Substrate CEC lab analysis (Lab work on hold, now full discussion) - The Planted Tank Forum
 21Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 1,922
Substrate CEC lab analysis (Lab work on hold, now full discussion)

I think we have all seen topics of various substrates, and more often than not CEC is usually brought up. Plenty of opinions out there, so I was wondering if there is enough interest among other hobbyist to justify a lab analysis of various substrates. There may be data out there that I don't know about which is why I'm asking you guys. I have access to a credible soil analysis lab through my work, and I'm sure I can get them on board testing aquarium soil/substrate instead of agricultural soil, but before I jump into it, I was hoping to see what kind of demand there was from aquaria hobbyists before I start investing time and likely money into this...

Of course I will do this in a scientific matter, and a simple CEC test will come with various other test results as well. The testing would be followed up with a brief article describing CEC in detail, and the results of each substrate.

I'm thinking of doing the most common types of substrate we are seeing:

Aquasoil
Stratum
Eco-complete
Flourite
Blasting sand
Pool filter sand (probably the same as BDBS, interesting to see if their is a difference)
Mineralized potting soil
etc etc.

Now of course this would only be made possible if I can justify cost and availability of substrate and so on, but I figured I should start stirring up the pot a little....

Let me know your thoughts, good/bad idea? Love to see what others have to say about a test like this.

Cheers,

Q

Last edited by Quagulator; 02-08-2018 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Title
Quagulator is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 03:46 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (64/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,350
Hi @Quagulator,

I think it would be a good idea. The last time this was done was about 2000 with the results of the testing published on pages 17-23 of Planted Aquaria Magazine Summer 2000 issue (hi-res .pdf - takes a while to load) the predecessor of the Aquatic Gardeners Association current magazine The Aquatic Gardener. The testing method and instruments involved are on page 22. Jamie Johnson was the author of the article. Here is a summary of the results, only a few of the substrates listed are ones we typically discuss today. FYI, the Turface listed as #16 and #16a in the chart are calcined Montmorillonite clay material very similar to the Safe-T-Sorb that we use today.


Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
Seattle_Aquarist is offline  
post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 06:19 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 819
Thanks for posting that. I knew montmorillonite clay was high in CEC. Many folks use this in their organic garden soils as well as bentonite. Clays in general have a high CEC. Worm castings, too, have a decent CEC.

I'm guessing Eco-complete falls right around the 6 mark too, making it fairly low compared to many other sources. Surprised to see Flourite so low as well. I guess these soils are good for giving something for roots to grab ahold as well as offering homes to beneficial bacteria more so than storing nutrients?
madcrafted is offline  
 
post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 1,922
Wow, so considering eco-comp and fluorite both have low rated CEC's I think I've gotten scammed

Maybe it isn't worth testing as the only aquarium substrate worth noting would be aquasoil type substrates (high or low CEC iI'm not sure) and "dirt" based substrates.

People are always talking about burning out dirted tanks, but organic soils have some of the highest rated CEC's out of all soils, so essentially they should be able to store nutrients fairly well if you pick up a dosing regime.... But then why dirt it if you have to supplement over time anyway? May as well just use an attractive sand and dose straight away.....

The only other large thing I can see is the larger surface area/porous space on flourite/eco-comp should allow lots of microbial activity which in turn will contribute to nutrient cycling. To be fair to Seachem and Caribsea, they don't claim a high CEC on their websites....

Did us hobbyists pick up the CEC term when reading about higher pour space? Because if the results Seatle posted are correct, our "planted" tank substrates aren't what we thing. Regardless, if the particle or pour is not negatively charged, it has no CEC anyway... Maybe I'll have to to a meta-analysis on the matter and swing back a later date with some results.

__________________________________

If it were easy we wouldn't be here

My 30g Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is offline  
post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 09:15 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (64/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,350
Hi @Quagulator,

I believe that ADA Amazonia has a CEC in the mid-20's; it is believed to be composed of rice patty soil.

Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
Seattle_Aquarist is offline  
post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 1,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @Quagulator,

I believe that ADA Amazonia has a CEC in the mid-20's; it is believed to be composed of rice patty soil.
Do you have a credible source for that? I'm really interested in getting a list with references together now instead of collecting and measuring samples, if the leg work has been done by reliable sources, I am willing to put the info together. I actually have some organic potting soil screened and mineralizing as we speak, I can certainly get that tested. It would be interesting to test now and then 1 year of use and compare.
Immortal1 and Immortal1 like this.

__________________________________

If it were easy we wouldn't be here

My 30g Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is offline  
post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 10:17 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (64/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,350
Hi @Quagulator,

Sorry, I believe I read it in The Barr Report but that was several years ago. I don't think any actual testing was preformed. https://barrreport.com/threads/anyon...quasoil.11733/

Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
Seattle_Aquarist is offline  
post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 10:41 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,277
It's mostly just dirt..


NATURE AQUARIUM NOTES#12 Features of Amazonia Light | ADA - AQUA JOURNAL
Quagulator and Quagulator like this.

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
jeffkrol is offline  
post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 01:18 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1,161
I would be interested in seeing the black diamond blasting sand analysis since I am considering putting that in my tank. Also what is the current market cost for performing these tests?

Bump: I would be interested in seeing the black diamond blasting sand analysis since I am considering putting that in my tank. Also what is the current market cost for performing these tests?
Surf is offline  
post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 01:56 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (64/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,350
Hi @Surf,

Black Diamond Blasting Sand (BDBS) is totally inert, it is 99%+ coal slag. https://www.menards.com/msds/101672_002.pdf

Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
Seattle_Aquarist is offline  
post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 1,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
I would be interested in seeing the black diamond blasting sand analysis since I am considering putting that in my tank. Also what is the current market cost for performing these tests?

Bump: I would be interested in seeing the black diamond blasting sand analysis since I am considering putting that in my tank. Also what is the current market cost for performing these tests?


Blasting sand would be <1 meq/100g so a very very poor rating. Organic matter and true clay particles would bring CEC up the most. While sand and silt particles would bring the CEC rating down.

The issue when applying a high/medium/low rating of CEC to aquarium substrates is that the true surface area is a fraction of what a traditional soil would be.

For example with the same volume of a traditional clay soil vs aquarium substrate, the clay soil would have immensely more true surface area, more organic matter and therefore a much, much higher CEC. Even true sandy soils have a CEC of ~3 meq/100g where as in the above chart play sand got a 0.1 ...

Now that Iíve seen some data, I honestly think CEC in aquaria should be disregarded... sands/fluorites/ecocompletes have very low ratings, aquasoil should have a decent rating, but unless we are using true sand/silt/clay soils (some are, ex: digging up some dirt from your back yard for aquarium use), or organic soils, then CEC in the planted tank is insignificant.

But, we still have the issue many talk about.... running your dirted tank out of juice. Organic matter contributes the greatest to CEC, so if we fertilize can we take advantage of the CEC? Maybe... but without taking samples we canít be sure. Maybe organic potting soil is just that, 100% organic matter that will decompose not into a soil, but into organic compounds lost to leaching/uptake by plants and microbes, makes me wonder if grabbing a shovel and putting my work boots on is a better route to a great planted tank substrate than most of us take.

Of course this is all hypothetical, we have all seen great tanks regardless of the substrate used. Overthinking at its best


Oh! Almost forgot, I canít tell you my companyís pricing for competitive purposes, but a $10 bill wonít buy you a sample, a $20 bill will


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

__________________________________

If it were easy we wouldn't be here

My 30g Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is offline  
post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 02:18 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
BRING ON THE SCIENCE

I AM PREPARED

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
Quagulator and Quagulator like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
klibs is offline  
post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 1,922
Oh and btw, when I say organic soils I DO NOT mean a soil where there is no use of pesticides, GMOís and is registered under whatever organic foods organization of your liking. What Iím referring to is TRUE organic matter, more specifically carbon based molecules. So an ďorganic soilĒ is a soil containing more than 20% carbon based physical matter by weight.

While we are being all scientific and all... I figured I should clarify.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

__________________________________

If it were easy we wouldn't be here

My 30g Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is offline  
post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 04:10 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
SingAlongWithTsing's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: SoCal - IE
Posts: 620
any chance you can test pumice too? specifically from here General Pumice Products

supposedly pumice has high cec 75 meq/ml

Soils 2: Mineral ingredients
Quote:
With a cec that hovers around 75 meq/100g (depending on source) it requires less frequent fertilizing that most other soil components when used alone. Pumice can hold large quantities of water - up to four times its own weight. This, coupled with the soft and easily powdered surface means that when used alone or with other absorbent materials, careful watering is necessary to avoid water logging.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
SingAlongWithTsing is offline  
post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 06:21 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,277
You might find this interesting..

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00751278

Quote:
Organic matter levels were rather low (range 0.37 to 6.42 %),
but the values were higher than organic matter contents of most
Alabama agricultural soils (MILLAR, 1955). Since the lakes had received fertilization
and were very productive, higher organic matter levels were expected.
Even samples taken from a
series of experimental ponds on the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station
which had received high rates of fertilization or supplemental feeding
for 15 to 20 years contained only 2 to 6 % organic matter.
Not going to buy it so only a snippet..
Personally I lean to pore size, compaction, and breakdown to be more important. by guess.. nothing really concrete..
Root penetration and hold down ability and not breaking down to mush..as well as gas/water exchange.

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
jeffkrol is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

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

Password:


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

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










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