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Old 10-05-2007, 10:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ok What do you think of this mix...

Hey Guys I have been doing some research on substraights and I know ADA is some of the best out there but it can also be expensiene. So this is what I am going to be using in my amazon tank.

2 bags- Carib Sea Eco-Complete Plant Substrate 20 Lbs.
1 bag- Seachem Onyx Sand 7 Kg
1 bag- ADA Aqua Soil, Maylan Blend
1 bag- 20 lbs River sand (For highlight in front of tank )

I figured on a light base of the onyx sand with the ada soil topped off with the Eco. Anyone have any thoughts on this substraight, selection?

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Old 10-05-2007, 10:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ok What do you think of this mix...

What are you trying to achieve with the various materials? Generally a single substrate material is going to be most satisfactory in the long run. The materials will inevitably mix in the tank, as they get stirred by water circulation, digging fish, plant roots, setting out or uprooting plants, and gravity. Those who are using their aquarium as an art piece, creating a work of art, that will be carefully groomed, photographed and torn down for the next work of art, can use all kinds of substrates in the tank, but people who want to set it up and keep it looking and working well for several years will probably prefer a single material.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ok What do you think of this mix...

Well Hoppy, I want a dark substraight so that the colors of my fish will stand out. I currently have a school of 10 cory's, and 8 Baby bolivian rams in quarintiene as we speak. I am also planing on some black neon tetras, as well as standard neons, and a couple blue rams. I would like to cross the blue and the bolivians some day. I know they prefer a sandy substraight. But I wanted to add a little brightness to the floor of the tank. I do plan on having this tank up for several years, with minor changes when needed. I am currently soaking some rock, slate, as well as grape vine an drift wood for the tank. So I am trying for a good base for my crypts and chain sowrds to spread their roots. but I would also Like a sandy substraight for my cichlids and their breeding needs.

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Old 10-05-2007, 03:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ok What do you think of this mix...

Eco Complete is a dark substrate, so why not use it by itself? Then, if you find you want to setup the tank again, starting over for some reason, you can easily scoop out the substrate, wash it a bit and reuse it. If you mix other stuff in there you can't do that. A "river" of light colored substrate, sand for example, is often used by those who make an art form out of their tanks, but light substrates quickly become dingy due to biofilm, and it is very hard to keep them from mixing in with the rest of the substrate. Once that happens you almost have to start over, or lose the bright "river" entirely. Eco Complete is a pretty sandy substrate too. This is all just my opinion, so others may differ.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ok What do you think of this mix...

I really would avoid mixing so many different varieties. Each substrate has a unique grain size and a unique density. Like Hoppy said, over time they will eventually separate and mingle. I can't imagine the visual effect of that being pleasant. If you want something dark and not-too-expensive consider Eco Complete or Black Flourite (newly available from SeaChem). ADA Amazonia is nice, but certainly not necessary.
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