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Brown/red non-buffering substrate recommendations?


aotf

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I'm going to redo a tank and am hoping to put in a substrate that will help emphasize blue neos

Does anyone have recommendations for a brown or red-brown, relatively fine (not gravel), non-buffering substrate?

Controsoil and Fluval Stratum come up a lot in my searches for brown substrates but I don't want something that will unnecessarily buffer my water.

I've seen many general recommendations such as inert gravel or lava sand but since I'll be ordering online, I won't have a chance to see it in person before purchasing, which is why I have to put my trust in you! 

 

Thanks for any specific recommendations

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Check out Turface.  The red color looks brown once wet.   As far as I know it does not buffer the water and is inert.  It is about the size of most of the buffering substrates.  check this post out for a reference of how it looks.  It is meant for baseball diamonds as the "dirt"

 

http://www.dfwfishbox.com/forums/production/vb4/showthread.php?41795-New-Planted-Tank-setup-Journal/page3&highlight=turface

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Also a lot of planted tank keepers use Safe-T-Sorb (fired clay) ~$7 at tractor supply.  has a natural look to it.

 

I think it is pretty much the same thing as Special Kitty cat litter which is also used in lots of aquariums by people in my local aquarium group.

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Thanks for the link, the turface looks good in some of the earlier pictures but then appears very light (tan?) in the later ones, do you know if that's an artifact of the camera/lighting or if it's actually that color?

 

I went by the LFS today and got to see some ADA Africana and ADA Malaya in a tank and that's basically the look I'm going for as far as color, darkness, and granule size. The guy working there was absolutely stumped when I asked if he had any recommendations for a similar-looking non-buffering substrate... He was trying to tell me that the Malaya was my best bet because it had less stuff in it (nutrients etc) and I was like yes but it also buffers down to 5.5 

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1 minute ago, chappy6107 said:

I asked him about the color when lights are on vs. off in person.  I will let you know when he responds.

 

Awesome, thanks!

I've heard that a chocolate color is good for blue dreams/diamonds, hence my concerns over too light of a substrate.

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On 9/10/2017 at 10:12 PM, aotf said:

Thanks for the link, the turface looks good in some of the earlier pictures but then appears very light (tan?) in the later ones, do you know if that's an artifact of the camera/lighting or if it's actually that color?

 

He said that color of the Turface looks tan with the lights on.  He also said his lights are currently too close to the water and overly bright and wont seem so bright once he raises the lights to the proper level.

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2 hours ago, chappy6107 said:

 

He said that color of the Turface looks tan with the lights on.  He also said his lights are currently too close to the water and overly bright and wont seem so bright once he raises the lights to the proper level.

 

Cool, thanks for checking with him for me! That's good to know.
I think Turface MVP might be darker/redder, I'll do some more research.

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I'm curious to know if anyone has feedback in regards to eco-complete red vs flourite (red or dark) when it comes to overall color and "pebble" size.

Which is darker? Which is redder? Which has more variety? Which has the smaller size?


I know they're both inert, eco-complete might be too rough for cories, and that flourite is the dustiest, messiest thing on the planet.

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