some quick questions about adding more substrate. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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some quick questions about adding more substrate.

Hi guys, I have a 50 gal tanks which only have two bags of Floramax. so:
1/I plan for a big upgrade now so how many lbs more of substrate I should add. Can I mix with something else? like Eco complete or organic soil for better result??
2/ About the old substrate which has used for about a month, should I take it out and rinse it because i can see my fishes's poop in there.. or may be it was worms that left over.

Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 03:28 AM
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You can mix it with organic soil, safety-zorb, all clay kitty litter, but if you do go soil you will need to cap it with some type of sand I would suggest black diamond blasting sand
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 04:07 AM
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I always preferred to go with a 70/30 mix of (70)Flourite original planted substrate, and (30)FloraMax then capped it with 1/2" of playsand from HomeDepot. And I've always had great success with this substrate mixture.... Here's a picture of my old 75 gallon planted tank with this substrate mixture...

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
I always preferred to go with a 70/30 mix of (70)Flourite original planted substrate, and (30)FloraMax then capped it with 1/2" of playsand from HomeDepot. And I've always had great success with this substrate mixture.... Here's a picture of my old 75 gallon planted tank with this substrate mixture...

well isn't organic soil and gravel and sand cost lesser? I don't know if I could afford other 5 bags of flourite.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 04:48 AM
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Well if cost are a problem you can always go with a MTS mineralized topsoil, and cap it with gravel or sand. Mineralized Topsoil is a cost effective substrate, and the main cost of it is the dry fertilizers needed for enriching the topsoil. But the bad thing about it is the time consuming process of wetting the dirt, then drying it, the repeating the washing/dry routine 3-4 times.

Last edited by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx; 06-30-2013 at 04:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I have co2 system, a filter that built in uv lights. I don't know whether I go with Mineralized Topsoil and top with gravel then sand or Miracle Grow Organic and top with gravel and sand to save times. the only thing is that I hear about Miracle Grow Organic is that it will cause algea problems but I have uv lights so I don't know if it will prevent algea or not.

how long does it take to wet and dry the topsoil 4-5 times?? I live in Texas so it's super hot outside...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 08:04 PM
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http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I'm doing MTS right now, and I experiences the top soil I bought at Lowes may have clay mix to it. I'm not sure but when I rinse it, I can feel some soft rock and it doesn't feel like soil and feel more like clay. I just don't know if it's clay or not. However, I try to find the red clay or unfired clay. Micheal's has mexican pottery clay which they sell the 5lb one for 10$- it's just too much.they also have oven bake clay and polymer clay sell as small package. Is it ok if I use the oven bake clay or polymer clay?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 06:20 PM
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You cannot use polymer clay, must be natural. That price sounds about right for what I paid, as well. Nice thing is once you've purchased it, it'll last for 2-3 more tankfuls of MTS. The real tricky stuff to find is the dolomite and potash...highly advise contacting someone on the forum here to ship you some.

Again, once you have the clay/dolomite/potash...it's just $2 bags of topsoil.

I have done a 50, a 10, and now a 20 with MTS. Took about 1/2 a bag of topsoil to make enough MTS for the 20.

Have you done the drying process 3-4 times? You don't really need to sift until that point. Once you sift (I just pulled the screen out of my garage window), you'll get rid of any large particles.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymittens View Post
You cannot use polymer clay, must be natural. That price sounds about right for what I paid, as well. Nice thing is once you've purchased it, it'll last for 2-3 more tankfuls of MTS. The real tricky stuff to find is the dolomite and potash...highly advise contacting someone on the forum here to ship you some.

Again, once you have the clay/dolomite/potash...it's just $2 bags of topsoil.

I have done a 50, a 10, and now a 20 with MTS. Took about 1/2 a bag of topsoil to make enough MTS for the 20.

Have you done the drying process 3-4 times? You don't really need to sift until that point. Once you sift (I just pulled the screen out of my garage window), you'll get rid of any large particles.
so I can use the mexican red clay or oven bake clay at Micheal's?

I have contacted a member in this forum but he ran out dolomite and muriate of potash. any local store carries it?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 07:18 PM
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I had zero luck finding those items, and those that have found them usually get a 50lb bag of each....hence you should find a forum member who's already done the leg work.

As long as the clay is NOT polymer (red is preferred, IIRC), then you should be okay. Polymer clay does not absorb the nutrients/minerals like the real stuff, and so does not fulfill the purpose of adding clay to the MTS. (someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, here)
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