Has anyone used coco fiber as substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Has anyone used coco fiber as substrate?

I know there are many excellent DIY substrate options out there but I can't get ahold o a lot of the stuff I would need (Peat moss for example I have not found for sale in Portugal). Coco fiber, the type sold as potting compost or reptile substrate is easy to buy.

I have been doing research on using coco fiber in a planted tank and there are rumors that it works well but I've not found much in the way of hard facts or personal experience. I am thinking about using a mixture of garden soil (clay heavy) and coco fiber. Any thoughts? If anyone has any personal experience with coco fiber I would be particularly interested.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 01:37 PM
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only things i can say for coco fiber is that it breaks down much slower than peat, does not alter ph as much.
and if your going to use it make sure to get the type sold for terriarum and horticurtural usage as the lanscape grade stuff is not as ''clean'' and usualy contains high ammounts of salts.

if you use,let us all know how it turns out !
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. The one I have is for potting soil. I have been soaking it in water as it stains the water. Floating may be a problem but I read to boil it so I'll try that.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 08:35 PM
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if youre talking about coconut fiber
they sell it in bricks at petco and petsmart
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Yes that's the stuff.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 10:20 PM
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a brick makes a lot of substrate about 3 gallons worht
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yeh, it's impressive how much the stuff expands. I get it to use as potting compost but have never tried it for aquarium substrate, I'm still hoping some one else has already done it.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 01:41 AM
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you might have to use a topper like flourite or pea gravel or even a heavy sand cause that stuff is pretty light IMO
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 01:49 AM
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it will make your tank water a mess as this stuff floats overtime. It should only be used for emersed or terrarium purposes only. They breakdown into bits and pieces. They are really good in retaining moisture and in lowering ph.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 01:52 AM
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can you use it in a filter sock?
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 01:54 AM
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yes you can

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 02:07 AM
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will it still tint the water even after you rinse it
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OLOVER View Post
you might have to use a topper like flourite or pea gravel or even a heavy sand cause that stuff is pretty light IMO
Yes I will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4f1hmi View Post
it will make your tank water a mess as this stuff floats overtime. It should only be used for emersed or terrarium purposes only. They breakdown into bits and pieces. They are really good in retaining moisture and in lowering ph.
I'm looking at $400 to buy commercial substrate so I might find a way of dealing with the bother
II have read it does not lower PH like peat moss does, but that surprised me.

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will it still tint the water even after you rinse it
I think that will wear off after soaking for a while, it only stains as much as a bit of bog wood would.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 01:01 PM
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I used coco fiber expanding plugs used for general horticulture under florite because I didnt have my standard peat plates on hand.
To make a long story short, it took almost a year to figure out why I could not get that system to balance out and become a nice display.

small warning from me, be warned if using that type.
MD
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input MD. What were the problems you had? How did you use it, did they stay as plugs or did you soak them first and break it up? I'm very interested to know the details of what went wrong.
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