Substrate quantity formula? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate quantity formula?

So I've got regular aquarium gravel now, which when I set the tank up did a bit over a pound per gallon. I think I have around 100lbs in my 75g. But the more I'm getting into the planted aspect of the tank I need to move past gravel. So I'm planning ahead (way ahead) on another aquarium in the future.

Is there a basic equation like this for other types of substrate? I'm considering soil with a cap of Saf-T-Sorb or Blasting sand, but really haven't made up my mind yet.

How do you plan for the ratio of soil to cap? Or any other thoughts you have for something you've tried differently for that matter.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 06:59 PM
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Different substrates have different densities, but for rough estimating you can use 115lb per cubic foot.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 07:19 PM
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L"xW"x2" = Cu. In. of MTS. A lg USPS box holds 720 cu in of DRY MTS that is 25#s that is enough for a 20L.

I use 2" of MTS and 1" of Sand Cap.

A cu. ft is 1778 cu. in. so dry wt. should be close to 65#s

Last edited by DogFish; 10-13-2012 at 02:55 AM. Reason: content
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 02:26 AM
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Sand and gravel weigh pretty close to 100 lbs per cubic foot, but Safe-T-Sorb is lighter.

My tank is 5' long x 16" and a 40 lb bag covered it a wimpy 2" deep. So 40 lbs = 1 cubic feet.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 08:04 AM
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I ran into this page a while back, which might be helpful.

https://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html

It doesn't have a lot of options on there, but you can make some guesses based on them, I'd assume that Safe-T-Sorb/Oil-Dri/kitty litter is even lighter then flourite, while coal slag is a bit denser then silica sand.

Good thing is that all of those are cheap enough that buying a bit extra shouldn't be too expensive.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 11:44 PM
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hey, heres my advice, dont use stuff that arent ment for aquariums. In my tank, i have flourite red and eco complete on top, its been doing really well for me and i reconmend that, if you worry about the colors mixing up, then dont use flourite red, use black, also, you caan have more than 2 layers. hope this helped
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 01:33 AM
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There is no reason for not using pool filter sand or black diamond blasting grit in an aquarium. Just because commercial aquarium substrates are much more expensive and come in small bags doesn't make them better for aquarium use. A good CEC does make them better, but some non-aquarium materials also have a good CEC. There are reasons for not using planting mixes as substrate material, but, they can work ok too.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allentan97 View Post
hey, heres my advice, dont use stuff that arent ment for aquariums....
You do know that there is no Eco Complete in the streams, ponds in rivers in S.E. Asia, the Amazon and pretty much every place in the natural world were Aquatic plants grow...Right?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:34 PM
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How did something come to be labeled 'For Aquarium Use'?
It was not 'For Aquariums', but someone tried it, tested it, refined the product... then labeled it 'For Aquarium Use', and marketed it with a price tag that pays for the time spent to develop the product, the packaging, the advertizing.

We are just doing the same thing on an individual scale. There are so many people here and on other forums, aquarium clubs and so on, trying all sorts of things in their tanks, and giving the feedback of what worked and what did not.

Progress is made not by sticking to the tried and true, but by exploring the alternatives, finding new ways of doing things.

New people, just entering the hobby might be cautioned to stick to the 'For Aquarium Use' materials, but they do not have to. I would suggest anyone thinking about doing something 'different' do some research to see if it has been done before, and what happened. It does not matter how many years you have kept aquariums, or any related experiences. Research first is always a good idea.

Being a bit more experienced with aquariums can be helpful if you are leaving the well traveled path of 'For Aquarium Use'. When things start to go wrong the aquarium keepers with a few years in the hobby are probably better experienced in seeing the problem early and knowing what to do to find out what is really going wrong. Then are better prepared to take the proper action to fix the problem.

I think that might mark the dividing line between beginners and more experienced hobbyists.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allentan97 View Post
hey, heres my advice, dont use stuff that arent ment for aquariums. In my tank, i have flourite red and eco complete on top, its been doing really well for me and i reconmend that, if you worry about the colors mixing up, then dont use flourite red, use black, also, you caan have more than 2 layers. hope this helped
What's not meant for aquariums? I'd like to know what you think on this.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 05:25 AM
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I'm just going to say that when the only reviews on Ace Hardware's Pool Filter Sand are describing how well it worked for their aquariums, I think it is safe to say it is "for aquarium use".

"Less bad" does not equal "good".
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by theshadybird View Post
I'm just going to say that when the only reviews on Ace Hardware's Pool Filter Sand are describing how well it worked for their aquariums, I think it is safe to say it is "for aquarium use".
too funny. I want the black diamond substrate for my 40g but live in So Cal and the closest Tractor Supply is over 3 hours away and I don't trust Black Beauty as I have heard mixed reviews.

I do enjoy the fact that these forum exist to give out of the box ideas for things in our tanks.
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