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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Question mix of substrates

I've been slowly over the past few weeks, collecting the bits and pieces to set up two moderately high tech planted tanks. I wasn't really sure what I wanted at first, and am really just starting to get some concrete ideas so I ended up with an interesting collection of substrates.

I have:
2 bags of Eco Complete
2 bags of Caribsea Floramax
1 bag black flourite
1 bag black flourite sand

and 1 bag of red flourite that I think I'm going to add to my other hex tank so I can grow some low light plants.

My question is, should I layer the other substrates in any particular order? Or should I just mix them all up as thoroughly as possible and use it as one big pile of substrate mix. I want to do whats best for the plants with what I have.

Thanks for any advice, I'm real new at this...

Chris


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 12:04 PM
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BOY what a combination!
2 bags of Eco Complete
2 bags of Caribsea Floramax
1 bag black flourite

All of the above have a high CEC the choice is up to your eye how to put it in. It will slowing blend but takes time.

1 bag black Flourite sand.
inert but a good (and costly) filler.

Caribsea Floramax Midnight or original?

Black Flourite sand and Eco Complete could be used together and maintain basically a single color.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks wkndracer, the floramax is midnight, I went out of my way to get black substrate that would blend well with the eco complete that I bought first. SO I guess the flourite sand would be best for making a smooth surface since the other stuff is best for the roots?

So since they are all mix or match then I may as well try to mix it all up to a consistent mix?

I like the look of the iwagumi tanks so my larger (45 gal tall) will most likely be set up with just rocks, and the smaller (30gal) may also have some hardwood driftwood along with rocks.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 12:49 PM
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sounds good! hope to see you do a journal as the forum is full of picture junkies LOL

capping with the sand it will stay up for awhile anyway.
As posted everything you listed has great CEC but needs supplements. (basically inert) so I would place root tabs of some sort along the bottom glass under it for the plants setting up.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking of doing some homemade osmokote/gel capsule root tabs in the bottom most layer. Count on pics and a good profile on each tank. I'm going to be keeping them well journaled.

Stoked for the info, thanks again!


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 01:49 PM
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Another post fyi based on your last post.
osmokote pellet type ferts while cheap have a single draw back (imo). I found the emptied shells worked they're way up out of my substrate. Finding these drifting around my tank on the substrate is irritating to me. It's like duckweed to in the more I vacuum trying to remove them the more I see as soon as I put the hoses away.

Went back to using tablets that completely dissolve.

HTH


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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What would be a good (reasonably economical) substitute that would completely dissolve?


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 08:27 PM
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I saw a few people talking about frozen soil balls, sounds interesting. Can see that would be cheap!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerCribben View Post
What would be a good (reasonably economical) substitute that would completely dissolve?
Can't find anything that equals cheap but do like Wonder-Gro Root+ (Mizu World) but it's all import from overseas. GLA used to carry them but dropped the line for some reason.
50ct bottle and the tablets are cross hatched so they quarter easily.
Current conversion Singapore Dollar to U.S. is $13.32 per bottle. Quartered that's 200 tabs to stuff in the tank.

Honestly due to cost 50% of my tanks include a dirt material in the substrate.
My opinion on these fert tabs made a member spit coffee on they're keyboard when I posted about Christmas,,

I ordered two cases of root tabs just to knock down the cost and bulk ship.
(Christmas present wrapped by my son after my wife gave them to him haha and he was thrilled at how happy I was to get them)
$340.00 shipped, 4800 tabs @ 0.14ea I open 50ct. containers and the rest are vacuum sealed in a dark place until needed hehehe Should last about 2 years.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Niice savings, thats what, >80% off if my (terrible) math is right...

Overseas huh? Well, I'm not opposed to buying overseas at all, but I HAVE been waiting for some eBay glass bubble counters and ceramic disk diffusers for close to three weeks at this point. How long does it take Mizu world to get packages over here? Don't think I'll be ordering thousands of them, but I could see myself buying 2 or 3 bottles of those.

I may also try making some ice cubes out of topsoil mud and checker the bottom layer with them...you wouldn't mineralize it right? Just freeze em and make sure they're nice and deep in the substrate?


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 09:30 PM
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Everything exploded with the hobby here when the fish started breeding and all the tanks are planted so lots of glass boxes needing ferts.,shipping was about 3wks here (customs and all). While I've read about freezing dirt or fert balls I've yet to try it.

Shameless plug for my threads.
old dirt tank
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...-soil-sub.html

new dirt tank
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...k-warning.html

Not much in the second thread other than setup pics because it's too new and the water parameters are still flat.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 10:02 PM
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Y'all pardon me for busting in here, but I wanted to tell you about making my own root ferts. I don't use osmocote. I've been using Lowe's brand, extended release plant food in both 12-2-13 and 16-3-14. I got size 0 gel caps off of eBay and "The Capsule Machine" from Amazon. I've recently started trying a Lilly Miller "multicote" 18-6-12, that my dwarf sags apparently love as they've exploded with runners all over my 75. I've yet to see a shell...

I think I have about $15 in the caps and machine, but I only paid about $4 a bottle for the ferts.

The caps are a lot more convenient than fertsicles, but fertsicles are cheaper, at least in the short run.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Man I knew I remembered your screen name, I've read through so many posts here that they all sorta blend together. I've read through both of those a couple times. You aint half bad at melting metal together bud. I gotta tell you, if I was in FL I'd have a 12' deep hole full of Koi instead of maine where if they see a plain goldfish in a manmade pond they'll kill everything in the pond just to make sure the goldys dead...

I can already tell this is going to be a pretty consuming hobby. You have some great tanks going and definitely seem to have the hang of growing stuff underwater.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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No worries at all, I'll have to check the lowes stuff out too, thanks BD.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 08:33 PM
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I'm a little confused. I've read many reviews on other sites where EcoComplete lasts a good year before needing root tabs. Isn't it supposed to have nutrients in it already?
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