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Best Substrate for Planted Tank

The Best Substrate For Planted Tank 2020

Finding a perfect substrate for planted tank can make a huge difference on the health and well-being of your aquarium’s inhabitants and plant species.

The best substrate for planted tank is the Carib Sea Eco Aquarium Substrate, as it offers a new formula for enhanced root development due to its super-nutrients.

Below is an article on the best substrate for planted tanks. These substrates are perfect for a range of aquariums and plant species. They’re all recommended based on their ability to provide great root development.

Substrate For Planted Tanks Comparison

SubstrateWeight (LBS)Appearance
Carib Sea Eco20.0 Black
Seachem Flourite15.0 Black
ADA Aqua Soil 20.0 Black
Fluval Plant Substrate17.5 Brown
Aqua Habitat2.0Black
UP AQUA11.0Black
Spectrastone5.0Brown Gravel
Carib Sea Peace11.0Brown Gravel
Ultum Nature21.0Black
Seachem Onyx15.4 Black

When on the hunt for the ideal substrate for a planted tank, you should factor in some areas before purchasing. These areas include its appearance so that its aesthetically pleasing and its nutrients for root growth.

Additionally you should check out its effect on the pH levels of your water.

Below is an article on the best substrate for planted tanks to buy online today.

The Best Substrate for Planted Tanks


1. Carib Sea Eco Complete Aquarium Substrate

The best substrate for a planted tank is the Carib Sea Eco Complete Planted Substrate. This is because of new formula for enhanced root development, which has similar nutrients to the rich soil of Costa Rica.

The Carib Eco Substrate alone contains Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Sulfurm, Potassium and over 20 other elements for nourishing your plants in your aquarium.

In terms of features with the Carib Sea Eco Complete Substrate, they include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any planted aquarium.
  • Size: 20 LBS
  • Appearance: Black
  • Substrate for freshwater planted aquariums.
  • Substrate encourages healthy plant root growth

Overall if you’re searching for the best substrate for your planted aquarium, then the Carib Sea Eco Substrate is perfect for your tank. The Carib Sea Eco Substrate has densely porous grains for higher diffusion enactment.

This is down to its major and minor traces of elements as previously mentioned that nourish your aquarium plants with everything they needs for enhanced development and healthy growth, to keep your fish happy!

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2. Seachem Flourite Natural Substrate For Planted Tank

A great long-lasting substrate for a planted tank is the Seachem Flourite. This is because of its unique fracted clay gravel, which is not only is nutritious but is very porous meaning its perfect for plants and their roots.

Features of the Seachem Flourite Natural Substrate include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any planted aquarium.
  • Size: 15 LBS
  • Appearance: Black
  • Is not chemically treated, so won’t alter the water chemistry.
  • Ability to maintain the pH level of the tank without disturbing the water quality.

Another great factor about the Seachem is that due to its specially fracted porous clay gravel, it makes it easy for uneaten food to be dissolved into the substrate, leaving less algae and dirt around the rest of your aquarium keeping it cleaner!

Moreover it capable of being mixes with other types of nutrient substrate if needed and will keep the aquarium clean and healthy still. One thing to bear in mind is that when you initially put it into your aquarium it may be cloudy; this is normal and will settle after a brief amount of time.

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3. ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia Substrate For Planted Tank

If you’re searching for a highly nutritious substrate that will not affect the Ph. Levels of your tank, then ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia Substrate is an ideal candidate for your planted tank. This is because it is produced from a rare Japanese soil that is derived from decomposed leaves.

It is densely packed with organic matter, which creates the ideal environment for variable types of plants, fish and smaller shrimps.

Features with the ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia Substrate include:

  • Type of aquarium: High-Tech Planted Setups.
  • Size: 20 LBS
  • Appearance: Black
  • Substrate will lower the pH and soften the water in your tank.
  • Great if you keep many variable types of plants in your aquarium.

Ultimately, if you have a more sensitive tank that requires more attention, then the ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia Substrate is the perfect product for your planted tank. This is down to its powder consistency that is ideal for plant and root growth.

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4. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum Substrate

If you’re searching for an ideal substrate for a planted aquarium that’ll also benefit the development of your fish and more in particular shrimp, then the Fluval Plant is a great option for your planted tank.

This is because of its natural and mineral-rich organic volcanic soil and its size of the particles allows the baby shrimp to hide within the substrate until they are large enough to come out of the “dirt” to fend for themselves among other shrimp and fish.

In terms of features with the Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum Substrate, they include:

  • Type of aquarium: Planted Shrimp Tanks.
  • Size: 4.5, 9 & 17.5 LBS
  • Appearance: Brown.
  • Volcanic soil contains many special components that are different from standard soil.
  • Special volcanic nutrients are very beneficial for spurring on healthy plant growth.

Overall the Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum Substrate is an awesome substrate for planted tanks development. This is mainly due to the volcanic nutrients which are beneficial of healthy plant and root development.

Moreover the texture of the substrate is very light, porous and non-compaction. This means its makes its great for bacteria for nitrifying to grow and develop, which maintains high water quality and a clean tank.

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5. Aqua Habitat Water Plant Soil

If you’re searching for a highly nutritious substrate for a wide variety of plants then the Mr.Aqua Habitat Water Plant Soil will be great for your planted aquarium.

This is because they have a wide variety of impressive of nutrients that will support a wide variety of aquatic plant life. Moreover it is highly porous and able to maintain the pH. Level of your planted tank.

In terms of features with the Mr.Aqua Habitat Water Plant Soil, they include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any Planted Tank.
  • Size: 2.0 LBS
  • Appearance: Black.
  • Soil buffers water pH level at a 6.6 to 6.8 depending on the water parameters.
  • Freshwater dwarf shrimps and fish prefer the acidic, soft water that this substrate creates.

Ultimately the Mr.Aqua Habitat Water Plant Soil has attributes that promote great water parameters and environment as it helps the growth of healthy bacteria which is essential for a balanced aquarium environment.

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6. UP AQUA Sand Substrate for Aquatic Plants

If you’re searching for a substrate for a planted aquarium that is hassle free to use and has a long life then the UP AQUA Sand Substrate is suitable for your planted tank. This is due to its light, round and porous substrate encourages strong root development and easily maintains and controls the pH level of the water.

In terms of features with the UP AQUA Sand Substrate for Aquatic Plants, they include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any Planted Tank.
  • Size: 11.0 LBS
  • Appearance: Black.
  • Substrate lowers the pH level to a range of 6.5 to 7.0 which is perfectly neutral.
  • Substrate has a large range longevity. It will last a long time in your planted tank.

Overall the Mr.Aqua Habitat Water Plant Soil is an ideal substrate for your planted substrate. The substrate provides more than enough nutrients for all of your plants to develop healthy and keep roots growing with stability.

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7. Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater Aquariums

The best budget substrate for a planted aquarium is the Spectrastone Shallow Creek. This is due to it providing optimum gravel that is non-toxic, so it won’t affect your pH. Levels in your tank or plant health.

Features of the Spectrastone Shallow Creek include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any planted aquarium.
  • Size: 5.0 LBS
  • Appearance: Brown Gravel.
  • Small gravel type, which promotes circulation in substrate for plant health.
  • Versatile enough to use in house plants and succulents.

Overall if your searching for a substrate for your planted aquarium that provides amazing value for money, then the Spectrastone Shallow Creek is perfect for you. It’s non-toxic gravel provides perfect circulation for any basic water tank for your fish to remain healthy and happy!

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8. Carib Sea Peace River Gravel for Aquarium

If you’re looking for a substrate that’ll create a more natural river environment for your fishes and plants, then the Carib Sea Peace River Gravel is an ideal candidate for your planted tank. This is because of its natural color, that has no dyes or toxis and promotes a great flow of water for plants.

In terms of features with the Carib Sea Peace River Gravel, they include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any Planted Tank.
  • Size: 11.0 LBS
  • Appearance: Brown Gravel.
  • Neutral gravel that doesn’t have unwanted chemicals into the tank.
  • Fine grain, so no need to worry about build-up.

Ultimately if you’re searching for substrates that’ll assist you in develop an aquarium habitat that mimics a river bed, then the Carib Sea Peace is perfect for your planted tank! Attributes such as its small size promote the flow of water and root health of plants.

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9. Ultum Nature Controsoil Planted Aquarium Substrate

One of the best quality substrates for planted tanks on the market today is the Ultum Nature Controsoil Substrate. This is down to its andisol-based substrate properties that are made from Japanese volcanic ash.

Features of the Ultum Nature Controsoil include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any planted aquarium.
  • Size: 2.0, 6.0 &21.0 LBS
  • Appearance: Black.
  • Andisol-based substrate made from Japanese volcanic ash.
  • Formula means that there is no need to worry about rinsing as it doesn’t cloud water.

Overall the Ultum Nature Controsoil is by far one of the most high-quality substrates on the market, which is ideal for a large variety of shrimps, plants and freshwater fish. Furthermore the substrate comes in three different sizes, which can range between 1MM and 5MM which promotes plants to attach roots and flow of water.

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10. Seachem Onyx Sand Substrate For Planted Tanks

An awesome substrate for planted tanks that works very well on its own is the Seachem Onyx Sand Substrate. This is due to its specially formulated fracted and porous substrate that promote a great substrate bed for plants to root through as well as absorbing nutrients.

In terms of features with the Seachem Onyx Sand Substrate, they include:

  • Type of aquarium: Any Planted Tank.
  • Size: 15.4 LBS
  • Appearance: Black.
  • Suitable for most marine environments including reef and planted aquariums.
  • Most effective when used alone.

Overall this an excellent to-be-used alone substrate to promote healthy root growth in your planted tank. Furthermore it is not chemically coated, but does has a slight buffering capacity.

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Conclusion

Overall finding the best substrate for your planted tank can be a difficult task that involves trial and error. This is because substrates can alter pH levels of your water and effect plant growth.

There should be some key attributes that you should look over though to narrow your search down. These include a substrates appearance so that it looks more natural along your plants, check out it nutrients and its physical properties as some are gravel or sand.

All of the substrates that we’ve recommended above will cover price ranges and environment types.

About The Author

the aqua guru author

Jon is an aquarium keeper of over 15 years and the owner of Guppy's, Betta's and other marine life. He always likes to make changes to his aquarium for the benefit of his marine life's well-being and health using the best aquatic products on the market. You can read more about us here.