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Thread: Cheap Substrate?? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-06-2013 06:19 PM
shift Is there any other known brands of an equivalent brands? Most seem to be walnut or crushed glass based around me (so far)

Although if it is just slag.. there is huge mountains of slag an hour or so from my house at an old mine site.. no idea if its aquarium safe though! scrap that. just read that its from an old copper mil.
03-06-2013 06:04 PM
creekbottom
Quote:
Originally Posted by shift View Post
Does anyone know who sells the black beauty blasting sand in canada?

tractor supply seems to be a us chain
That would depend where you are in Canada, it's kinda big.

I went searching for it in Edmonton but was unable to find it. Places like SIL industries, Burnco, Manus Abrasives were either out of stock with no idea when it might be back in stock or just didn't have it. I didn't think to try Target Products (another abrasive/building material company, not the American Target). It is listed on their website but by that time I had bought a bag of overpriced black sand from the LFS.
03-06-2013 05:51 PM
shift
Cheap Substrate??

Where do you guys find cheap black sand?
03-06-2013 04:32 PM
UGA_Grad_Student I posted this thread over a year ago and have since figured out what worked for me at the time. I wanted to update the thread and tell people what I went with and how it has worked out. I did that because I noticed a lot of views on this thread. I figured there are more people like me, trying to save a lot of money yet still go about it in a proper method. The kitty litter/sand combo worked wonders with me. The plants really pop against the black sand.
03-06-2013 04:29 PM
Seattle_Aquarist
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGA_Grad_Student View Post
In the terms of a planted aquarium, I am a beginner. I have had aquariums for several years and also had plants. Before now it has been a o thats cheap and looks cool lets throw it in and hope it works. That is all about to change now that I have just acquired a 55 gallon tank. Enough background here is my question...

I am looking for a cheap substrate that will work and help plants flourish. Maybe some kind of combination from a store such as lowes??

I figure there are people on here that could help me out. Right now it is just a bare bottom tank and looking kinda boring. I can post pictures if people would like.

Thanks for all the help!!
Hi UGA_Grad_Student,

I am currently using Safe-T-Sorb #7941 which is working very well. The first use requires substantial washing but the high CEC, natural appearance, and economical price makes it a very attractive option. I like the mix of grain sizes and the mix of natural colors. It is available online at Drillspot for $10.27 per 40# bag with free shipping included.
http://www.drillspot.com/products/1476408/Moltan_7941_Montmorillonite_Clay_Absorbant_40_lb

Here is a picture of my 10 gallon, with Safe-T-Sorb substrate. This tank has no CO2, just Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Excel. The baby Corys have been in there for over 3 months and have doubled in size.


And here is a picture of my 20g high set up 3/1/13
03-06-2013 01:25 PM
bpb 50# bag of turface pro league ($12)
80# earthgro topsoil mineralized ($3)
Muriate of potash ($6)
Clay ($6)

Skipping the dolomite. 3" nutritious substrate with high CEC for my 75 gallon for under $30. That ain't bad.

Or you could just get plain sand and call it a day. You'll need alot of root tabs though. Keep in mind that sand and kitty litter are completely inert and will offer the plants zero nutrition.
03-05-2013 10:37 PM
shift Does anyone know who sells the black beauty blasting sand in canada?

tractor supply seems to be a us chain
03-05-2013 09:45 PM
UGA_Grad_Student If anyone finds this thread in searches, I just wanted to update what I went with. I decided to do the special kitty kitty litter covered by the black blasting sand. I have been completely happy with it so far. Haven't seen any adverse effects of die offs. Just make sure you rinse both the cat litter and the blasting sand over and over x 10.
02-15-2012 12:07 AM
UGA_Grad_Student Agreed I am so on the fence, but I am glad that I have 2 weeks to decide. I'm thinking now maybe the kitty litter I have heard people talk about covered by some gravel.
02-14-2012 11:48 PM
kcartwright856 That sounds like it would be an absolute nightmare to clean.
02-14-2012 08:56 PM
UGA_Grad_Student Anyone done sand covered by gravel? I know it wouldn't benefit the plants much and would need to be dosed but have people done this?
02-14-2012 08:40 PM
Sugardaddy1979 Does the miracle grow leach ammonia?
02-14-2012 07:41 PM
wicca27 i use miracle grow organic potting soil (1 -2 inches deep) and pool filter sand cap (1-2 inches deep) my plants love it my corck screw vals are as tall as the tank. one down side is it leaches tannens for a while but plants love it i have that combo in most of my tanks. trick is to put both soil and then sand and fill that way keeps it from making mud. or i have also added just enough water to the soil to make it moist and the sand on top and fill. pros is not planting sand keeps the soil from comming up. prob is when moving rooted plants. but not as bad if you go really slow and pull a little at a time. took me prob 20 min to put up a huge rubin sword (12 + inches tall and wide as a 55) but i pulled main roots one at a time so not to make a huge mess.
02-14-2012 06:54 PM
nalu86
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGA_Grad_Student View Post
HAHAHA truth!! For anyone that has used miracle-gro how messy does the process of actually planting the plants get??

The process of planting is not messy at all.
Like I told you before, take the water out, 3/4 - 1" of MGOPM and 1" front and 2-3" Black Diamond B sand slope to the back on top.

Easiest I figured out was first planting in the dirt and then capping it.

After couple of days, maybe some of the dirt will show, but won't make a mess, then you just take some of the sand and cap it where the dirt is visible.

Some of the woodchuncks will be visible over time, so if you don't like that, sift your soil through a mesh before you start. But my corys love to play in the woodchuncks.
02-14-2012 06:40 PM
CrazyMidwesterner The cheapest substrate I ever used was Oil Dri and I've been very happy with it. A layer of peat moss underneath topped off with Oil dri and the plants grow well. Of course Oil dri is inert so dosing is needed, but over time it's needed with all substrates.

I think a 50lbs bag was $4 at tractor supply :-)
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