When choosing a substrate for your tank there are two main things you want to consider; What kind of fish do you want to keep? And what kind of plants do you want to keep? Some fish have very specific requirements when it comes to what substrate they are kept with. For example, Corydoras Catfish cannot be kept with any rough or sharp substrates because it will damage their barbles and cause them to become sick and stressed. As a result, it is best for them to be kept with a softer substrate like fine sand. This will also allow them to easily grub for food without it getting trapped under rocks or gravel. Sand is an attractive substrate and is excellent for planting rooting plants such as Vallisneria. The soft sand will allow them to easily put down their roots and will be great for them to send off shoots. However, sand does not offer the nutrients that a lot of plants need to thrive in an aquarium setting, so you would have to supplement using a plant fertiliser such as ProFito from Easy-Life that offers a full range of nutrients for all plants.
Here at Pond Life we highly recommend Nutrasoil, an aquatic soil that is soft enough to allow for all plants while offering a full balance of nutrients. Additionally it buffers the pH of the tank, softening the water and making it perfect for plants and species of Nano Shrimp - a colourful addition to any tank. All of these things make Nutrasoil an ideal choice for most community tank set-ups and is very hard to beat for the price.
Whichever substrate you choose, remember to always research the fish you want to keep thoroughly to create the ideal environment for them to survive and thrive. If you have any queries about our products and how to use them in your aquarium, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch via phone or email.
What's your favourite substrate? Let us know in the comments below!