Substrate advice needed for 300g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate advice needed for 300g

I've been reading and researching how to go about setting up my 300g as a planted tank and was ready to go with Soilmaster Select Charcoal for my subsrate. I found a Lesco dealer who could get it for me and should have had it two weeks ago. But upon my weekly follow-up call today, found out that it's on back order and would likely be several months before he could get it.

Well, I'm at the point to get started with the setup of the tank, as almost all of my equipment has been aquired and the tank is now cleaned up from its reef days and ready to go. So I'm now once again looking for advice on what to use for substrate for such a large tank. The local fish stores around here aren't very helpful in getting me the needed amount of substrate, and I wouldn't know where to begin looking elsewhere.

The tank is 92"L x 30"W x 24"H, will be lit with 3x175W MH, use a 20lb. CO2 tank and CO2 reactor, with Greg Watson ferts, and I have a sub-$300 budget for substrate.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 08:31 PM
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3M quarts gravel maybe, Aquasoil, maybe a little expensive. The best thing to do is call around local and online vendors and see what it would cost to ship that much substrate


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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll check for local suppliers of the 3M product. I priced out the amount of Aquasoil needed for the tank (not too bad), but scratched that option after gettin $200+ ground or freight shipping quotes.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 09:03 PM
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Yes that is a little expensive, but it will probably be the same if you order eco, florite, or AS. Good luck


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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 09:29 PM
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I just added fifteen 20 pound bags of Eco Complete to my cart on Drs. Foster Smith and they wanted $15.99 for shipping. They're one of those websites that tries to shoot for an average on shipping costs, so you really luck out when ordering something large/bulky.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...?N=2004+113223


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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natx
I just added fifteen 20 pound bags of Eco Complete to my cart on Drs. Foster Smith and they wanted $15.99 for shipping. They're one of those websites that tries to shoot for an average on shipping costs, so you really luck out when ordering something large/bulky.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...?N=2004+113223
Thanks! I just went that route and ordered 14 bags along with some other needed supplies and was only charged $15.99 for ground shipping. My 10g tank has Eco as its substrate, and I've been very happy with it.

I also made contact with a few 3M suppliers and Oil Dri (manufacturer of Soilmaster) this afternoon and didn't get the impression that they wanted to help me. Oh well, and thanks for the help, all!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 10:38 PM
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Thats going to be a big box.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobChuck
". . .I also made contact with a few 3M suppliers and Oil Dri (manufacturer of Soilmaster) this afternoon and didn't get the impression that they wanted to help me."
That's normal with a company that's more used to dealing with contractors or huge orders of a product. They don't want to help the "little" guy, too much trouble . It's why I hate going to "real" lumberyards and such. The counter help tends to have an "attitude."

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ó 2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish

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ó lo-tech; 1.8 wpg DIY CF light; no CO2; Aquaclear mini; Schultz substrate; java fern; java moss; 7 Neon Tetras; 1 flame dwarf gourami
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 01:38 AM
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Go to an industrial supply house and get some bags of gravel in the correct size. Should only cost about $75-$100.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 02:31 AM
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 04:32 AM
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big tank I can see 1000$$$$ easily with eco complete
cause its 250 with a 112g tank and thatís finding it cheaply.

And some of the other stuff out there thatís even more wow. I know I wouldn't want a 300g unless I was making at least 50$$$$ an hour. if not more. LoL tell us more what happens. Good luck.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobChuck
Thanks! I just went that route and ordered 14 bags along with some other needed supplies and was only charged $15.99 for ground shipping. My 10g tank has Eco as its substrate, and I've been very happy with it.

I also made contact with a few 3M suppliers and Oil Dri (manufacturer of Soilmaster) this afternoon and didn't get the impression that they wanted to help me. Oh well, and thanks for the help, all!
The ADA aqua soil is cheaper than Eco complete and much better all the way around.

Shipping is actually about 1/2 that of the EC also, since ADA AS is not packed in water, is not nearly as heavy and each bag holds what 2 bags of the EC holds.

I'd call and cancel and get the ADA soil.
It also requires no rinsing and will defintitely grow the plants better than EC ever will.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-07-2006, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
The ADA aqua soil is cheaper than Eco complete and much better all the way around.

Shipping is actually about 1/2 that of the EC also, since ADA AS is not packed in water, is not nearly as heavy and each bag holds what 2 bags of the EC holds.

.... Have you actually comparison shopped? I was all for getting ADA for a 20L until I priced it out as...$60?! Before shipping? I just paid $30 for a couple of bags of flourite for my daughter's 20 and only used a bag and a half - and they didn't charge me extra for shipping substrate.

it may indeed grow plants better but if you can't afford the plants after buying the special soil, what difference does it make?

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-07-2006, 01:08 AM
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Simple, for a tiny little 20 l tank, you only may need a 3 liter bag, not sure who you plan on buying from, but it's still cheaper than 1.5 bags of flourite at 15$ a bag plus ship or local tax.

For a 20 gal tank, the 9 liter bag cost all of 26$. You only need one bag for 20 GAL TANK, YOU NEED TWO OF THE FLOURITE OR etc.

Shipping is less since the weight s less than for flourite or most certainly EC.

Some places may ship free on a special deal.

So yes, I have done comparisons, and have used both products.

Do not give me this poor me stuff, this hobby is a luxury thing, some folks if they are so poor as they claim, cannot afford the gravel but can afford a 300 gallon tank?

Oh please...............

We can always do things cheaper, but what is the trade off for that, the difference between plain sand and flourite vs plain sand or flourite and ADA AS is much larger.

But then again, I've actually used all 4 substrates so I think my comparsion shopping, experience, is based on real experience rather than some speculation.

If I had a huge tank, I'd make sure I did it right.
If I could not afford things for it, then I'd go with a smaller tank.

I think I have seen 100 post over the years where one person gets this massive tank and then wants to do everything else cheap as possible.

Sand, dirt, and some shop lights. Yea, it works too.
But each thing gets you closer to having a nicer tank and the $ is worth it to some, if growing the plants well is a large concern, it behooves you to try the ADA soil.

If you have not tried it + EI, then you cannot comment.
This will maxmize the light usage(get more out of the light you use) and reduce cost over time and give folks more wiggle room in their routines.

Maybe saving a few $ is not worth that, but over time it sure is........

The cost for doing a large 300 gal tank would run about 500-700$ with the ADA soil.

Given the constraints, the Soil master or good old 2-3mm sand will work.
I'd not spend the $$$ for flourite for such a large tank, 15 bags will not be enough either.

15-20 9 liter bags would be about right for the 300 gal, these are2x the volume per bag of EC or flourite.

You also do not have to rinse ADA AS, except for EC, the others you do.
ADA AS is also the only thing that will not scratch the glass if you get it caught in between the scrub pad like always happens over time.



Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-07-2006, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone. This is not a project that I'm stepping into lightly, but I'm trying to do everything as economical as possible (not cheap), while still being able to provide the amount of care the tank's inhabitants will need. The tank is a former reef tank and built in the wall, and after caring for that tank as a reef, I have a fairly good idea of what it will take to run a successful planted tank.

The $300 substrate budget was something I set based on $1/gallon, but I will keep adding substrate until an appropriate amount is in the tank (I also have ideas about putting a sand beach/trail area somewhere in the tank). I'm comfortable with Eco Complete as that's what I'm already using in my 10g, and the shipping differential between Drs. Foster & Smith vs. ADG was substantial enough to go the EC route.
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