Hawthorn, Harold. 1979. Aquarium substrates. TFH4/79.

The two most common types of aquarium substrate used today are complete and compound.
Photo provided by Flickr
Along with saltwater aquarium substrate, you’ll also find calcium reactor media, refugium mud and specialized gravel for freshwater planted aquariums in this section.
The motion of water deposits materials in river beds, much like a substrate in an aquarium.
Photo provided by Flickr
If you need some substrate for your planted aquarium that is rich in nutrients, this one definitely makes for a great option. It’s also a great option if you plan on having lots of fish in your planted aquarium. Pushak, Steve. How to grow beautiful aquarium plants(cheap)! or How to build a soil substrate.
Photo provided by FlickrI read your article on aquarium substrates,
Photo provided by FlickrLaterite is an ideal lower layer or substrate for planted aquariums.
Photo provided by Flickr
The aquarium substrate is generally the first step when setting up your empty freshwater fish tank. You must have some kind of substrate if you want to keep water plants, give your aquarium a natural look, and add driftwood, rocks, or .The aquarium substrate acts as a natural filter by collecting the organic waste that falls down; is a source of food for the aquarium plants, and imitates the natural fish habitat.The advantages of decorating a fish tank with live plants instead of plastics are numerous.A healthy planted aquarium is essential to maintaining a population. Most importantly, plants contribute to balancing the oxygen level and algae growth while providing hiding places for fish. However, it is hard to cultivate plants in an aquarium because it requires some effort. Plants need lighting, water circulation, and good aquarium substrate to grow healthy. Substrate is the medium where plants and beneficial bacteria grow due to the rich nutrients. Each plant requires different care and each substrate type depends on the plant species in the tank.Gravel is one of the most common substrates for freshwater aquariums. This substrate is cheap and easy to use in the tank. Plain and uncoated gravel between one to three millimeters in size is suitable. Gravel size should not exceed 5 millimeters. Gravel should be free from any kind of chemicals because they can be toxic for the fish. Your surface should be covered with peat moss or laterite layer and the gravel should be placed on top of this layer; these under layers provide the necessary nutrients for your plants. The gravel should cover the roots of the plants. Nevertheless, the cheapest gravel will not contribute to plant growth; plants need iron (Fe) to grow. A high-quality substrate will provide the proper iron needed for the plants. Therefore, a combination of gravel and commercially ready (eco-complete) substrate is a good choice for plant growth in the aquarium.Your aquarium substrate can be gravel, sand, dirt, crushed marble, or artificial substrate. Artificial substrate can be imitation gravel with a natural look and colors or it can be made of small chunks of blue, pink, black, or other colors, though some aquarists look down upon this as poor taste.The most common fact about aquarium substrate is the type of aquarium determines the type of substrate. It all comes down to what type of aquarium you would like to have.