Cheap and effective substrate for a 210g? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Cheap and effective substrate for a 210g?

I'm planting a 210g SA community tank but I'm looking for a cheap and effective dark substrate to bring out the colors of the Exodon Tetras. I don't want to cap off and I'm hoping to get something with a bigger grit size than black diamond/black beauty. The tank has two 3200gph powerheads and a 600gph pump (probably about 500gph after considering everything). I don't want something too fine because it'll fly all over or pack and cause gas pockets. Something about the grit size of ADA Amazonia Aquasoil without the cost would be nice since I want a 2-4" layer.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Cheap and effective substrate for a 210g?

Plants will be bolbitus, dwarf sag, and val nana. I have root tabs and can get more. Also have some ferts. I need to order some npk dry ferts.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 07:53 AM
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Safe-t-sorb. It may not be as dark as you're looking for though.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cheap and effective substrate for a 210g?

Not quite dark enough. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:06 PM
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Petsmart has black Floramax for $10/12lb. The safe-t-sorb is much more cost-effective ($10.27/40lb), but probably not nearly as dark in color.

Safe-t-sorb: http://www.drillspot.com/products/14...bsorbant_40_lb

Gotta say, those are neat-looking fish too.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 04:32 PM
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Safe-t-sorb is pretty dark once wet. Dark brown but not quite black. Coffee with a splash of milk.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cheap and effective substrate for a 210g?

I'd probably do the safe-t-sorb on another tank, but definitely not on a tank of this size. The color just doesn't look appealing to me in a large space.

Substrate doesn't have to be soil. I'm open to anything that's dark, cost effective, and a similar grit size to ADA aquasoil

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 08:56 PM
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1 inch Top Layer: black diamond from tractor supply store for $7 per 50lb bag. This is a sand-blasting silica-based substrate used for welding. This stuff looks like black sand.

2 inch Bottom Layer: Mix of non-scented clay-based kitty litter ($4 per large bag) and organic soil ($10 per bag at Walmart)

You may need to get two bags of each of the above to complete your monster tank
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 05:25 AM
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I saw this thread and immediately thought black diamond but darthmilmo beat me to the punch!

I recommended it to a friend (wish I had done it myself) and he loves it. I have to agree, black diamond looks great, makes the plants pop. He did say there were small slivers mixed in that you need to watch out for and it took quite a bit of rinsing, but was worth it.

I'm going to give safe-t-sorb (I found it for $4-$5 for the 40 lb bag at tractor supply) a shot in a 55 gallon soon and had considered mixing it with pool filter sand if it wasn't quite enough, but only because I already have several bags of pool filter sand I bought on clearance (less than $1 a bag ) at lowes a few years ago.

Any way, if you can find safe t sorb for around $5 a 40 lb bag , that could be used in the base as darthmilmo suggested and you could add the black diamond on top. IF you didn't want to use kitty litter.

Good luck! I can't wait to see it once it's planted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmilmo View Post
1 inch Top Layer: black diamond from tractor supply store for $7 per 50lb bag. This is a sand-blasting silica-based substrate used for welding. This stuff looks like black sand.

2 inch Bottom Layer: Mix of non-scented clay-based kitty litter ($4 per large bag) and organic soil ($10 per bag at Walmart)

You may need to get two bags of each of the above to complete your monster tank


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Last edited by drazend; 03-22-2013 at 08:31 PM. Reason: misspelled word
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 08:25 PM
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+1 to the petsmart idea. you can sign up for shop runner free trial and get free shipping. and its 2nd day too!!! thats the best deal i could find for plated specific substrates. BDS does have a slightly larger sized version if you can find it.
prehapps regular black aqaurium gravel might work (still kinda expensive)

BTW i thought BDS was coal slag not silica based....
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 08:31 PM
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You are correct, at least at Tractor supply, the Black diamond is coal slag. This was taken from the website...

Black Diamond Granules are coal slag abrasives used as a blasting media to remove paint and rust from surfaces to produce a clean, ready for repaint finish. Black Diaond coal slag granules are very hard and angular in shape, making their cleaning speed and cutting ability very efficient and productive. Black Diamond coal slag also has very low free silica content(less than 2 percent).
Density: 80-90 lb./cu. ft. Specific Gravity= 2.65
Low dust
50 lb. bag

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Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
+1 to the petsmart idea. you can sign up for shop runner free trial and get free shipping. and its 2nd day too!!! thats the best deal i could find for plated specific substrates. BDS does have a slightly larger sized version if you can find it.
prehapps regular black aqaurium gravel might work (still kinda expensive)

BTW i thought BDS was coal slag not silica based....


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cheap and effective substrate for a 210g?

I know what black diamond is. I've used it before but the biggest grit size is the 20-40. It's not quite what I want. If I can't find anything, I'll be using it again.

Thought of something the other day. My exodons and plants will pop more with dark substrate, but my plecos and cories look much nicer in lighter substrate. Really torn between the two because the L-095 look amazing, but they look pretty plain with dark sand. What do you guys think?

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2013, 09:05 PM
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lighter substrate (mid grey maybe) black matt back ground? ive used black felt as a background... worked good till i got board of it.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 02:03 AM
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Cheap and effective substrate for a 210g?

Try turface pro league super cheap pretty and very high cec


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpNewbie View Post
Try turface pro league super cheap pretty and very high cec
THANK YOU! This stuff looks really promising! It seems about the same grit size as aquasoil but cheap! I did a quick search which pulled me to this thread. The OP says it's discontinued? Where could I purchase some?

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