Turface Pro League Champion Brown (Review-ish) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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Turface Pro League Champion Brown (Review-ish)

I know some have used Turface MVP or Pro League Gray back when they made it, but I haven't been able to find any good posts about the Champion Brown version.

My goal was to find a calcined clay substrate locally (no tractor supply here) that buffered and had good CEC, and I knew this would do both. The question was, how well? This will be a kind of review/journal on this substrate.

I didn't want to spend a ton on commercial soils as I'm looking at setting up about 100 gallons of new tanks in my garage (yay for pallet racks), and I figured $20 for a 50lb test was a good place to start.

I thoroughly rinsed numerous batches in a sieve first, then a 2 gallon bucket, and no matter what, it still had quite a bit of dust going into the tank. Most of it stayed suspended well enough that a few water changes cleaned most of that up.

Next steps is to monitor effects on pH and precharge this with CaSO4, MgSO4, and a little K2SO4. I'll try my best to document how much is getting stripped. Once stabilized, I'll drop some PRL culls in there and see how they do.

Tap is 1-2 dKH and 7.2-7.4 pH depending on the time of year. This substrate stripped all KH, and it is currently buffering to 6.3. Hopefully it stays this way

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 12:20 PM
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I'd like to follow along with this and see how long it buffers for.

I've got some locally made/bagged "pond plant substrate" which is just calcined clay sitting in a couple bags, I figured I will be using it in the near future.

Wonder if it would be strong enough to run 0kH and avoid any nasty pH swings....

Keep us posted.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 02:22 PM
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Are you going to follow the regime for a high tech tank? 50% water changes each week, or shrimp tank schedule?
Just interested in the method of the experiment, obviously depending on testing method the way the substrate could be used would vary between these two.

Really interested in this experiment mate!!! Definitely following along.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, this will be a shrimp tank, so low tech, minimal ferts, and about a 10% water change per week. I may consider doing one tank as RO and the others as tap (1-2 dKH). I have blue bolts, PRL, and BKK that I'm planning on trying on this substrate. We'll see how this goes before moving on to anything else

If all goes well, I'll do a substrate swap in my high tech at work (Spec V) and see how that goes. I love the black sand I have there, but long breaks without being able to fertilize is hard. Hoping this substrate may hold nutrients well enough to carry through a 2 week break.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 02:23 PM
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Definitely keep a watchful eye on your parameters.

I've found that calcined clay substrates exhaust quickly - even using remineralized RO/DI water with no kH. Varies from batch to batch and is unpredictable.

No-go territory for Caridina shrimp or you'd see keepers like me using it on a regular basis. Not worth the risk for a brief period of usefulness.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Definitely keep a watchful eye on your parameters.

I've found that calcined clay substrates exhaust quickly - even using remineralized RO/DI water with no kH. Varies from batch to batch and is unpredictable.

No-go territory for Caridina shrimp or you'd see keepers like me using it on a regular basis. Not worth the risk for a brief period of usefulness.
TL;DR - Buy it if you like the looks, but don't expect buffering for very long

As you said, it only took a few months to exhaust a 2" deep layer in a 20g. I am really loving the color, though it is a little too light for some plants. I have had issues with Erio working it's way out and floating away...

It did hold pretty well at about 6.7-6.8 while it lasted. Water going in was 1 dKH, and I changed about 4-5 gallons a week. I think Controsoil (on sale) is probably the best bang for the buck. Even swapping out enough substrate to keep up, this would end up being more expensive.

Ended up doing a couple tanks with the kids too
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