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Best Planted Aquarium Substrate Reviews – Fish Tank Substrate Guide

Product TypeProduct NameCheck Price
eco_complete_planted_black_aquarium_substrateCarib Sea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium SubstrateCheck Price on Amazon
fluval_plant_and_shrimp_stratumFluval Plant and Shrimp StratumCheck Price on Amazon
planted_aquarium_substrateActiv-Flora Planted Aquarium SubstrateCheck Price on Amazon
mr_aquaMr Aqua Aquarium Soil SubstrateCheck Price on Amazon
st_internationalST International Aqua Soil for Aquarium PlantsCheck Price on Amazon
ada_amazoniaADA Amazonia Aqua SoilCheck Price on Amazon
seachem_flouriteSeachem Flourite Black Planted Tank SubstrateCheck Price on Amazon
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The aquarium substrate used on aquariums or any aqua-scape determines the success of the aquariums or aqua-scapes. Substrates affect the chemical composition and the filtration rate and of course the longevity and good health of the aquarium’s inhabitants.

Aquatic plants have a complex root system, this complex root system is essential for their survival and ensures their survival by absorbing the necessary nutrients for its growth. These nutrients enrich the aquatic plants. The health, growth rate and coloration of the aquatic plants are dependent on the nutrients absorbed by the aquatic plants.

The growth of any unwanted plants or unwanted algae can be restrained by the soil substrate which has the essential nutrients by allowing the aquatic plants to overgrow these unwanted plants by absorbing all the essential nutrients and causing the weeds to die from the lack of nutrients.

An aquarium soil substrate generally consists of various mineral particles and organic matters and precipitated inert matters and live microorganisms or live bacteria. A more easy to understand definition would be ‘The stuff in which a plant can grow’.

Manufacturing of aquarium planted substrate is a good business in the market today. Many manufacturing companies are well known for their success and reasonable prices. Uniqueness is the key to everything and in today’s world, it is essential.

By introducing unique products with extra features the companies are trying to outmaneuver each other because the competition in the substrate market is getting heated. The brands and the products offered in the market are shown and discussed in this article.

Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum

To ensure the healthy and luscious growth of the aquatic plants in freshwater aquascape the perfect plant substrate is the Fluval plant and shrimp stratum. It consists of both micronutrients and macronutrients due to being made from mineral-rich volcanic soil in addition to the Fluval macronutrients. This contributes to the effective growth of aquatic plants.

Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum

Activ-Flora Planted Aquarium Substrate

The beautiful spotlight red is one of this substrate’s most beautiful features and it is also a feature which makes this stand out from other substrates. The coloration of this product is obtained by no artificial colors or dyes or additives and is one hundred percent perfectly natural and safe to use.

Activ-Flora Planted Aquarium Substrate

Mr Aqua Aquarium Soil Substrate

This aquarium soil substrate is formulated with a different and special formula which is more favorable for freshwater shrimps, aquarium, plants, and fishes. It is well granulated and the complex root development of your aquatic plants are provided by the essential elements.

Mr Aqua Aquarium Soil Substrate

ST International Aqua Soil

For aquatic gardens, the ST International aqua soil is specially created and designed. For producing a long-lasting, nourishment enriched soil layer this substrate is designed with special ingredients.

ST International Aqua Soil

ADA Amazonia Aqua Soil

For the wholesome growth of your aquatic plants, the ADA Amazonia Aqua Soil for planted tanks is made from a uniquely processed natural material from Mother Nature. For the accelerated and healthy development of the complex root system of your aquarium plants, the physical properties of the soil such as the size and density of the soil granules are optimized to be highly efficient, rather than other substrates like sand.

ADA Amazonia Aqua Soil

Seachem Flourite Black Planted Tank Substrate

Seachem Flourite Black is a specially fracted stable porous clay grave used for the natural planted aquarium. Even though it may be suitable for use in any freshwater aquarium environment, its appearance is best suited to planted aquaria.

Seachem Flourite Black Planted Tank Substrate

Carib Sea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate

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The reason why this eco complete planted black aquarium substrate is high on demand in the market is that it consists of rich ballistic volcanic soil that consists of micro and macronutrients such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, potassium to efficiently nurture your aquatic plants.

The conversion of the natural food from aquatic fish waste is done by the live heterotrophic bacteria which are contained in the substrate. This will substantiate a biological balance in the aquarium or aqua-scape which will make the cycle safer and faster and more efficient.

Carib Sea eco complete planted black aquarium substrate does not compromise the quality of your tank water as it consists of natural iron with no non-natural dyes, paints or chemical layers. This is the perfect substrate you are looking for if you are looking for a substrate which is cost-efficient, reliable, user-friendly and easy-to-use planted tank substrate.

Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum

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In addition of providing your plants with many essential nutrients, the soil of this Fluval substrate is made with the granules which make it quite easier for the roots of the aquatic plants to penetrate throughout the substrate completely. This allows the aquatic plants to intake the necessary macronutrients from the soil to flourish in growth.

Using this newborn shrimps are protected and safeguarded by providing them with safety to escape from external factors and aquatic predators until they are big and strong enough to roam. The required water quality is provided for the aquatic plants by the nitrifying bacteria as the nitrifying bacteria can easily populate and settle in the vast porous surface.

This fish tank substrate is carefully and precisely made as you do not need to worry about the substrate compromising the watercolor or water clarity and it will also help in the control of organic discoloration which will generally take place with the presence of natural driftwood.

This is the perfect Aquarium planted substrate for most of the plant and tropical fish species and for shrimps that are usually in planted aquariums and aqua-scapes.

Activ-Flora Planted Aquarium Substrate, 16-Pound, Red

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The red color is non-toxic for the aquarium. This Activ-Flora Substrate also contains some essential nutrients and plenty of trace elements such which consists of iron for the nourishment of aquatic plants so you do not need to add extra nutrients for the nourishment and growth of the aquatic plants.

The growth of the complex root system of your aquatic plants is promoted by the well-shaped grains because they are extremely microporous for having better aeration. The nitrogen cycle in your aquarium is promoted by the live heterotrophic bacteria in the substrate. This characteristic makes Activ-Flora Substrate (fish tank substrate) a perfect choice for newly planted tank setups.

Mr Aqua Aquarium Soil Substrate N-MAR-066 1 L Fine Pet Habitat Water Plant Soil

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This aquarium soil substrate is formulated with a different and special formula which is more favorable for freshwater shrimps, aquarium, plants, and fishes. It is well granulated and the complex root development of your aquatic plants are provided by the essential elements.

The MR Aqua aquarium soil substrate is a very good buffer which is able to soften hard water and maintain the acidic level of the planted tank within an optimal range from 6.6 to 6.8 for the health and well being of your aquatic plants and fish. It is formulated long-lasting purposes and can last up to twelve to eighteen months.

ST International Aqua Soil for Aquarium Plants, Black

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For aquatic gardens, the ST International aqua soil is specially created and designed. For producing a long-lasting, nourishment enriched soil layer this substrate is designed with special ingredients.

This soil substrate is formulated for long-lasting so it will not disintegrate that easily. The optimal pH value for this professional-grade substrate ranges from 6.7 to 7.0. There is no need to wash this substrate after purchase and hence the substrate can be readily used after the purchase.

ADA Amazonia Aqua Soil 9 Liter Normal Type

The main features and attraction of the ADA Amazonia Aqua Soil are that the soil granules can maintain their density and their shape underwater for very long periods which ensures very good circulation of hydrogen dioxide and oxygen throughout the substrate completely.

As we know, high pH and hardness of water are some of the problems which are commonly faced by planted tanks due to the addition of a variety of different types of substrates, driftwoods, stones and many more.

This substrate for planted tanks helps to decrease the hardness level of the hard water and it will also help to lower the pH level of the water to a degree at which the nutrient absorption of the majority of the aquatic plants will be optimized.

Due to this feature, it is qualified enough to grow even difficult plants such as Tonina sp. And it is also ideal for the growth of fish that will thrive in soft or freshwater.

However, despite all the advantages this soil substrate offers, it also has some downsides.  Hence make sure that you give the Planted aquarium substrate enough time to cycle before you introduce any fish, else the consequences would definitely be fatal. Another one such let down of this great substrate is that it stirs up easily.

If you are that kind of person who reshapes and moves things in his aquarium more often, then you might be facing some serious difficulties with Aqua soil. So, it is not very advisable to reshape it very often, and if you still want to do so, then you are left to face your own demons.

Seachem Flourite Black Planted Tank Substrate

When used as an integral substrate bed, it is best if it is used alone but it is alright if it is mixed with few other gravel types. Laterite and other kinds of gravel modifiers are not necessary when it is in the play. Neither chemically coated; nor treated, this type of aqua-scape gravel will never alter the pH of the water used in the aquarium and other freshwater sources.

This Seachem Flourite Black fish tank substrate also contains some essential nutrients and plenty of trace elements such which consists of iron for the nourishment of aquatic plants so you do not need to add extra nutrients for the nourishment and growth of the aquatic plants

The Seachem Fluorite Black is perfectly non-toxic and will not alter the aquarium pH level. Please take a note that your aquarium water might be slightly cloudy during the initial times, but do not worry because it will be crystal clear right after two to twelve hours. In order to reduce the initial cloudiness in the tanks, you are supposed to clean the substrate thoroughly. 

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