Torn between Onyx Sand and Eco-Complete - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Torn between Onyx Sand and Eco-Complete

I'm really torn between using 100% Onxy Sand or 100% Eco-Complete in my soon-to-be-setup 6g nanocube. I'm leaning towards the Eco based soley on user opinion but I've wanted something "sand-like" for a long, long time.

The tank will be heavily planted with 2 dwarf puffers.

Which would you prefer, if you've tried both in the past?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 05:12 PM
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I have Onyx in a 10 gallon and do not recommend it. Under moderate light the Onyx is a dull gray. If you want something sandy try Tahitian Moon Sand instead.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 05:34 PM
 
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i have onyx in my 12 gal, and i like the gray color; looks great in a planted tank, better than some brownish stuff... but.. onyx has a real problem with clouding the water anytime you move something... My vote goes with onyx still though
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 11:12 PM
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Onyx.

EC, well there have been a few issues with it, I also don't like the light weight and larger grain sizing. It will not be as dirty.

Onyx will need rinsed 3-4 x and then it's ready to use.
Add mulm and a tad bit of peat before you add the onyx(or any substrate for that matter).

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 11:27 PM
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I have Onyx but do you really need that much for a 6 gal? I personally would go for ADA's substrate, the smaller bag one.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trckrunrmike
I have Onyx but do you really need that much for a 6 gal? I personally would go for ADA's substrate, the smaller bag one.
Where can I get more information on this and where is a good online store to buy it?

Thanks!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 12:36 AM
 
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I actually like florabase better than either . . . but if you're going with one of those for aesthetics, I'll say I like eco-complete more. Though, for your info, there are different grain sizes in eco complete.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 01:36 AM
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aquariumdesigngroup.com has it
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
Onyx.

EC, well there have been a few issues with it, I also don't like the light weight and larger grain sizing. It will not be as dirty.

Onyx will need rinsed 3-4 x and then it's ready to use.
Add mulm and a tad bit of peat before you add the onyx(or any substrate for that matter).

Regards,
Tom Barr
If I rinse the Onyx 3-4x as you suggest, will it continue to cloud down the road, when I re-scape? In other words, will it be an issue I always have to deal with? Just curious...

Thanks for the responses!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 04:58 AM
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For me, it hasn't. There are finer particles where you can just suck up using a syphon.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 03:48 PM
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i dunno how much truth there is behind it, but i've read somewhere that onyx is the same thing as their gray coast calcite substrate. i've been using that as the primary substrate in my 55 gallon african cichlid tank (mixed with small pieces of red and black lava rock and about 15-20 lbs of black colorquartz). If it *is* the same stuff, then yes, it does have "fines", but they do settle out, and rescaping, gravel vac-ing, etc. doesn't seem to cloud the water at all, not even as much as flourite, in my experience. The fine particles settle out very well after the initial rinsing and break-in period for the tank. If this is *not* the same substrate, then I'm sorry for wasting your time Does anyone know if this is really the case?

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 09:35 PM
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Yep, GCC is the same as onyx sand.

I use it in my marine planted tank also.

Onyx will not cloud later nor ever turn to mush(all semi soft clay based products such as ADA soils, Florabase will turn to mush, they are soft and will break apart and the grain size will decrease, lowering exchange, onyx will remain the same, the power sand is not clay based and therefore will not have this occur, but mulm can build up in any of the these substrates and should be floushed out once every 1-2 years, not an easy prospect with the clay based materials-lesson's l;earned with another clay based material, kitty litter).

It can be scaped all sorts of ways and is the densest of any of the suggested products, meaning that it'll stay in place easier, be easier to replant things etc.

Try doing water changes on small tanks and refilling them without disturbing the gravel.

Heavier is better.

You can do it with the other products...but it's a little bit tougher.
Onyx will last forever though.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 10:14 PM
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I have used florabase, ADA, Eco, normal gravel with laterite.

Florabase: Cloudy water for about 3 days, acts like ADA by lowering ph. Brown color. Gave me algae, somewhat hard to plant. Used for 3 months then trash.

ADA: Best results so far, great even with out powersand. Used in my nano for 4 months, no algae problems easy to scape. Great natural smell to it. Three colors, brown, dark brown, and black. Can crush easily, easy to plant it. Very good for plants, lowers ph.

Eco: Clouldy water for a day, different grain sizes. Nice black color, creating a slope is a little easier. Light weight. Doesn't seem to have enough iron for hairgrass though. Used for 6 months.

Gravel with laterite: Pretty horrible experience. Would not use again.

Overall, I think ADA has prove to be very useful and great for plants. Hope this helps.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 11:01 PM
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Lots of green algae on my Onyx though -_-
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clone
I have Onyx in a 10 gallon and do not recommend it. Under moderate light the Onyx is a dull gray. If you want something sandy try Tahitian Moon Sand instead.
Do you find that the "dull gray" look of Onyx sand detracts from the scape?
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