Newbie - Please judge my substrate idea! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie - Please judge my substrate idea!

Hi all

Long time troller, after spending hours and hours on the internet, it is clear that this site and its community is far and away where I have found the most thought out answers to my many questions. Bravo and I am very happy to register and meet you all!

A little background, I have decided on either a 55 gallon or 75 gallon tank FW. I am going to start low tech and slowly try to introduce Co2 and ferts if need be when I get some experience under my belt. I have some t8 shoplights in mind that seem to provide a good PAR for what I'm looking for (once again, found the PAR values on this site!)

I have some good, hearty plants in mind as well, but with such a large tank I'm already feeling the pinch from the cost of substrate .

I currently have 50lbs of Floramax which is all my local PetCo had. After picking up my jaw from the cost of how much MORE I would need, and reading a LOT about the mineralized soil method in the sticky section, I have decided to try the following

-1-2 inches (1 in front, 2 in back for some larger plants I have in mind) of minerailzed soil,clay, etc. on the bottom (per the sticky's instructions in the substrate section)
-1 inch of Floramax above that
-1 inch of fine gravel

I don't know if I'm possibly overdoing it? Should I maybe eliminate the gravel? Am I not considering enough variables in this equation?? HELP!

My question seems to specific to find anything on here about it regardless how much I search, so here I am. Any advice/constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance.

Longshot
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 03:18 AM
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Some people have had issues with ammonia leeching when the grain size of their cap was too large. I'd say just scrap the flora max altogether and just go with sand or something. If you're adding clay to the topsoil, then the potential benefit of the floramax (high cec) has been covered by the clay. Anyway, the more layers of cap you have, the easier it is to mix up the layers, and then after a while you get a crazy salt and pepper look.

See if you can return the floramax btw.

RAOK club #37


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 03:26 AM
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Floramax doesn't need a cap, it is the cap over the MTS. If you like the appearance of it, and have enough for a 1 inch layer, I would just use that over the MTS. If you want a thicker substrate, mix the "fine gravel" in with the MTS, and put the Floramax on top of it. I have mixed pool filter sand with my MTS a couple of times, with no problems.

Hoppy
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. The more I read the more it does sound like both ideas are viable. Aweeby my wallet likes your idea, but I do admit I really like the midnight black color the Floramax provides, and I wonder if it wouldn't be more beneficial in the long run to have something like Floramax on top vs plain grave or topsoil?

Thanks again.
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