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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have just purchased a 20L aquaruim. My question is what would be the best substrate to use over the screen. I have heard of some people using a layer of charcoal before placing the substart layer down and some people use Terralite. Which methode is prefered? Then what do people use as the substate. Haveing problems finding out exactley what they use and how much to use.


Mike P.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Charcoal will simply dissolve, i would just go with a nice thick soil layer, then moss or leaf litter.
 

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Charcoal will not dissolve, but you don't need to have a "drainage" layer if you are using a false bottom. People use terralite or gravel to provide drainage if they are not using a false bottom. Your choice of substrates is pretty vast, and can be tweaked depending what you want to grow.

I personally like coarse substrates like coco husk chips or fir bark since I prefer to grow broms and orchids in my substrate, and I have found that many other plants are very happy in such a substrate as well. I personally use a coco husk chip/horticultural grade charcoal mix and like how it performs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just plain soil and coco powder or peat wont work i did this in my red eye tank and after a while in the high humidity it wil clum and becaome very hard. U should use charcoal, or pine chunks, or sphangum moss, etc.... change the consistency so it has clump, u know sort of make it pourus so it drains.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is possible to just do gravel over LECA. I know a lot of people that have had success with this method and I'm planning it for my next tanks. Plants will have no problems growing in it, you shouldn't have any drainage issues, and just cover it with moss or leaf litter and you really can't tell the difference.
 

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I'm sure you guys aren't doing this on purpose when you give advice on substrate, but you need to state your watering schedule along with your substrate. Every different variation of substrate needs a variation in watering. Substrates that don't hold water will need to be watered more than substrates that hold water.
 

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pastorjosh said:
I'm sure you guys aren't doing this on purpose when you give advice on substrate, but you need to state your watering schedule along with your substrate. Every different variation of substrate needs a variation in watering. Substrates that don't hold water will need to be watered more than substrates that hold water.
True, but every setup will require a different watering scheme even with the same substrate, depending upon the plants, ventilation, depth of substrate, presence of a water feature, etc.

I have what would be considered an epiphityc mix (3 parts med. grade coco husk chips, 2 parts small coco husk chips, 1 part hort. grade charcoal) that I don't really water. I mist the setups every couple of days, and the diffusion of water from the waterfall gets enough water to the plants that need it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Speaking of substrates,

I have finally come to the conclusion that the Eco-Earth type bedding (from the compressed bricks) is just something I don't want to use anymore. I have about 3 parts medium orchid bark and one part eco-earth, and the eco-earth always stays soggy, even though it is mixxed with the orchid bark. Pretty annoying. I want moist, not soggy. Ah well, live and learn.
 

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I don't have any problems getting terrestrial species to grow in the epiphytic mix. My ferns, fittonias, Java moss, terrestrial orchids, Nepenthes and earth stars all grow well in that mix, and the coarse makeup of the mix allows for better drainage and air exchange at the roots in a constantly moist environment, helping prevent root rot. But that's just what works well for me in my setup. Everyone has their preference that works well for them.
 
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