Keeping your fish tank in a great condition is a huge success. You can reach this result as long as you take good care of your little aquarium. In order to enjoy such success you need to start on the right foot. Choosing the right planted tank substrate is an essential step. Ideal substrate will make the tank environment balanced and well-kept. Before you go shopping for substrate, you need to know many things about this material.
- The role of substrate
Substrate is the solid cover of the bottom of the fish tank. This material is where you can put your plant. In fact, substrate can do more than just rooting the plants. Substrate is able to affect the balance, chemistry and filtration of the water. Substrate can also affect the beauty and appeal of your aquarium.
- The truth about tank substrate
Choosing tank substrate is not an easy task, as there are many factors that can determine your choice. The type of plants is a critical element in that matter. There are basically two types of plants. Tank plants are divided into root and bottom feeders. Root feeders are the plants that get their food from the tank substrate. Column feeders, on flip side, are the plants that get their food from tank water. This means that needs of root feeder plants vary from the needs of column feeder plants. Getting substrate with high concentrations of nutrients will not be a proper choice in case you are going to buy column feeder plants.
- Things to consider in picking tank substrate
When it comes to picking a substrate for a planted tank, you need to consider many things. For instance, you should select a substrate type that roots can easily penetrate. You should also select a substrate that offers sufficient support for the plants. This support can help the plants become stronger and healthier. Your chosen substrate should contain a decent amount of food or nutrients. These nutrients are essential for growth and life cycle of the plants.
- Popular types of tank substrate
Luckily, there are many types of tank substrates. These types can fulfill the needs and preferences of different tank owners. However, there are some popular and functional types that are common among tank owners. These types are:
- Gravel substrate
Gravel is a highly preferred choice of substrates. It is able to give natural impression to your tank. Gravel is a flexible selection, due to its high variety. This variety is available in size, appearance and colors. Small gravel seems a popular option for many tank owners. This type of gravel prevents accumulation of organic waste. This way the substrate will be less difficult to clean. Large gravel, on flip side can be a less popular choice. Waste can easily accumulate on it. It is important to avoid gravel with rough edges. These edges can hurt and injure the fish and other tank organisms.
- Sand Substrate
Sand is one of the popular options of tank substrate. It works really great for planted tanks. Sand is a good choice if you want for a clean solution. Sand is also beautiful and offers decent variety of shapes and colors. Some sand substrates come in dark or light shades. The various natural shades of sand include brown, white or black. In fact, there are certain types of fish that enjoy sand more than other components. Sand substrate is great for adding a smooth touch to your tank. However, some tank owners do not like the tiny particles of sand. Small sand is not always easy to clean. Compacting issues are major downsides of sand substrates. However, tank owners can overcome this issue only if they stir the sand more frequently.
- Crushed coral Substrate
The nature of your tank fish is a huge matter in choosing the type of substrate. In case of choosing crushed corals, you should buy certain types of fish. Your chosen fish must endure high ph levels. Crushed coral substrates are capable of improving the pH levels of water. So, if you buy fish that lives in water with mild pH, it will not live. African cichlids tanks are ideal for crushed coral substrates.
- How to pick the right substrate
If you are about to go shopping for tank substrate, you should keep many things in mind. The type of plant is the main thing you should investigate if you are buying a planted tank substrate. Plant type can actually point out the size and depth of the chosen substrate. It can also determine the amount of nutrients in the desired substrate. If you are going to get plants with delicate roots, sand is a decent choice. Plants with heavy roots will not mind growing on sand substrate. However, gravel substrate is a more suitable option in such case. Gravel substrate offers the appropriate weight and size to support the plants. Many tanks owners go for compressed soil substrate. It is not a very common option, but it has its fans. This type of soil is extracted from volcano spots. This gives the substrate specific qualities and features. This choice will be great if your plants need rich minerals. This type of soil is ideal for inhabitants that live in neutral pH levels. This soil is great for plants that need powerful bio activity.
If you are about to choose the substrate for your planted tank, you should know that some types of plants can grow without substrate. These plants include types of bolbitis. They can grow on wood or rocks. However, if you sacrifice the presence of substrate, you will be giving many perks away. You will be ignoring the natural appeal and beautiful looks of your tank. You will also be compromising the reproduction process in your tanks. In that case, fish eggs will be exposed and grown-up fish can easily eat them. If you are going for any type of substrate, you need to study your choice carefully and cautiously. The health and well-being of your fish and tank inhabitants depend on this choice.