Substrate mix - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate mix

Did a mix of MTS with STS at 70% MTS - 30% STS.
Going to Cap it with SAND.

I made 15G of MTS

After making the mix I though I have enough for a 75g but sadly I only have enought to cover one side of the 75g. I made 15Gallon worth of MTS and still not enought. I'm aiming for 2inch of MTS + couple inch more for making hills.

I'm thinking of adding 25lb of pool filter sand to the mix to break down the MTS more, When wet the MTS stick together more ... I like the feel look of lose soil that doesn't bond together.

Or Maybe a BAG of Miracle Gro Potting mix.
Maybe a bag of Peat moss? If so which kind ?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 09:26 PM
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I would not add enough peat moss to do that. If you want to use peat moss at all, just a dusting under the other substrates, not even enough to hide the glass.

Sure, mix PFS with the soil, but remember that one of the reasons for using soil is for the CEC, sand has none. Try small amounts, like 25% PFS + 75% soil, see if that gives you the soil structure you want. Is your current mix (with STS) still not loose enough?

I have ended up with a mix of Soil Master Select (similar to Safe T Sorb) and PFS. That was interesting: The sand was just heavy enough to settle through some of the mix, but it actually stayed too well mixed to separate when I took down that tank.
I have also done a mix of coral sand and Turface. This was great for only ONE reason: The Turface removes carbonates from the water. Blended with coral sand, it did not. It looked bad. It did stay well mixed, though.
If you are looking for a sand-like additive, and you need something to add a little bit of minerals to the system, you could try some coral sand. If there is any doubt, though, do not blend it with the soil.

75 gallon... footprint of 4' x 2'? At 2" deep this is only 10 gallons of substrate. Did the soil shrink when you treated it?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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The mix I did was STS and MTS so thats enough CEC.
Maybe I'll add 25% PFS to the mix to loose it up a bit more.

I wash out 3x 5gallon bucket full of MTS, I left it outside inside a 18g tote.
Maybe my mom took some of the soil.
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