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Old 05-09-2013, 06:04 AM   #16
Jojoba
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I feel like that's pretty similiar to what I have read before, flourite/eco plus root tabs. But from your experience, how much of a hassle are root tabs and would I be okay to cap flourite/eco with sand?
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:16 AM   #17
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I've never used root tabs (my tank is currently dirted), but I have been reading up on them since I'll be switching to eco + tabs. It sounds like they need to be replaced anywhere from 2-6 months depending on the brand. If the tank is heavily planted it may be difficult to get all the tabs into the soil, but who knows.

And I don't think eco/fluorite needs to be capped; I wouldn't do it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:08 PM   #18
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Fair enough, it's just that I really like sand and if I can avoid buying three bags of the eco/ flourite (The amount I believe I need for my 30gal, and please correct me if I need more or less) because that's at least another $60. Also, I guess as far as nutrient depletion in dirt goes, that's not the biggest concern that I have because I'm going to get a bigger tank when I'm out of college in two years and the one I have now will get torn down. But as far as a consensus goes it seems to be split 50/50 that I can do or not do dirt... ugggh so much to consider; but, such is the nature of planted tanks and it would be no fun if it were black and white.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:50 PM   #19
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I have to buy 5 bags so I feel your pain, but if youre going to tear down the tank completely in 2 years it doesn't really matter which one you go with. If you did go with eco complete you could always re-use it in your bigger tank

The reason I said I wouldn't cap eco with sand is because the grains are different sizes. Eventually the sand could make its way down under the eco, or vice versa.

I dont know your tank dimensions but here is a substrate calculator,, the general rule is between 2"-3" is enough (i'd lean more towards 3") http://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:11 AM   #20
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Ouch, five bags!! The guy at the LFS is highly suggesting mixing it 50/50 with sand to cut cost and still gain some benefit.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Ouch, five bags!! The guy at the LFS is highly suggesting mixing it 50/50 with sand to cut cost and still gain some benefit.
+1
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:24 PM   #22
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Ouch, five bags!! The guy at the LFS is highly suggesting mixing it 50/50 with sand to cut cost and still gain some benefit.
Yea I cringed when I calculated it,, Someone with a 40 B said they couldve only used 4 bags. Anyway there is a different option that is far cheaper than eco or even dirt. Safe T Sorb:
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/MOL...KH9?Pid=search

The only bad thing is that it's very light, and could be hard to get plants to stay down in the substrate. It has a high CEC. Might want to research this as an alternative.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:41 PM   #23
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Wow, that is much cheaper! Have you read any threads about people having success with this stuff?
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #24
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I just looked at the specs for MOLTAN in more detail, it says it can absorb 3.8 gallons of water, that adds an additional 30 pounds or so of weight to it. Considering that, I don't think it will be that light.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:55 PM   #25
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Personally, I like dirt. Sure, eventually the nutrients deplete, but you wouldn't want to be relying only on the dirt for nutrients over the long haul anyways.

I think dirt capped with whatever, supplemented with root tabs and fertilization as needed, is the best way to go. I have a tank that is eco-complete, and what I don't like about it is that you constantly need to be on top of it or else things don't work as well as you'd like. I feel that dirted tanks can sort of just, sit on their own a little better for a longer period of time.

Also, its a HELL of a lot cheaper to just use dirt and sand then it is to use eco or something like that.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:01 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Jojoba View Post
Wow, that is much cheaper! Have you read any threads about people having success with this stuff?
yea there is a 7pg. thread on just safe t sorb: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=149589

I think I'll be returning my eco complete and purchasing safe t sorb
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:26 PM   #27
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Personally, I like dirt. Sure, eventually the nutrients deplete, but you wouldn't want to be relying only on the dirt for nutrients over the long haul anyways.

I think dirt capped with whatever, supplemented with root tabs and fertilization as needed, is the best way to go. I have a tank that is eco-complete, and what I don't like about it is that you constantly need to be on top of it or else things don't work as well as you'd like. I feel that dirted tanks can sort of just, sit on their own a little better for a longer period of time.

Also, its a HELL of a lot cheaper to just use dirt and sand then it is to use eco or something like that.
It is a lot cheaper, but have you tried to move dirted tanks before? I'm curious what your experience is with moving them.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:36 PM   #28
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It is a lot cheaper, but have you tried to move dirted tanks before? I'm curious what your experience is with moving them.
I do it with my 5.5. Was never really an issue, sure there was some cloudyness after I moved and a few stems got uprooted, but nothing that didn't take 5 minutes to fix. Also helped that I had some floating plants in there and nutrient sponges like wisteria (which in hind sight might not have been a great plant for a 5.5 since it grows a ton.....)

Only thing was that driftwood feel over, which wasn't an issue but I'm throwing it out there because you should be conscience of your hardscape when moving a tank.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:45 PM   #29
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If you are getting a bigger tank later, then doing eco now might not be bad, because then you can add established eco to the new tank if you so desired....

But I still like dirt the most lol
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:13 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steezy B View Post
yea there is a 7pg. thread on just safe t sorb: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=149589

I think I'll be returning my eco complete and purchasing safe t sorb
I just finished reading that thread and this stuff will definitely work great and is super cheap!

Despite this I have a concern: how will cory cats handle this type of substrate?
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