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Old 11-07-2011, 11:56 PM   #31
Mxx
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Could we add Estes Marine Sand/PermaColor Quartz to the list as well, and have some who have used it give some pros and cons? Reading other reviews such as here - http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...ne-sand-review
it isn't silica based, (which supposedly is better for the fish's gills, which is a claim I question, but I also wonder whether it reduces diatom algae as a result compared to other sands). It's also supposedly quite clean straight out of the bag, is of a very good particle size, and is of relatively uniform particles which are more rounded than something like Moonsand or Black Beauty/Blastin Sand.

I've used Flourite and Flourite Sand, which aren't great by themselves as they're inert, but after having been decently rinsed there was not a problem with cloudiness.

I've also bought rigid nylon mesh to put over the MTS base which I'll be using next time and capped with black sand. And like the previous poster here, I'd heard it is very good for keeping the MTS from making a mess whenever some aquascaping maintenance is necessary.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:01 AM   #32
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I love Estes black sand, no complaints here.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:34 AM   #33
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love this thread but its made me a lot more confused on what substrate to use next.. :P


also aquasoil... doesnt that help buffer pH?
^ that was one of the reasons why i was considering using it as my next substrate... i have very hard water, and i wanted something to help buffer my pH.

And is miracle grow considered like pete moss? or is laying floor with pete moss no longer used?

And if u were to use Root Tabs with a high CEC substrate, is it better then aquasoil and stratum? Or is it still missing stuff?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:05 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naekuh View Post
love this thread but its made me a lot more confused on what substrate to use next.. :P


also aquasoil... doesnt that help buffer pH?
^ that was one of the reasons why i was considering using it as my next substrate... i have very hard water, and i wanted something to help buffer my pH.

And is miracle grow considered like pete moss? or is laying floor with pete moss no longer used?

And if u were to use Root Tabs with a high CEC substrate, is it better then aquasoil and stratum? Or is it still missing stuff?
Awesome addition forgot to put on the Ph and hardness buffering that Aquasoil has.

Pete Moss is not as good as miracle grow when it comes to plant nutrients. It however does soften water as well though.

Using root tabs with a high cec substrate is about the same as using aquasoil and stratum. If cost wasn't a factor though aquasoil and stratrum would be the obvious first choice. All of these options will grow plants well though.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:43 AM   #35
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I believe ADA Aquasoil just lowers the pH, instead of buffering it. Buffering implies that any tank with Aquasoil would have nearly the same pH, whatever else was in the water. I'm not at all sure I am right about that though.

Any inert substrate, unless it also has a reasonably good CEC, is as good as any other, other than how it looks. I used to be convinced that black blasting grit was harmful to cory cats, but I recently learned that I was wrong about that, so it is just a different looking inert substrate. Now, Zeolite sand should be a lot better, because it does have a genuinely high CEC. It is ugly, but should be good for plants. (When I tried it, it didn't seem to be any better than pool filter sand, as far as the plants were concerned.)
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:03 AM   #36
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I think I will be going with some Fluval Stratum in my 14G because of this thread. I'll by layering it on top of an ADA AS and Fluorite mix. Wait, I got the prices mixed up. Aquasoil is cheaper?

For people I have talked to and in my own experience ADA AS Amazonia NEW lowers my pH from 7.8 to 6.8. Exactly one pH. Additionally the ADA website says it lowers KH which explains why my KH in my main tank is 0 (5KH tap to 0)
It leeched Ammonia heavily for 2 weeks, but after changing the water 80% every other day it was fine (0.25 or 0.5ppm)

Also I was wondering if some of the rockier substrates (Eco-Complete?) and certain sands leech silica / silicates which can allow diatom (brown algae) growth. Can clarify which types leech more?
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:18 PM   #37
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Thanks for the additions and corrections guys.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:16 AM   #38
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Silica sand doesn't leach silicates, because they are not soluble in water. The silica compounds that are water soluble are not a component of sand.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:51 AM   #39
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Aquasoil does not seem to lower general hardness (GH), just KH.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:02 AM   #40
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Quote:
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Silica sand doesn't leach silicates, because they are not soluble in water. The silica compounds that are water soluble are not a component of sand.
Are we 100% sure about that? I'd read knowledgeable aquarists talking about how they believe either their glass or their sand is slowly leaching silica into their tank and feeding their diatom algae bloom. Sounded a little strange to me that something might be leaching from glass certainly, but that's what they'd been reporting. What would be the source for silica in that case? Silicon? Just fish food?
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:48 PM   #41
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i've used fluval stratum twice. once i rinsed it, and once i didn't. the time i didn't rinse it, the tank was much clearer faster. idk why. just posting my experience.

btw, can someone dispel the myth that eco-complete has everything plants need, and will feed them for many years..... i know a few people who think that it is truly complete, and you don't have to do anything else. my opinion is it is basically expensive junk, that is not actually complete in any way. thoughts?
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:31 PM   #42
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Dgup: I have heard several people say it lowers the general hardness maybe I misinterpreted. Does anyone else care to weigh in on if it in fact lowers general hardness or just kh?

Mxx: Not sure however would need more proof to add it to the cons list.

jerilovesfrogs: This is why it is stated in the original post to be lacking key plant nutrients.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:01 PM   #43
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Great thread! Just a comment, I started a new tank using fluval shrimp stratum about a month ago. Here's the journal link:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...l-iwagumi.html

I started to rinse the first of 3 4.4lb bags of this stuff with a fine mesh and it just disintegrated. I had tried to follow the directions (for once! go figure) and it was a complete disaster. I read so many posts about people having problems rinsing it. It doesnt just fall apart exactly, but it couldnt even withstand the pressure of me pouring water over it from about 3 inches away. I stopped rinsing and just added the rest straight to the tank. I haven't flooded it yet because I'm doing a dry start. As far as this stratum growing plants.... Well if you're newer to this like me, I haven't added a thing to it and I have a ton of new growth in just 2 weeks. Yes maybe I could have more, or could add iron and all kinds of fancy stuff but why? I don't want to waste money on something thats working as of now. The roots are spreading and there are a ton of new shoots branching off. If you want to buy a half dozen other nutrients to add to it then fine, be my guest, but my goal was to let other people on a budget know that you CAN in fact grow plants in fluval stratum without adding anything but water and light.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:16 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TactusMortus View Post
Dgup: I have heard several people say it lowers the general hardness maybe I misinterpreted. Does anyone else care to weigh in on if it in fact lowers general hardness or just kh?

Mxx: Not sure however would need more proof to add it to the cons list.

jerilovesfrogs: This is why it is stated in the original post to be lacking key plant nutrients.
i know it was stated eco is lacking...but how can i prove this to someone else? what is it lacking exactly. just saying to someone, who thinks it is gold, oh it is lacking in minerals...isn't going to convince them. ya know?
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:15 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerilovesfrogs View Post
i know it was stated eco is lacking...but how can i prove this to someone else? what is it lacking exactly. just saying to someone, who thinks it is gold, oh it is lacking in minerals...isn't going to convince them. ya know?
Rotala doesn't even grow in my eco-complete tank, it just kind of survives
Quote:
Originally Posted by TactusMortus View Post
Dgup: I have heard several people say it lowers the general hardness maybe I misinterpreted. Does anyone else care to weigh in on if it in fact lowers general hardness or just kh?
The ADA website specifically states KH and my one round of testing (take it for what you will) seems the same. The more people that can chime in the better. I could be the stem plants eating the KH + the AS doing it's job. I don't have a control, so, take it for what you will.

---

v Filtered Tap water (100% tap in both tanks)
Code:
     pH   Ammonia   Nitrites   Nitrate   GH   KH       
     7.8     0         0.0        0      8   5
v 10G Main planted tank. Decently planted with stems. 30 Endlers. 10 RCS. 40G HOB filter. Flourite and Aquasoil mixture (leeched ammonia before putting it in)
Code:
     pH   Ammonia   Nitrites   Nitrate   GH   KH       
     6.8     0         0.5       10      8.5   0
v 10G RCS tank. 30 RCS, small 10G HOB filter. Eco Complete. 2 small lava rocks. Moss, few stem plants.
Code:
     pH   Ammonia   Nitrites   Nitrate   GH   KH       
     8.0     0          0       100      11   5.5

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