Substrate blends and experimenting - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate blends and experimenting

Right now my biggest most pressing priority with my new tank coming is choosing substrate, the ADA 120 h20fall tank is currently over in Oakland clearing customs and should be in my hot little arms be the end of next week :P and since I cant decide on one or two compounds I am going all in I think 8). I am eager and curious to take this experiment on. I am using my combined knowledge and experience with growing orchids and other plants to experiment with some hybrid idea's and cross hobby resources as far as potting mediums. Right now my blend looks like it will comprised of the following materials, I have yet to determine proportions of each yet. Wish me luck! :lol:

List of selected products and sources for some
- Hydroton Balls (small)

- Hyuga Stone


-Dyna-Rok II

MSDS Data:

-Crushed black Lava 1/4"- 3/4"

-Black Diamond Silicon Carbide Blasting Abrasive

So that looks like it will be the 5 components I plan to blend, the color will be interest with the earth tones and the black.

Like I had said still not sure on amounts of each for the blend and I also will be doing this dry start and unsure if I will do this is layers of each one or mix them all separate and add the mix/blend or some combination of the two.

Has anyone else used Hydroton or DynaRok in our hobby before?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:04 AM
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I think that Hydroton Balls will float???

I'm using lava rock to attach Anubuis & Java fern. I have black diamond as a cap in one tank.

Is this blending for the look or function?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Function and I plant to corral the Hydroton balls in the wooded and branched area as well as possibly putting them in a mesh bag.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 05:17 AM
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Many of us went through a phase of trying various substances or blends of them for a "super substrate". Most of us soon learned that it works best to use either a single substrate material or a layer of a dirt-like material under a layer of fine gravel, preferably one with a good CEC. I have tried hydroton and found it either floats or is so near neutral buoyancy that it gets moved around all over the tank constantly. And, it offered no benefit unique to just hydroton. The Dyna Rok 2 is dolomite, which works ok as a substrate, but it does very slowly dissolve, raising the carbonate and general hardness of the water. Hyuga stone appears to be made from sea shells of some kind, and if it is, it is a calcium carbonate, which also slowly dissolves, raising the hardness of the water. Black Diamond is one I am now using, and it works fine as a top layer over dirt, or by itself.

I don't want to discourage you from experimenting with substrates. It can be fun to do, and there are enough materials that work well that you have a good chance to come up with a usable mixture.

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