What is the best substrate for a planted newt aquarium?

Herpin Man

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I want to choose a substrate that won't negatively affect the water quality or chemistry- and won't make too much of a mess.
Any suggestions? What has worked for you?
 

bellabelloo

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With most of my tanks, I use a Walstad style tank. I used garden soil, which I know was pesticide free, placed on the bottom, maybe a good cm deep. I then added plants and and then a layer of fine gravel, maybe 1/2 cm thick. This has been running a good few years now. The plants grow well and every few months I remove dead leaves and some of the mulm ( this is cosmetic as mulm is ok, just messy) I remove maybe 25% water and top up. There is a link below.

https://aruljohn.com/blog/walstad-tank-20gallon/
 

seandelevan

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I've used it all.....use organic dirt, and I've used play sand, very fine gravel to pea sized gravel.....I think the best looking(and most realistic)is a combination of sand and varying sizes of gravel with a variety of sizes of rock for good measure.

But yeah it really didn't matter. Whatever you want to look at it.
 

Herpin Man

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One of my worries is that newts might ingest gravel or sand.
 

MnGuy

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Fine grain sand won't be an issue. I have my three alpine newts on sand. I've kept a million fish on the same sand in different takes. They all eat food off the sand with no issues. I would be a little more hesitant to have small gravel around newts.

Good luck.
 

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For years I worried about that....and eventually went to a bare bottom tank. Then one day I realized....newts don't live on glass bottom ponds, lakes, or streams. And I've seen newts crawling all over all sorts of pebbles, rocks, sand, dirt etc in the wild and have lived millions of years fine with our intervention. Went to my naturalistic set up and haven't looked back. Been like that for 5-6 years now without issue.
 
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