Substrate Choices Pros/Cons - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 09:01 PM
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Yes, ADA As works nice etc.....but it also looks nice years later........which is the main reason I use it, the soil mud tanks will have the same nutrient content and profile as ADA if they use say Rice paddy clay loams...........but then the sand cap and uprooting etc, those can become issues but this is more to do with aesthetics and moving sediment, layering, and slopes etc.

As far as growth, there should be little differences.

Inert sediments are mostly if not entirely based on aesthetic considerations.
Perhaps weight/density for planting stems etc.

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Tom Barr
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post #17 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks you guys I have updated the original post. Keep the suggestions coming.
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post #18 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 03:42 PM
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In have been using a product called "Oil-Dri" which I think is similar to Turface for over one year now.


Pros: It has a high CEC and can be pre fertilized.
Best part ...lol... $7.00 for twenty five pounds!

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post #19 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aquaticz View Post
In have been using a product called "Oil-Dri" which I think is similar to Turface for over one year now.


Pros: It has a high CEC and can be pre fertilized.
Best part ...lol... $7.00 for twenty five pounds!
What do you mean it can be pre fertilized?
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post #20 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 06:53 AM
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Do NOT rinse fluval stratum. I know the package says to, but if you do, the water will cloud for days. If you don't rinse, the water will clear up very quickly.

Also, a CON for MTS and miracle grow would be replanting stems, it can get really messy if you aren't careful
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post #21 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:03 AM
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I have a low light 29 gal shrimp tank with bottom layer of Osmocote (about three table spoons) followed by approx one inch of top soil right out of the bag,then a layer of unscented clay cat litter (about one inch) ,followed by nylon mesh cut to fit inside diameter of tank and finally,, around two inches of Black Sand.
The nylon mesh prevent's sand from working it's way to bottom and also prevent's mixing of dirt with sand when re-planting or inserting new plant's.
I can feel the nylon mesh when inserting new plant's and don't get as much disturbance of dirt below.
Believe it also helps to have the cat litter on top of the dirt with regards to upsetting the mixture.
Has worked well so far with the shrimps and cardinal tetra's but tank is only a couple month's old.
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post #22 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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I have a low light 29 gal shrimp tank with bottom layer of Osmocote (about three table spoons) followed by approx one inch of top soil right out of the bag,then a layer of unscented clay cat litter (about one inch) ,followed by nylon mesh cut to fit inside diameter of tank and finally,, around two inches of Black Sand.
The nylon mesh prevent's sand from working it's way to bottom and also prevent's mixing of dirt with sand when re-planting or inserting new plant's.
I can feel the nylon mesh when inserting new plant's and don't get as much disturbance of dirt below.
Believe it also helps to have the cat litter on top of the dirt with regards to upsetting the mixture.
Has worked well so far with the shrimps and cardinal tetra's but tank is only a couple month's old.
Glad that has worked for you Roadmaster seems like a lot of work though when you could just go with a substrate that has all the nutrients you need.
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post #23 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
Do NOT rinse fluval stratum. I know the package says to, but if you do, the water will cloud for days. If you don't rinse, the water will clear up very quickly.

Also, a CON for MTS and miracle grow would be replanting stems, it can get really messy if you aren't careful
I will put a note about the fluval stratum, however I am not going to take the rinse off because the manufacture recommends it. I will add the note about replanting in MTS and Miracle Grow though.
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post #24 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 02:38 PM
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Glad that has worked for you Roadmaster seems like a lot of work though when you could just go with a substrate that has all the nutrients you need.
Yes, I would like to try substrate such as ADA but it is not easily found here.
Everything I used with exception of nylon mesh ,I already had laying around.
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post #25 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TactusMortus View Post
I will put a note about the fluval stratum, however I am not going to take the rinse off because the manufacture recommends it.
Eco-Complete also claims to be a completely fertilized substrate - and it's not. (And CaribSea employees back that up)

What the manufacturer recommends isn't always best in practice. Occasionally, folks will get tips from ADA that it's find to add critters right after setting up a tank. While that may be okay in a super-heavily-planted-like-woah tank, it's not usually great in practice without tons of ammonia offing your fish/shrimp.

This is a great list, though, and can definitely help people narrow down their options.
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post #26 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Eco-Complete also claims to be a completely fertilized substrate - and it's not. (And CaribSea employees back that up)

What the manufacturer recommends isn't always best in practice. Occasionally, folks will get tips from ADA that it's find to add critters right after setting up a tank. While that may be okay in a super-heavily-planted-like-woah tank, it's not usually great in practice without tons of ammonia offing your fish/shrimp.

This is a great list, though, and can definitely help people narrow down their options.
I see what your saying however the eco complete has been tested. I think the rinsing thing is a matter of opinion. However as you can see I still added a note on the original post.
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post #27 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 03:06 PM
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Not trying to beat a dead horse, as I greatly appreciate what you're doing.

Nearly everything on your list has been tested here on the forum. Fluval's product has for sure: here, here, here, here.

Hoppy's had great experience with it after rinsing and lots of others - particularly shrimpers (like mordalphus, the shrimp genius) - have not. So it's a good thing you added the note.

Oh - another pro for Eco-Complete: it's got a rough surface so smaller plants and mosses can latch on quickly.
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post #28 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Not trying to beat a dead horse, as I greatly appreciate what you're doing.

Nearly everything on your list has been tested here on the forum. Fluval's product has for sure: here, here, here, here.

Hoppy's had great experience with it after rinsing and lots of others - particularly shrimpers (like mordalphus, the shrimp genius) - have not. So it's a good thing you added the note.

Oh - another pro for Eco-Complete: it's got a rough surface so smaller plants and mosses can latch on quickly.
Thanks for pointing that out I will add your pro to eco complete.
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post #29 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 05:27 PM
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I've been using Turface with success (so far). I like the look of it -- it looks like what I imagine the bottom of a river bed might look like and it is fairly easy to plant in. Also, after a short period of time it becomes "fertilized" by your fish (until then, you can use root tabs).

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post #30 of 239 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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I've been using Turface with success (so far). I like the look of it -- it looks like what I imagine the bottom of a river bed might look like and it is fairly easy to plant in. Also, after a short period of time it becomes "fertilized" by your fish (until then, you can use root tabs).
Keep in galabar you still want to supplement with other ferts even if the turface is taking in enough nitrates it is likely lacking other key plant nutrients if you are not dosing anything.
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