrates for Planted Tanks Reviewed
  • ADA Aquasoil Amazonia. ADA Aquasoil is an excellent option if you want to keep many different plants. …
  • Seachem Flourite. …
  • CaribSea Eco-Complete. …
  • Mr Aqua Aquarium Soil Substrate. …
  • Hermit Habitat Terrarium Substrate.

How long does eco complete substrate last?

Eco complete has no shelf date on the product itself because it is good for many months into years if stored at room temperature. The bacteria in it are spored and do not become active unless they are exposed to a food source. To fill a tank 1 inch thick with substrate, it is roughly equivalent to 1

What is eco complete made of?

EcoComplete Planted Aquarium Substrate is mineralogically and biologically complete, Basaltic rock is rich in minerals and can be high in iron

How much substrate do I need?

Generally speaking, around 1 pound of substrate per gallon of water is what you want to go for. So, for a 5 gallon tank, this means you should be using about 5 pounds of gravel substrate

Is sand or gravel better for planted aquarium?

Gravel is the better choice for most freshwater aquariums. … Gravel also comes in a variety of colors so you can customize your tank and make it complement your fish. The Case for Sand Substrate. Sand doesn’t allow water to flow through it as well as gravel does

How thick should aquarium substrate be?

Substrate Size

Substrate material should be between 3 and 8 mm thick.

How deep should a planted aquarium substrate be?

The general rule for deep rooted plants is a depth of two to three inches of substrate. You can reduce this to accommodate any shallow rooting plants. Some plants can root without any substrate at all!

How often should I change aquarium substrate?

How often should I change the water in my aquarium? You should do a 25% water change every two to four weeks. There is no reason to remove the fish during the water change. Make sure you stir the gravel or use a gravel cleaner during the water change.

Can I change substrate with fish in tank?

so removing your fish and then the gravel and water and cleaning your tank first would be ideal. then you can put your new substrate in then your plants (its easier to plant when there is no water) and then add water and then fish. just make sure you keep your old filter dirty so that you still have a bacterial filter

How much substrate do I need for a 75 gallon planted tank?

The guideline is 1 lb per gal but it varies depending on what kind of substrate you are wanting. FF is correct, 1lb per gallon is a minimum but you may want a bit more depending on your theme and if you are considering a planted tank. I just use 50 pounds of sand for my 55-gallon tank

How do I change my aquarium substrate?

How to Replace Aquarium Substrate
  1. Replace All of the Substrate at the Same Time: Do it all at once. …
  2. Do Not Take the Fish Out: Many people feel the need to remove the fish during a substrate replacement. …
  3. Vacuum the Old Gravel: The day before the replacement do a thorough gravel vacuuming and water change. …
  4. Removing the Old Gravel: …
  5. Adding the New Sand

What is fish tank substrate?

The substrate of an aquarium refers to the material used on the tank bottom. It can affect water chemistry, filtration, and the well-being of the aquarium’s inhabitants, and is also an important part of the aquarium’s aesthetic appeal.

How to Choose the Right Aquarium Substrate

If you are planning to keep pet fish, one of the components that you need to think about when it comes to your aquarium setup is what kind of substrate you will use. Substrate refers to the materials that line the bottom of your aquarium. Choosing the right substrate will influence both the aesthetic aspect of your tank as well as the health and wellbeing of your pet fish.

How To Choose The Best Substrate For Your Planted Tank

Before you go ahead and look at individual types of substrate for your planted tank, you’ll need to understand some basic facts.

Learning this will allow you to make the correct decision for your tank.

What Is Substrate?

It’s the martial at the bottom of your aquarium to root plants into. However, substrates can also have an affect on water chemistry, filtration, and the aesthetic appeal of your planted aquarium.

Choosing Your Substrate

This is important if you want to own a successful planted tank: you need to know how your plants obtain their nutrients.

You have plants which get most of their nutrients from the water, and these are called water column feeders.

And then you have root feeders, these are plants which obtain their nutrients from the substrate.

This can affect the type of substrate you decide to purchase. Because there’s no point investing in an expensive substrate which is packed full of nutrients if you want to keep water column feeders.

I’m not saying a nutrient rich substrate won’t do anything for your aquarium. But, if you’re on a budget, you’re money may be better spent elsewhere.

Understanding Different Substrates

Sand

As long as you choose course sand, it can be a great substrate for planted tank. If you want, you can add iron supplements to your aquarium to help control the hydrogen sulfide your plants can’t deal with.

If you’re plants are column feeders, gravel can work as long as it doesn’t produce a lot of waste. You could also use gravel as a top layer of a multi-substrate tank.

If you’re thinking about adding gravel, you’ll need to consider which fish you will be keeping.Some fish may eat small pebbles (goldfish), and some could injure themselves on sharp gravel (betta fish).

Complete Substrates

Substrates like ADA aqua soil or CaribSea Eco-Complete contain nutrients which are great if you want to keep root feeders.

Complete substrates are excellent for starting your nitrogen cycle because they tend to cause an ammonia spike.

This does mean you should only add this substrate to new tank with no fish. Once you’ve cycled your tank and tested the pH levels, you can add fish.

Multi-Substrate

By adding a base later of sand, middle layer of aquarium soil, and a top layer of gravel, you’ll mimic a natural aquatic environment.

This type of layering can create a good base for your plants to root into, and offers a great environment for them to grow.And by layering the substrates, the gravel will help stop smaller particles from clouding the water in your tank.

What is the Purpose of Aquarium Substrate?

Aside from making your aquarium look good, the substrate actually serves two practical purposes in your tank. First, the right substrate allows beneficial bacteria to grow in your tank.

Your aquarium needs aerobic bacteria in order to facilitate the nitrogen cycle to work properly in your aquarium. If you have live plants inside (which is common in saltwater tanks), the substrate is also where these plants take root and draw nutrients from.

Substrates also mimic the natural environment your fish would live in if they were in the wild. If you have a fish species that likes to burrow, you need to use a substrate that will allow them to do so. Bottom-dwelling fish species normally root around in the substrate to eat food particles.

There are also some species of fish that lay their eggs in substrate, and choosing the proper substrate can help these fish feel safer when laying their eggs.

Common Substrate Materials

There are many different substrate materials available, but the most common that you will find is standard gravel. Gravel can come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.

It’s best used for fishes that naturally burrow. The size of the gravel will matter; smaller gravel pieces might be easier to burrow in, but it might also expose eggs.

Another common substrate type is crushed coral. Crushed coral can be beneficial to your tank because it regulates the pH of the water and increases its buffering capacity.

However, you might find it difficult to find pet shops that sell crushed coral, especially in places where corals are considered endangered.

You can also choose to use larger substrate, such as river rocks and marbles. Rocks are more natural, but they are usually porous, and algae can grow on or under rocks.

Marbles, on the other hand, can be used to protect eggs, because when they fall between the marbles, they are protected from the other adult fish in the tank. Marbles are also easier to clean when compared to rocks.

If you have live plants in your tank, you can use vermiculite or laterite as substrate. They contain important minerals that are essential for proper plant growth, and plants will usually root in them.

However, you should use these materials as one layer, and place a layer of gravel above them to provide structure and stability.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Substrates

Choosing a substrate is not a straightforward process. Depending on the size of the tank, species of fish, type of water, and your own personal preferences, you might choose to use a single substrate, or a combination of different substrates.

Here are some factors that you should consider when choosing the substrate material:

1. Reactivity to Water
While most substrate materials are inert, there are substrates that do influence water quality and conditions. As mentioned above, for example, crushed coral influences water pH by making it more alkaline.

This is beneficial if you’re keeping African cichlids, which need alkaline water for optimum health. On the other hand, peat moss has the opposite effect – it lowers water pH and makes it more acidic. This type of water environment is more suited for angelfish.

2. Impact on Fish
The type of substrate that you choose has a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of your fish. Light-colored substrates, for example, can startle fish when there is an external light source pointed at your tank and reflecting into your fish’s eyes. This can cause them to hide.

Burrowing fish prefer small pieces of gravel, but it can influence egg-laying cycles because it exposes the eggs to predators. You need to know what kind of substrate your specific fish species needs. A good way to know this is by reading what their natural habitat is. This way, you can simulate it using the substrate in your tank.

3. Particle Size
Aside from influencing fish behavior, particle size can affect your tank’s conditions in other ways. Large-sized substrate particles allow for food scraps to drop in between them, which can make your tank dirty and lead to toxic waste buildup.

Small-sized particles, on the other hand, can become impacted, which can affect the levels of oxygen in the tank. In general, it’s best to use a mixture of large and small substrate sizes.

4. Color
Color is perhaps the most forgiving factor when it comes to choosing the right substrate for your tank. You can choose substrate colors based on your personal preferences and what you want your tank to look like.

Some people love seeing bright, welcoming colors in their tank (like what you would find with marbles and colored rocks), while others prefer muted, more natural colors.

If you have brightly colored fish, dark-colored substrates make them pop out. You can play around with substrate colors to see which work best for you.

Conclusion

The process of selecting the best Substrate for planted aquarium may be tedious but it is of great essence because as we have discussed it determines to a large extent the survival of your aquarium and plants.

Although these gravels and their compositions differ by their brand and capabilities, and it is of importance that you have it in mind that several new products are being pumped into the market every day.

Creating a beautiful, ecstatic and habitable environment for your aquarium is very much possible, not to mention cheaper. Now it’s easier and safer too.

Making the right choice should be your priority and with the above set guidelines, you can be sure not to have a difficult time in the market when planning to get your best Substrate for planted aquarium .

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