Question: Suitable Axolotl Substrate

RachelChum

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Hi all,

I am redesigning my 4ft tank (moving on from tropicals) and depending on substrate I will be either moving back to fancy goldies or trying something new with an axolotl. I have already bought two bags of Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum Substrate 8kg (so 16kg in total and it has already arrived) as the plan is to have a large gold vine driftwood centerpiece and live plants and mosses etc on and around it and get the plants established before restocking the tank. My question is, is the Fluval soil safe and ideal for axolotls considering they're in contact with it constantly? Or should I cap the substrate with something else like a sand? If I need to cap it, what would be best? Last time I had a live planted tank I just had plain play sand (I was a newbie lol!) which was not a good idea for the plants I had so I wanna try and do it right this time.

Thanks in advance to everyone who replies.
 

AxolotlChris

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You should read this thread on this particular brand of substrate: Fluval Shrimp Stratum Review? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum

I don't think it would be safe for Axolotls, its meant for shrimp. You'd be better using 'Flora Base' by Red Sea, which has been said to be Axolotl safe. But I have read that it ideally needs to be replaced yearly can can create a mud like layer on the bottom: flora base? - The Planted Tank Forum
Axolotl Sanctuary

You should cap any plant specific substrate with sand or gravel (sand in the case of Axolotls).

I have heard of lots of users keeping plants suited to colder temperatures of a fresh water aquarium with adequate lighting in just sand with no additional nutrients. I'm currently planting my tank with plants into my sand substrate and using a Hagen-AuqaGlo 15w light.
 

RachelChum

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Yep well my main focus with this tank will be the live plants and the fish as secondary which is why I've gone with the Fluval. Am thinking now I might just cap it with an inch or so of play sand again to make it as fish safe as possible as I do like the look of the pure white sand under my light. Thanks for the reply :happy:
 

AxolotlChris

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No problem, If your going to keep Axolotls then I would make them the primary concern, if you focus on the plants and use plant specific substrate, fertilisers or other chemicals you could harm or kill the Axolotl
 
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