Who else doesn’t want to make his aquarium fresh and healthy? Do you want to get the best substrate for your planted tank? The substrate is the base to create an effective, healthy, and fresh planted aquarium. Without an excellent substrate, you’ll battle to develop delightful lavish plants.
The substrate that you decide for your planted aquarium not just improves the visual intrigue of your tank but additionally gives safety to the plants and fishes inside the tank. You need to choose the correct nature of the substrate to increase plant development and to keep the tank germs free. And your aquarium will stay healthy and safe when you select a suitable substrate.
There are numerous brands and kinds of the substrate available out there. And they are made out of various chemical compounds. With such a huge number of choices in regards to the substrate, it may become confusing for you to pick the most proper substrate for your tank.
We have done some extreme research and explored the market for you, and we are happy to present to you this collection of the best 10 substrates for your planted tank.
1) Carib Sea Eco-Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate:
A substrate is the part of the fish tank, which helps to create a pleasant habitat for tank fishes. Carib Sea Eco aquarium substrate is one of the best substrates for the freshwater fishes. This substrate helps in nurturing plants roots in the aquarium and improves the chemistry of water. There could not be any other better choice if you care about your aquarium plants. The effects of this substrate could be seen in a few days.
Carib sea eco aquarium substrate contains major and minor element traces which nourish plants in the aquarium. It is black colored and nutritionally complete containing all the components which are required for the best results. This substrate includes live heterotrophic bacteria that convert the fish waste into food, which is a great thing for keeping your aquarium clean and clear. It makes sure that all the nutrients and fish waste are recycled and reproduced. It gives luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae. Carib Sea Eco Aquarium is considered one of the best substrates for planted aquariums for its all-in-one benefits.
- It contains both major and minor trace elements for the nourishment of aquarium plants.
- It contains more than 30 elements, which are iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc. making it nutritionally complete.
- The Live Heterotrophic bacteria within the substrate convert the fish waste into natural food for aquarium plants.
- No artificial components like artificial dyes or chemical coatings are used
- The dimension of a bag is 18 x 12 x 2 inches
- The weight of a packet is 20 pounds
- The complete substrate containing all required components
- Contains live heterotrophic bacteria
- Porous spherical grains
- All-natural things are used
- The pH level lies in alkaline
2) Seachem Fluorite Black Clay Gravel :
Gravel has become the must-have part of aquariums, as it helps in growing sea plants. But a variety of substrates is available in the market from the lowest quality to the highest quality; we should use the best one according to requirement. Seachem Fluorite black gravel is a choice here; it gives the aquarium a more natural look. Its black colored grains are specially fracted. It is not harmful to aquatic life in any manner.
This substrate does not require any gravel modifiers, such as laterite. It works fine with under gravel filter and does not disturbs its nature and does not decompose or softens to an unsuitable state. This substrate does not contain any unnatural substance, such as chemical coating or dyes. The best part of this gravel is that it does not alter the pH level of water like other gravels, making it beneficial to aquatic life. You can mix it along with other gravels, but it is most effective if used integrally. Unlike other substrates, it does not dissolve, and there is no need to replace it. Its porous clay gravel easily settles down the fish water keeping the water clear and healthy for fishes. Its black colored grains are especially for the freshwater aquarium but can also be used for planted aquariums as well.
• It does not alter the pH level of water and keeps the water neutral, as no artificial content is there in gravel.
• It works fine with underwater gravel.
• It does not need to be replaced; it may require rinsing sometimes.
• It can be used with both planted aquariums and freshwater aquariums.
· The product dimension is 17 x 11.8 x 1.8 inches
· A single bag contains 15.6 pounds of clay gravel
· Under gravel filter compatible
· No gravel modifiers are necessary
· Does not decomposed
· No chemical coating
· On first use, it releases dust
3) ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia Powder Type:
It is a unique kind of substrate which is best for aquatic plants. It is made of Japanese plant-based black soil, which is rich in minerals and nutrients that are necessary for plant growth. Unlike other gravels, it is not made of volcanic ash-based soil. And due to its finer grain size, it is ideal for small aquariums. It is all black but provides your planted tank with a great look.
The best part of ADA Aqua soil is that it maintains the pH level of water to the ideal level, providing a safe environment for aquatic life. You can pour it in the place where you want to create a luscious carpet of plants and grass. If we have a look at its price, it is cheap as compared to other gravels but gives the best result.
The high amount of organic compounds makes it even beneficial for plants, fishes, and even for shrimps also. But it clouds the aquarium walls due to the number of organic compounds in it. It works fine with any substrate; it is just required to be layered over the substrate.
- Unlike other substrates, it maintains the pH level of water, making it ideal for both fishes and plants.
- Its consistent powder type material is best for plant growth in the aquarium.
- It is not made of volcanic ash or any kind of any other artificial substance.
- Only a layer over the substrate is required, its little usage making it affordable.
- The weight of an ADA Aqua soil bag is 7 pounds.
- Size is 3 liter
- Helps in maintain the pH level of water
- Finer size grain
- For plants and grass bed
- Natural compounds
- The tank becomes cloudy more quickly
4) Carib Sea ACS00832 Peace River Gravel for Aquarium:
If you want to give your planted aquarium a new look than Carib Sea ACS00832 Gravel will be the best choice. As it provides a nature-friendly environment and it is also closer to sea nature, this gravel looks great with any aquarium. And when it comes to safety for fishes and plants, this gravel does not contain any harmful chemical substances. It does not affect aquatic life in any manner.
There is no any type of chemical coating over gravel grains. It helps in the growth of plant roots in it. If its prices are compared to other similar products, then it is the most affordable choice to try. The pH level of water is not disturbed with the Carib Sea ACS00832 Gravel. The effective results could be seen in freshwater aquariums, as it is best for freshwater aquariums. It does not alter the watercolor as it is free of paints and dyes. It helps in creating a river-like environment. The easy flow between gravel grains makes it sure that the plant gets all the required nutrients. It is ideal for almost all freshwater aquariums. This gravel is available in 3 different weight packs, which include 5 pounds 20 pounds and 50 pounds for larger fish tanks. It is one of the best substrates for planted tanks.
- It does not alter the pH level of water, safe for plants and fishes of tanks.
- It is available at many affordable prices if compared to other gravels.
- The plants stay rooted in the substrate due to the size of grains.
- It is not dyed or coated with any chemical substance.
- The weight of this gravel bag is 20.5 pounds
- The dimension of the product is 12 x 8 x 10 inches
- Gives your tank a Great look
- Not harmful for fishes and plants
- Keeps plants rooted in gravel
- River-like environment
- Its little grains make aquarium walls cloudy
5) Ultum Nature Controsoil Freshwater Planted Aquarium Substrate
If you are looking for some natural but shaded substrate for your plant aquarium, then Ultum nature’s controsoil will not be a bad choice. It is an andisol-based substrate and is made of Japanese volcanic ash. It does not result well with saltwater. It is available in black and brown color grains so you can give your tank an even greater look.
There is no need to worry about rinsing it as it does not cloud the water tank. The consistency of substrate grains helps in the growth of plant roots, and the flow makes it sure that all the nutrients are reached to plant roots. It is available in three different granule size packs ranging from 1mm to 5mm so that you can pick the most appropriate one for your tank. It is not harmful to fishes and plants due to natural components. This substrate absorbs most of the impurities helps in keeping the water clean and clear. Plants grow more quickly with this substrate as it contains all the necessary minerals for plants growth. Fishes and plants like this substrate because it is closer to nature. It provides an ideal situation for fishes, plants, and shrimps also.
- It is much affordable as compared to other substrates.
- It does not make water cloudy and does not require rinsing.
- It lowers the ammonia content in tank making is even safer for aquatic life.
- The pH level of tank water is not altered.
- It is available in three different weight bags which are 1, 3 and 10-liter bags
- Available in two colors: black and brown
- The weight is 2 pounds
- Does not alter the pH level of water
- Does not require rinsing
- Available in different granule sizes
- Best results with an only freshwater tank
6) UP AQUA Sand for Aquatic Plants:
Up Aqua Sand is one of the best substrates for planted tanks available in the market due to its remarkable results. This substrate is almost dust free and helps in keeping the water tank walls clean. It is effective even if used integral, it does not require any other to support mini eco-system inside the tank.
The pH level of water is not disturbed due to this substrate. The pH level remains at 6.5, making it almost neutral, which is best for many fishes and plants. The river-like natural grains are loved by aquatic life. It is not easy to break down grains and does not dissolve in the water keeping the clear water free from impurities. This substrate is enriched with essential minerals for plant growth. The round light and porous texture make it a unique kind of substrate. The complaint ratio registered against this substrate is much low as compared to typical substrates. There is no need to worry about the safety of plants and fishes. All nutrients are contained in this bag and do not require any other supporting substrate with it. It gives a great look to your planted aquarium.
- Light round and porous grains make it one of its kinds. It is the best for freshwater aquarium.
- The pH level of water is not disturbed by this substrate. It provides an ideal environment for aquatic life.
- Plants get all the required nutrients required for plant growth and plant roots.
- It is a standalone product and does not require any other substrates
- The weight of the Up Aqua Sandbag is 11 pounds.
- The product pack dimension is 16 x 13 x 10 inches
- Does not cloud the water tank
- Enriched with minerals and nutrients
- pH level is maintained
- Light and Porous
- Late Delivery issues
7) Mr Aqua N-MAR-066 1 L Fine Pet Habitat Water Plant Soil:
If you are looking for an organic substrate for rapid plant growth, then Mr Aqua plant soil is a great choice. All essential components are present in this substrate. It is a great source of nutrients for aquatic plants. This substrate is highly porous, but light in weight provides the best environment for fishes and plants.
One of the best parts of this substrate is that it can maintain the pH level of water in the tank. This substrate promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the tank, making it even beneficial for tank plants. It only releases dust on pouring it the first time. Its plant fertilized soil lasts longs for about 8 months and even 12 months if kept properly. It gives a great new look to your plant aquarium. The water tank walls do not get cloudy too fast as compared to other substrates. The black-colored grain gives a river-like effect to the tank environment. You should buy this substrate if you want something that lasts long.
- It contains all required nutrients for plant growth; no other substance is necessary when using Mr Aqua Plant Soil.
- It is light weighted and highly porous, providing the best environment for plants and fishes.
- There is no need for changing water again and again, as it does not decompose and is not easy to break.
- It can last up to a year if used properly according to the given directions.
- The weight of a package is 1.85 pounds
- The dimensions are 4 x 2.5 x 9.5 inches
- It has the ability to maintain the pH level of water
- It is not harmful to plants or animals
- Grains are light and porous
- Better flow of water
- Small package
8) Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum:
Fluval Plant and Shrimp stratum is a volcanic ash substrate for planted fish aquarium. This substrate is enriched with minerals and nutrients requires for plant roots growth. This is mildly acidic but provides an ideal environment for plants and fishes in the tank. The pH level of water is not disturbed with this soil.
This substrate is highly beneficial for plant growth as it contains all the necessary nutrients for plants. There could not be any other better choice if you have shrimps also with fishes. It encourages the root development of plants; the plants remain rooted due to the fine size of grains. This substrate is light in weight, non-compactable, and highly porous. There is a good flow of water between soil, so all the plant roots get all the required nutrients. It is highly loved by fishes and plants also. You can see the noticeable improvement in only a few days in plants. The tank walls may get cloudy due to the organic compounds present in the substrate. Some people consider that the grain size is too small. The dust is released on only first use. The pH level of water becomes neutral to slightly acidic.
- The substrate grains are lightweight, non-compactable, and porous.
- This substrate provides an ideal environment for the habitat of fishes, and plants.No artificial components are used for manufacturing.
- This will be the best choice if you want to keep shrimps in it also.
- The flow between water soil makes it sure that all nutrients reach the plant roots.
- The package is available in three different sizes, which are 4.4 pounds, 8.8 pounds, and 17.6 pounds for larger plant tanks.
- The product dimensions are 3 x 6 x 11 inches
- Provides the best result
- Suitable for shrimps, fishes, and plants
- The nature is neutral to mildly acidic
- Enriched with minerals and nutrients
9) Hermit Habitat Terrarium Substrates:
Most people use natural and uncoated substrate for their planted tanks, but if you are in search of some decorative substrate for your aquarium. Hermit Habitat Terrarium will be the best choice for you here due to its sparkling blue color. It will give your planted aquarium a new great look. Everyone attracts the glowing blue color.
The coating over the substrate is non–toxic to plants and fishes, thus making it safe for aquatic life. The color coating does not slip off from the substrate keeping the water clear. As Herman Habitat Terrarium is not a completely natural substrate, it does not dissolve in water and does not cloud the aquarium walls. The pH level of water is not disturbed by its use. It creates an undulating effect in the aquarium.
The pebbles are coated with 100 percent acrylic color. It does not do any harm to fishes, and plants and the plants remain rooted in the substrate. It is safe to use under gravel pipes; it does not soften the plastic component of water purifies. It is safe to use with UGF. This will be the best substrate for planted tanks if you want to decorate your aquarium.
- It comes in great blue color that is attracted to anyone at first sight. It creates a unique colorful environment.
- The color coating over grains is non–toxic and does not slip off from substrates.
- It does not do any harm to aquatic life. The color is 100 percent acrylic.
- The pH level of water is not disturbed with the use of this substrate and loved by fishes.
- The weight of a package is 5.2 pounds.
- Product dimensions are 12.5 x 8 x 1.5 inches
- Non–toxic color coating
- Attractive color
- It does not cloud the water tank
- No minerals or nutrients like natural Substrates
10) Activ-Flora Floracor for Aquarium:
Natural substrates result better when compared to synthetic ones. As natural substrates contain all required minerals and nutrients required for plant growth. When shortlisting the best substrate for planted tanks, ActivFlora could not be ignored. There is no type of any artificial dye or paint is used within this substrate and is not coated with any chemical substance.
The grains of the substrate is spherical, which promotes maximum diffusion. The substrate is enriched with minerals and necessary elements for better plant growth. Colored pigments within the substrate add beauty to the gravel bed, but thee dyes are also safe for aquatic life. It contains bio-nutrients for faster and healthier growth of plants. It converts the fish waste into food for plants making it eco friendly and gives recyclability. It has been seen that the plants grow faster and are healthier when ActivFlora is used in the aquarium. You should buy this substrate if you care about your plants in the aquarium. It enhances plant growth and adds beauty to the aquarium as well.
• It provides all essential nutrients and minerals for faster and healthier plant growth.
• It contains a high amount of organic compounds in this substrate which cloud the water tank.
• Fishes love this substrate as it is closer to nature and gives a river-like environment.
• The flow of water between this substrate makes it sure that all plant roots get all nutrients.
· The dimension of the bag is 21.5 x 12 x 2
· The packaged weight is 16 pounds
· Enriched with minerals and nutrients
· Non-toxic colored pigments
· River-like environment
· No laterite is required
· Clouds the tank wall
So these are the best substrates for a planted tank. If you are going to buy a substrate for your fish tank, you can easily keep faith in these products for sure.
Hello there, I’m Pavel, and I’ve been deeply immersed in the captivating world of fishkeeping for over 12 years. My journey began with a single tank, and since then, my love for aquatic life has only grown stronger. My heart beats for bettas and goldfish, as I’ve spent countless hours understanding their unique behaviors and requirements.
But fishkeeping isn’t just a hobby for me – it’s a passion that has led me to explore the art of aquascaping. Through this creative outlet, I transform ordinary tanks into breathtaking underwater landscapes, merging the beauty of nature with the intricacies of aquarium care.