getting spherical and uniform substrate grains from non-uniform grains. DIY? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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getting spherical and uniform substrate grains from non-uniform grains. DIY?

I was thinking of making a DIY "tumbler" and using it to process some soilmaster select charcoal or perhaps larger grained substrate. This would involve tumbling the soilmaster in a cylinder for a period of time (week) until the grains have eroded and sanded each other into more uniform spherical shapes. Granted, it would create a lot of waste dust, but, it's just for aesthetic purposes. I am not sure if there are any biological advantages to having round uniform grains.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this idea>?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 11:24 PM
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The SM I use is already pretty uniform in grain size. It is certainly more uniform than most gravel or blasting grit I have used. And, given that my grains are not spherical, I suspect that tumbling them might not yield spherical grains, but just smaller irregular grains.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 12:46 AM
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I think Hoppy is correct. Tumbling is not going to produce spherical grains.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 01:12 AM
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no matter how you try to shape and piece of rock of any type, it will always chip the same way but in different patterns (I hope I am explaining this right). It would be possible to shape a rock of any sort into a more spherical shape, but accomplishing the sphere shape would require a different technique for each way the matter is composed. Using a tumbler of some sort, like what they use to season cheeto's with seems like a good start. Atleast you know over time each grain will recieve equal friction to all its surface area thus logically producing a more spherical shape. This is just my guess. I think its worth the experiment. If you have the equipment there is no capital to buy, so why not.



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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-29-2006, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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i will test it out on a small scale once my shipment of SM comes in from my local lesco.
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