Tag Archives: substrate

Is this the best aquarium substrate in the world?

It was only a matter of time before Tropica created a substrate that is PERFECT for growing plants.

Let’s face it, there’s no other company in the world that I would trust more than Tropica to create a product that grows plants better than anyone else. I mean, you only have to look at their plants to know about their attention to detail and quality. Others might come close but they are the leaders.

So let me introduce to you the new Tropica Aquarium Soil in both normal and powder grain size. This substrate is designed to be used on its own, no topping is required and nothing needs to go underneath it. Simply place on the bottom of your tank, and then plant directly into it, then fill with water. Easy as A,B,C.

The two types refer to the different grain sizes. Normal is 2-3mm in diameter and powder is a touch smaller at 1-2mm. So why have two sizes? Well normal is ideal for bigger tanks, and by bigger I mean 100L and up. If you have a smaller tank then choose powder as it looks better with the smaller grain size. In addition to that (and what I like to do) is if you have a 100L tank, use the normal type as your substrate and then use a smaller powder bag (available in 3L) and pour it around the bottom of your wood and rocks. This gives a really lovely transition and is very subtle.

And one more thing. The powder type is more suitable for smaller foreground plants as the grain size is better at anchoring them down and stops them from floating to the surface.

In terms of how much you need, 1 x 9L bag is suitable for 60L of water.

So all in all, I’m very excited about this substrate and know why even though it’s new in to us has already sold well.

What should I use Flora-Base 2.5L bags for? They’re tiny…

Not because they’re small bags, it’s because the grain size is half the size of the normal soil. And this is useful why?

When you place rocks or wood in your tank you want the soil to look as natural as possible right? Right. But the normal sized Flora-Base, whilst being excellent is not the most subtle – by  that I mean your eye can be drawn to where the rock or wood meets the soil. Now if you use the 2.5L bag of Flora-Base, the soil grain size is much smaller – less than half actually. So here’s what you need to do.

Create your aquascape with your wood and rock using the 5L or 10L bags of Flora-Base. It doesn’t matter whether you use brown or black – they both work the same. Take your time – it’s meant to be fun remember :)

Then, use a 2.5L bag of Flora-Base and pour this where the wood or rock meets the substrate and you’ll suddenly realise why it looks so good. Suddenly the transition is super smooth and it looks very natural. The smaller grain smooths over any cracks and it looks just as nature intended.

Of course, you can also use the 2.5L bag for creating a foreground that looks smooth and in nano tanks where the grain size needs to be smaller due to the overall aquascape being smaller.

super fine substrate

How can I add nutrients under sand?

Lots of you have a particular gravel or sand that you like and understandably so. The problem is sand and gravel contains zero nutrients so whilst the plants may anchor down well, they get diddly squat from it. Sure you can add liquid fertilisers, but lets not forget plants absorb from their leaves and their roots.

Now if you’re anything like me, you want to make sure your plants get the best, so that they grow as they should and look in tip top shape. And recently, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about hobbyists who really don’t want to use anything but their chosen sand and they’re hell bent on using it! So here’s the solution:

This 5L bag has been created by the commercial plant growers and is based on 25 years of experience. Contains more nutrients than you can shake a stick at and is super economical at only £9.99 each (1 bag per 40x60cm base)

Dead easy to use, just pour the bag on the bottom of your tank, spread it about then top with your chosen gravel. Cool heh?

Three aquarium items that you should not get second hand

With the economic downturn we are all looking for savings to be made, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

One is that looking for savings is a good move, the other is that cutting corners where it involves safety is not.

Below I list three items that you should get brand new, they usually go wrong quickly and have a high fail rate.

Heater

Why shouldn’t you get an aquarium heater second hand? With so many offers online for second hand items, the aquarium heater is one that you should get new. Many aquarium heaters fail, either they get stuck on the one position or they fail to heat up the water. Both will kill all your livestock.

Many fish keepers spend hundreds if not thousands on their tank, on substrate, lights, rocks, fish, etc, yet many people do not think twice about buying a heater second hand.

Aquarium water treatment or conditioners

Do you actually know what is inside a open bottle? Would you buy juice from a shop if the bottle was already open? Same with aquarium products. Don’t bother with half used bottles. First many products have a use by date from the date they were open, and you do not know when they were open, secondly you do not know what else is mixed on it, and last the savings you may made will not matter if something goes wrong. Buy from a reputable shop and have peace of mind.

External Filters

Many filters rubber rings have a usable life, same as it happens to your car, many items wear off after a while, and they need to be replaced. Would you like to come home and have half the tank water on the sitting room floor?