Does any Substrate expires after a certain time??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Does any Substrate expires after a certain time???

As title says, what is your Experience? I would say yes what ya' say?

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 03:32 PM
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Define "expires".


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Define "expires".
To come to an end or Good until certain months/years etc....or will last over...

I am asking cause in my 75g with Aquasoil which is there for 4-5 years now, I don't see any growth at all....(everything remaining the same, co2, fert,w/c etc).

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 06:15 PM
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I remember that plantbrain or somebody else posted some comparison shots using brand new and old (used) Aquasoil, and indeed, the plant growth was very different. Can't find the thread right now, perhaps someone else is better in searching.

Then there is this thread with some related discussion.

Aquasoil is somewhat soft, so over years of replanting and aquascaping it will turn to finer particles. It will also lose the initial charge of nutrients (N) over time. I wouldn't call it "expired", rather than "exhausted".

That's the reason I stick to "harder" substrates which don't provide the initial growth spurt, but last pretty much indefinitely with the infrequent addition of fertilizer sticks and such.


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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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I also tried searching the thread but can't find either.....Seriously thinking to change now to Turface as it is relatively cheaper but can't find any distributor near by me....sometime I hate to be in city!

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joraan View Post
I also tried searching the thread but can't find either.....Seriously thinking to change now to Turface as it is relatively cheaper but can't find any distributor near by me....sometime I hate to be in city!
Don't worry, they don't sell it anywhere at all in the western US, as far as I can tell. You're not alone.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 09:35 PM
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just had some shipped to me from johndeere in LA this week (Hawaii turface rep doesnt stock charcoal, and i would have had to buy a pallet of 40 bags to special order). goggle them, they stock it.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 01:52 AM
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Turface is available at several places in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Fine substrates with a high CEC can 'expire' if you are skimping on the fertilizer. Then the fertilizer is used right away by the plants, and they draw on the reserve in the substrate. If you follow a more generous fertilizer program then there is some give and take but the substrate remains rich in fertilizer.
So, in the sense that the substrate runs out of fertilizer, yes, it can 'expire' if you treat it wrong.

The particles can break down. Aquasoils seem to break down relatively fast (few years). I have been using Soil Master Select (about the same as Turface) for several years now and there is no sign of the particles breaking down. Sands and gravels do not break down in the life of the aquarium, but they are not very good for growing plants. I have seen some tanks with Flourite that had been reused for at least 1 change in aquascape, and it (the Flourite) seemed intact. I do not know how old it was when the rescape was done, nor how long it lasted.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 02:20 AM
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Turface is available at several places in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I stand corrected; apparently it's not sold anywhere in the Western US except California. As far as I know, they only sell it at Lesco (at least the hardware-type stores around here don't seem to carry it), and there aren't any near me! If you look at the map of their stores, it's kind of depressing (for Seattlites, anyway) http://lesco.com/prodcatalog/storefinder.aspx
Makes you wonder what people around here use on their golf courses and ball fields!

My random comment has become a bit of threadjack. Sorry about that!

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 02:49 AM
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I was just wondering the same thing today...I have eco-complete...its a year old.

I also had questions related to how you guys "maintain" your substrate. I had some plants go bad while co2 was offline for a week and a half...and as I was taking them out today, I decided the wisteria needed a trim too. After up-rooting all the old plants, and the wisteria the tank was a MESS. Now..about every other week I mix up the substrate with my hand...and siphon out as much of the crap as I can...but this was scary. Plus after pulling out the wisteria there are always tons of roots left in the substrate. What do you guys do to keep the substrate clean of massive dying root clumps and detritus...I have been thinking about tearing the tank down and rinsing the substrate...but I dont know. No experience here.

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadelin View Post
I stand corrected; apparently it's not sold anywhere in the Western US except California. As far as I know, they only sell it at Lesco (at least the hardware-type stores around here don't seem to carry it), and there aren't any near me! If you look at the map of their stores, it's kind of depressing (for Seattlites, anyway) http://lesco.com/prodcatalog/storefinder.aspx
Makes you wonder what people around here use on their golf courses and ball fields!

My random comment has become a bit of threadjack. Sorry about that!
Turface is sold by many companies and if you go to the Turface website you can search distrubtors based on zip code.

Craig

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 05:44 AM
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ADA aqua soil retains the nutrients over decade or more? But it does decline rapidly with respect to one element: nitrogen.

Tannins also decrease after a few months.
A little peat in the filter if you wish........

And add more KNO3, then the issue is resolved.

Some prefer adding N to the sediment again, so osmocoat or the Root medic tabs etc.

Up to you. there was no significant difference between every nutrient except N after 18 months of higher light.

So it should last longer than most aquascapes, as long as you account for the decline in N and dose KNO3/add ferts back to the sediment.

So it's pretty good stuff.
Most clay soils should behave this way.


Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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TnX! Tom!

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J
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 05:16 PM
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How old are you lights joraan? I find this the main culprit in lagging plant growth when ferts and co2 are stable.


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 07:45 PM
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I bought 150lbs of Turface here in Arizona at Ewing Irrigation about a week ago.
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