Grow-Pro: Freshwater Planted Aquarium Substrate

Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate contains more than 25 minerals to nourish aquatic plants
Photo provided by Flickr
The substrate you plant in your aquarium needs to be carefully selected. Think about what you need your tank to represent. Should your substrate be penetrable? Will it provide enough nutrition for the living aquatic creatures to survive? Will it provide enough support for your plants and other objects you would want to add to the tank?
Any tips/ideas? I want an actual aquarium substrate, not turf or sand that won't help plants or will look strange.
Photo provided by Flickr
Seachem Flourite is an all natural porous clay gravel substrate, specially broken and mineral-enriched to enhance live aquarium plant growth. It requires no gravel modifiers and never needs to be replaced, remaining effective for the life of the aquarium.

This is a great basic type of substrate that will add some color and shine to your planted aquarium.
Photo provided by FlickrCaribSea Flora Max Planted Aquarium Substrate | fish ..
Photo provided by FlickrEco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate | Petco
Photo provided by Flickr
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.Sand is one of the most common substrate materials for plants because it gives the aquarium a natural look. Silica sand, onyx sand, pool sand, and other commercial types of sands are available for an aquarium environment; however, these do not contain adequate nutrition since sand compacts too tightly with the plant’s roots and can obstruct oxygen and nutrient intake by plants. Fortified sand can be purchased and commercially sand is available, such as Fluorite, to be used together with common sand in the planted tank. One important detail to remember is sand can be dusty, so before using any type of sand, especially silica sand,wash it to remove any dirt.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.Now that I knew this sand would have no ill effects on my water parameters and I knew I could achieve the look I wanted in my tank the next step was to make this substrate more plant friendly. This is the expensive part... I chose Flourite as the base layer which can be used by itself or used in a "mix" as I did to ensure the plants would get some benefits from the rooting base as opposed to straight sand or aquarium gravel. has an extensive usage in planted aquariums, yet is not suitable for delicate roots. The substrate is porous clay gravel, light and loose,which differs from common gravel. Although Fluorite is more expensive than gravel and sand, the substrate contains high amounts of iron. It is possible to use Fluorite for a long time without needing to change it. A mixture of gravel, sand, and fluorite can be used in a planted aquarium though it is recommended to rinse fluorite substrate before using.Looking for the best substrate for planted tank? we have narrowed it down to 6 top options that are very effective which we highly recommend. Keeping reading for a detailed write up on each covering all you need to know about substrate and why you need to use it in your aquarium.