Substrate Help

newmag1659

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Hi!

This is my 10 gallon killifish and corycat tank. Everyone is doing well, but I'm having trouble with my plants! I thought I'd really like fluval stratum but I don't... the plants won't stay put. Even in my other tank with 3+ inches of substrate, I'm constantly having to replant. Is there a substrate I could put on top of the fluval stratum so the plants still benefit from it, but I can actually plant them? The plants are only currently staying down because I have jerry rigged weights for them, but I would much rather be able to un-bunche everything. Additionally, the fluval stratum coats the leaves in black dust. Not to mention, it's quite expensive (for a college student, at least).

I've put more money than is financially wise into this tank, so I can't do something expensive. Would sand work? I know the corycats would like it. If so, what kind?

Also I seem to be struggling with a bacteria bloom, but that also could be the fluval stratum just being cloudy again, so no idea.

Note: these are my first killis and they are too fat, I know! The breeder says I need to fast them a little bit so that's what I'm currently doing.

It's stocked with 6 corycats and 4 gardneri killifish. Fully cycled.

tank10gal.jpg
 

Retired Viking

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A lot of people use sand, it is cheap and works well with plants. I use plant taps to feed my rooted plants. I currently have gravel but plan on changing one of my 29 gallon tanks to sand after hearing how well it works and is also good for cory. I bought a bag of quikrete play sand from fleetfarm for around 3 dollars
 
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newmag1659

newmag1659

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A lot of people use sand, it is cheap and works well with plants. I use plant taps to feed my rooted plants. I currently have gravel but plan on changing one of my 29 gallon tanks to sand after hearing how well it works and is also good for cory. I bought a bag of quikrete play sand from fleetfarm for around 3 dollars
I’ve heard great things about play sand! And I also use root tabs and ferts even with the fluval.. overall gonna say it wasn’t worth the money
 

Retired Viking

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I’ve heard great things about play sand! And I also use root tabs and ferts even with the fluval.. overall gonna say it wasn’t worth the money
I have heard that from others too and the mess of replacing it when it wears out. I try and keep it simple with my plants. Love having planted tanks for the last two years after many years of plastic. Plastic is easier but live plants are rewarding.
 

Byron

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In general, so-called plant substrates are more trouble than benefit re the plants. Substrate fish like cories have several issues with these. I tried one several years ago but after two years out it went, total waste of money.

I have Quikrete Play Sand in all my tanks, and have for several years now. No problems for plants, fish or the system. Quikrete Play Sand is sold by Home Depot, and Lowe's I believe. There are two colour hues, one a tan (resembles ordinary beach sand) and the other dark grey mix. I have the latter and really like it.

As for keeping plants "rooted," this is or will be an issue in any substrate depending upon the plants and the substrate activity of fish. I use small rounded river rocks to hold plants down until they get rooted anyway, but I tend to leave the pebbles after because they look natural.
 

Salty&Onion

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And also a 10 gallon tank is too small for cories. They need sand substrate and a 20 gallon tank.

In general, so-called plant substrates are more trouble than benefit re the plants. Substrate fish like cories have several issues with these. I tried one several years ago but after two years out it went, total waste of money.

I have Quikrete Play Sand in all my tanks, and have for several years now. No problems for plants, fish or the system. Quikrete Play Sand is sold by Home Depot, and Lowe's I believe. There are two colour hues, one a tan (resembles ordinary beach sand) and the other dark grey mix. I have the latter and really like it.

As for keeping plants "rooted," this is or will be an issue in any substrate depending upon the plants and the substrate activity of fish. I use small rounded river rocks to hold plants down until they get rooted anyway, but I tend to leave the pebbles after because they look natural.
 
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