I am setting up my first planted tank in a 75 gallon. I've been reading a lot of different forums and articles about substrate and lighting. Is there any substrate that is suppose to be better than others, also i was going to layer the substrate. Second question is lighting, the tank is 48" long, I am looking for a light that supports all different kind of plants. Any suggestion? Lastly, is it smart to install a CO2 system and are they hard to regulate? 

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U can use regular organic soil and cap it with your choice of gravel or sand, pebbles are good. Or if u wanna spend the money u can get ADA soil or Eco complete. But dirt is just as effective just a little messier. Lighting go with T5 High output works great. You won't need Co2 unless u plan to have plants which need a high amount.

i think and as others on this site have proven dirt is the way to go when it comes to planted tanks. just do peat, dirt, clay, garvel in that order and you'll be good, message me and i can give you a much better and more specific breakdown of the process. the thing with tanks is if you have high lights you need co2 or else you get algae and vice versa if you use co2 u need high lights. high lights and co2 are really only needed to grow a few rare species and create rapid growth. i don't really suggest co2 its stingy and to me an uneccisary pain. plus super expensive. on the lights iv found that a 2 bulb t-5 fixture is typically too much light for me. the problem is you can really only run them for 6 hours a day which sucks or else you get algae. i prefer two t-8s which i can leave on for like 12 hours a day. if you need or want any more help feel free to ask.

New to this.... Peat, dirt, clay, + gravel and

1) plants grow better
2) no co2
3) no need to supplement in water column.


Thank you!
Also, would flourite red be an adequate substitute for clay + iron??


from what i hear yes flourite would work, some say better but iv never done it myself

i think the plants grow better plus its cheaper

na you don't need co2, unless you want it

ferts i think are fine to use

Airstone good or bad? I have one as of now but i am starting to find a lot about the negative impacts of the airstone on the plants

airstone at night isn't a bad idea because at night plants release co2 and use up the oxygen in the water

So 4 a 75g does this sound like a goog mix:

Dusting of peat
1 bag - 15 lbs. flourite
1 & 1/2 inched miracle grow organic potting soil
Cap of 1 & 1/2 inches gravel

Any comments are appreciated!


I use flourite and that seems to work or if you want to go cheaper but still works just as good, you can buy organic potting dirt. Co2 is not reqired but can use if you want, to cap the soil or dirt use sand or gravel both work fine but i prefere sand.

bro you have to check out my youtube channel, i literally just dirted a 75 gal like 2 weeks ago and i have some good vids of how i did everything. give it a look



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