nutrifying turface - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: tampa, florida
Posts: 57
nutrifying turface

I have a 55 gallon tank which will be heavily planted and somewhat of a budget tank. So... I am thinking about using turface under some pea gravel. The plan is to have the rear half be the turface covered in gravel and the front half be pool filter sand for my cories to have fun in. The dividing line between the 2 sections will not be perfectly straight to depict realism. I have heard countless times that turface is very cec but that the nutrient level is practically zero. When I set this up do I just push plant tabs into the substrate(recommendations for a good brand)? What ferts should I add to the water column to aid my plants(recommendations)? Lighting is a 54 watt single T5 High Output fixture. I will have diy co2 (2 or 3 2liter bottles yeast solution) for the time being until I can afford a decent pressurized setup. Thank you for your time and information.
geekee is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 02:37 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
EdwardN's Avatar
PTrader: (25/96%)
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 518
Before placing Turface in your tank, soak it for 24hrs. in a solution of fertilisers. This way you charge it for several month...
EdwardN is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 02:51 AM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Sounds good to allow the Turface to soak up the fertilizer ahead of time.

It won't work to put gravel or sand on top of Turface. Turface is lighter and will drift up, and the sand and gravel will sift down.
Diana is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: tampa, florida
Posts: 57
Which fertilizers should I soak it in? Any particular ratios of these fertilizers? Is there anything I can put over the turface to prevent it from going all over my tank when the cories and other fish deside they want to stir it up? As you can see I'm really new to all of this and need as much help as I can get. lol. Thanks.
geekee is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:21 AM
Planted Tank Guru
OverStocked's Avatar
PTrader: (76/94%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SoDak
Posts: 10,732
The trouble with "soaking" it is that while it has a good cec, it will still leach a large portion of these very quickly. The cec doesn't create any binding effect, so they just drift outwards.

The best/easiest method is with some form of substrate nutrient/tab/etc. Lots of people have success using turface with a few root tabs and good water column dosing.
OverStocked is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 01:01 PM
Planted Member
m8e's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 201
Wouldn't it be possible to use a geotextile to keep the sand/gravel and turface separated? You know the stuff that is made to keep diffrent geos separetad and let water through?
m8e is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 05:46 PM
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: brooklyn ny
Posts: 147
I would use rootmedic Complete caps from and u could also get ur dry ferts from there. Just remember u need ur NPK and trace for nutrients. I'm a newbie when it comes to dry ferts, I just started with the pps-pro method By Edward a couple of weeks ago. Here is the link below.

If u using co2 I would add another 54 watt bulb to make it at least 2wpg.
bkrivera is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: tampa, florida
Posts: 57
According to many the wpg method is horribly outdated when it comes to t5HO lighting. Thank you all for your time. I really appreciate it.
geekee is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:09 PM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Cationic Exchange Capacity is a way that fertilizers bind to the soil particles. That is the reason we use high CEC substrates. These substrates hold the fertilizers until the plants do something (exchange cations) to release the fertilizer.

You could try a weed mat sort of stuff, it would keep things separated. Impossible to work with to plant, though, and if it starts working its way up anywhere you will have to redo a major part of it to put the little bit back where it came from and make it stay there.
This is not a new concept, and many materials have been tried over the years. Mostly the method is not used because it causes more problems than it solves.

Very roughly 2 wpg of T-12 = 1 wpg T-5, but this is rough, depends on reflectors and the actual wavelengths of the bulbs. Often T-5 fixtures, designed for aquarium use, have much better reflectors than the T-12 set ups.
Diana is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome