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Thread: (Cheap) Substrate??

  1. #1

    (Cheap) Substrate??

    Hi all -- this is my first post here, and I tried to make sure I wasn't revisiting something that has already been posted.

    I'm about to set up a 120-gallon planted tank, and I am looking for a good substrate. I can't bring myself to pay $120 - $150 at aquariumplants[dot]com, for example, and I haven't seen an LFS with any viable alternative.

    I've visited several landscaping companies, and also Home Depot - and their gravel is either to large ("pea" gravel), or too small (i.e. sand). The closest I've found was Sand-Stone supply company in Douglasville, which has "River Sand" at $1 per 5-gal bucket. It looks something like this: http://tinyurl.com/68ljwxb (Don't know if there are rules about links . . . if so, it's tinyurl[dot]com[slash]68ljwxb.) Maybe the stuff I found is even *slightly* finer than the stuff in the picture.

    I've used something like this before, by lugging 5-gallon buckets from Sweetwater Creek in Douglasville. It was acceptable, but perhaps not ideal. My research seems to say that grain size of 1 - 3mm (about the size of bb pellets) is best. So, before setting up the 120, I wanted to know if anyone has thoughts about three things:

    (1) Does this look like a reasonable substrate for plants?
    (2) If not, can you suggest any local sources for a good sand/gravel substrate?
    (3) Also, does anyone have any LFS or online suppliers of laterite or any other growth medium to put under the gravel?

    I look forward to any advice you can provide.
    Last edited by theaquarist; 06-23-2011 at 11:12 AM. Reason: hyperlink not working

  2. #2
    Hi,

    I bought a substrate at a stone yard in kennesaw (stoneforest). Its Red and black gravel between 1mm and 3mm. ¨Payed 8 dollar for 120lbs
    As underlayer I use MTS (mineralized top soil) Tank is going strong with co2 and no dosing.

  3. #3
    I just looked at their website. I'm going to try to get out there today, since they close at 6.

    Thanks so much!!

  4. #4
    do you like the gravel? I scooped it myself.
    don't forget to clean it like crazy, with lots of water!!
    Friendly people over there :D

  5. #5
    So, I told my wife that that I was heading out there . . . and she reminded me that I have a 4-yr old who needs to be in karate class by 6:00, and a nephew who had to be at his SAT prep class by 6 . . .

    Back to life. I guess I'll try again tomorrow (Friday). I'll post an update when (and if) I make it out there.

  6. #6

    Thanks, Nalu86!

    I went to Stone Forest this afternoon, and found that black-and-red gravel. Got three 5-gallon buckets full, for $6 + change. It's so nice that even my wife likes it!

    I spent an hour cleaning one 5-gal bucket until the rain started; I'll get the rest on Sunday. Thanks so much for the tip.

  7. #7
    Can you take a picture of this gravel in your tank and post it when you have your tank completed? I am interested to see what it looks like.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by theaquarist View Post
    I went to Stone Forest this afternoon, and found that black-and-red gravel. Got three 5-gallon buckets full, for $6 + change. It's so nice that even my wife likes it!

    I spent an hour cleaning one 5-gal bucket until the rain started; I'll get the rest on Sunday. Thanks so much for the tip.
    You're welcome!! :D

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by metro6775 View Post
    Can you take a picture of this gravel in your tank and post it when you have your tank completed? I am interested to see what it looks like.
    I will take a picture of my 75 gal with the substrate when my battery is charged and post it.
    Don't look at the wildness, I putted those plants in there when i went on vacation for 2 months (had to break down couple of tanks) and will use some of the plants for when I set up those tanks again.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nalu86 View Post
    I will take a picture of my 75 gal with the substrate when my battery is charged and post it.
    Don't look at the wildness, I putted those plants in there when i went on vacation for 2 months (had to break down couple of tanks) and will use some of the plants for when I set up those tanks again.


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