Out with the crushed coral - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Out with the crushed coral

For years I have used crushed coral for substrate as I liked the looks of it.

Now I want to used my tank more for plants it is becoming obvious from chatting on here crushed coral is not really suited for lush plant growth.

So I have decided it's time to change the substrate but for what?

I want something that is astheticly pleasing, plants are going to go crazy in but don,t want something that's going to cause a mess if I want to move things around such as capped soil.

I use ferts, diy co2 and I have fish in the tank as well as the plants so needs to be fish friendly.

I don't want to break the bank but what's my main options?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 11:28 AM
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One of these maybe? They have high CECs and have been compared to Eco-Complete, but are obviously cheaper as they're not made specifically for aquariums.

One thing to consider is that crushed coral is not inert and raises KH and pH. Just taking it all out and replacing it with something inert might cause a KH/pH drop that could harm your livestock. I'm not positive about this, though, since theoretically I think the minerals would be in the water column, so if you don't replace a bunch of the water at the same time, you miiight not cause a big drop. But I'd maybe keep most of the current water in the tank (either drain and put it back after or don't drain it if you can manage?) and keep a bag of crushed coral in the filter to keep those parameters from crashing. Maybe also only do small water changes for a while and monitor your pH and KH... Maybe someone else has other thoughts on this as well?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 11:44 AM
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Turface is available in two forms one is a wet clay the other is a granulate, ensure you get the granulate. I ended up with the wrong one and had to buy the granulate to cap it. The jury is still out on whether I need to remove the clay altogether or whether the plants actually like it as a base substrate. I am using three fluorescent tubes and adding liquid ferts (Thrive) once a week. Most of them seem to be doing really well without LED's and/or CO2 although I would love to give them both a try.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Are these available online as I am in the UK? And are these just a cap because I don't think I will be able to save my bottom layer.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 06:36 AM
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These products are just baked Montmorillonite clay which should be something you can find in an equivalent product in the UK. I have no idea what Britons use to soak up oil spills or fill cricket pitches with but I'd imagine they are similar products.
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