Dirt's too... Dirty - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
Flourite, turface, saf t sorb and (some) oil dri are all basically the same thing. The latter will strip KH initially (it's supposed to), not sure if flourite does or doesn't.
I have never heard of flourite doing that, but my knowledge is limited, im leaning towards flourite right now, but i still don't know.


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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:58 PM
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+1 Aquasoil. I love the look of it. Also its 1 solid color. No clashing.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jetajockey View Post
Flourite, turface, saf t sorb and (some) oil dri are all basically the same thing. The latter will strip KH initially (it's supposed to), not sure if flourite does or doesn't.
They are similar, but not exactly the same.

Compared to Flourite, Turface has higher CEC. So it's a bit better for growing plants. But it's also a lot lighter, so light that some people have a hard time planting in it. I just had to replace the Soilmaster Select (a discontinued Turface clone) in one tank because the filter was blowing it around.

Saf-T-Sorb and Oil Dri are like Turface, but made from clay that's not guaranteed to be fired to as high a temperature. So it may be less stable in the tank. Sometime you luck up and get a good batch, which lasts for years. Other times you get mud within months.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:53 AM
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Do you have fish in your tank? Aqua soil leaches ammonia for a couple of weeks...
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:52 PM
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more stem plants in the tanks should help to outcompete the algae for the access nutrients.
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 01:54 PM
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Yeah, plant it heavier. Throw some water wisteria or some other fast growing plant in it to absorb the excess nutrients
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 02:15 PM
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more stem plants in the tanks should help to outcompete the algae for the access nutrients.

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Yeah, plant it heavier. Throw some water wisteria or some other fast growing plant in it to absorb the excess nutrients

That was my 1st thought too. You don't mention what cap you have over the dirt?

If you read every thread on Dirted tank problems you start to see some common points. Lack of frequent water changes (you on that one), Gravel vs. Sand caps, and lightly planted tanks or moderate planting with slow growing plants.

I think the Sand preforms a function in that there is a think "seal" of the finest sand that sits on the dirt. I belie that slows down the nutrient flow into the water column in a way that gravel just can not do. I'm unaware of any natural body of water were gravel pebbles sit directly on dirt.

Even with sand you need to keep the nutrients in the water column in balance. Plant mass & water changes address that.

I feel the biggest error people make is focusing too much on the parts and not enough on the tank as a whole.

Before you spend $$ on substrate and do a tear down, I would suggest add as much Hornwort as you can. Let it grow to 2" thick on the top of your tank. Then as you get in balance remove it gradually.

Going to a sand Cap, 2" of dirt 1" of sand works well. In the long run it will be a simpler system.
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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That was my 1st thought too. You don't mention what cap you have over the dirt?

If you read every thread on Dirted tank problems you start to see some common points. Lack of frequent water changes (you on that one), Gravel vs. Sand caps, and lightly planted tanks or moderate planting with slow growing plants.

I think the Sand preforms a function in that there is a think "seal" of the finest sand that sits on the dirt. I belie that slows down the nutrient flow into the water column in a way that gravel just can not do. I'm unaware of any natural body of water were gravel pebbles sit directly on dirt.

Even with sand you need to keep the nutrients in the water column in balance. Plant mass & water changes address that.

I feel the biggest error people make is focusing too much on the parts and not enough on the tank as a whole.

Before you spend $$ on substrate and do a tear down, I would suggest add as much Hornwort as you can. Let it grow to 2" thick on the top of your tank. Then as you get in balance remove it gradually.

Going to a sand Cap, 2" of dirt 1" of sand works well. In the long run it will be a simpler system.
Sorry i didn't add cap... I have a 1 inch gravel cap with about an inch of dirt beneath. I have a decently planted tank, not a TON but a lot of plants, i constantly add plants to the tank and i have never seen a change, what does make it to the water column just seems to feed the algea, in part because of direct sunlight. I would move the tank, but i can't, even ottos won't help the mess of a tank i have right now, i don't know if sand would suit my needs because i tend to rescape a good deal, i hear with sand i can't really do that. I change weekly, sometimes more depending on how busy of a week i have. I try to get 2 in a week, but that usually doesn't happen.


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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:01 PM
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I've got Eco Complete in my two largest tanks and it's working out well. Just keep root tabs near your heavy root feeders. I prefer the larger size of the gravel in EC, as I can see all the brown muck slowly heading downwards and the surface stays clean. I have some really small-grained substrate in a smaller tank, and the crap just sits on top or within the first centimeter of the substrate and always kicks up a mess when doing water changes.
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