Three substrate to try. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Three substrate to try.

Hello. Iíve got tree type of substrate to try in my planted tanks.
Pea Gravel I bought it from Wal-Mart for $2.39 per 14.1L bag
Turface is from our local John Deere landscape dealer with special order which took 2 months to arrive. All sports pro cost $18.73 per 50lb bag,Athletics pro league S11.98 per 50lb bag.
I rinse All sports pro 3-4 times and it become pretty clear
Athletics pro league contain black clay and even after 12-15 rinses is still muddy.
They are in 2 different tanks with RO water .Tomorrow Iíll add Seachem Equilibriumand KH buster to fix the water and will test water.
All comments are welcome.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:33 AM
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Are you planning on using these substrates to cap Mineralized Top Soil? Why did you choose these three? I like the allsport pro reminds me a little bit of the wash that forms on a tide line at the beach.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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I like to try different things + my father wills kill me if I spend $200-300 for "stones which are laying free around" (-: I'm not that good to use Mineralized Top Soil yet.
I did pour dry substrate with water full with NPK ferts in order to mineralize it. Will see the result lather one.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 09:59 AM
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Turface will remove the KH from the water. Keep a close eye on that. Test the water before adding it to the Turface test tanks. Then continue to test it, and if you add baking soda or other material to raise the KH.

The pea gravel looks a lot like the inert gravel around here used in the landscape industry. Not very good for plants, though. No cationic exchange capacity.

I like the looks of the darker turface.

I use these without rinsing, just being careful to fill the tanks without stirring the substrate. Pour the water in slowly over a plate or plastic bag.

Your father is right. "Aquarium gravel" is way over priced.
You can collect your own if there are areas of gravel 'just lying around', but I would test for GH and KH.
Landscape supply and masonry supply will have many types of gravel a lot cheaper than 'aquarium gravel'. The problem with any gravel is that it does not hold the fertilizers so there is no buffer, no reserve to stabilize the supply to the plants.

Mineralized top soil, Turface, Aquasoil and similar items are much better in a planted tank.
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