Akadama alternative - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Akadama alternative

What's a good substrate with pH buffering capabilities like Akadama, but without all the ammonia like Amazonia?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 03:35 AM
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 03:53 AM
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For that price, I'll wait for Akadama to hit the shelves again.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 03:54 AM
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What if it doesn't?

I've also heard that its granules are extremely hard to crush
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 04:05 AM
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Then I opt for easier to keep shrimp.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 04:07 AM
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Are the few extra dollars in substrate really that important if you're gonna keep some nice shrimp? You'll make the money back off the offspring anyways.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 04:10 AM
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It is when I don't have it to spend.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's a bit steep.

I've heard that there are several clay-based materials that can be used as substrate similar to Akadama. Do these offer the same buffering capabilities? I am looking for something shrimp safe/beneficial.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:10 AM
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Soil Master Select(SMS) they use it on baseball fields.

Quite a few folks use it. Sort of light weight.
I use it in my bonsai.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
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Soil Master Select(SMS) they use it on baseball fields.

Quite a few folks use it. Sort of light weight.
I use it in my bonsai.
SMS grey isn't made anymore. You can sometimes find a lesco that has a bag or two still, but that seems more and more rare.

Turface is the next best thing, but it only buffers for a few months in my experience(I've got wicked hard water though, so it might "fill it up" quicker).

The SMS in red is essentially turface, and in my area cost more than turface(11 dollars per 50lb bag of turface).
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:45 AM
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Any specific type of turface that is shrimp safe and buffers
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:47 AM
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Turface pro league has a high cec, it doesn't buffer. It strips KH from the water and drops pH. I wouldn't recommend it as a substrate with the goal of softening water.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 06:53 AM
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
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So there isn't a good akadama price smart alternative :/?
Akadama is the price smart alternative to other expensive soils, so there is only so low you can go.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 05:23 PM
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So there isn't a good akadama price smart alternative :/?
As far as plants are concerned, it will not matter for the SMS vs the Akadama.
They function similarly.

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