Soilmaster Select concerns - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Soilmaster Select concerns

I am planning a high tech 38g tank and I'm researching my options now for substrate.

I planned on using Eco Complete for substrate because I have it in my 55g and love it. But I know there is a Lesco dealer about 15 miles from here and I am interested to know if they sell Soilmaster. For one, it would only cost about $16 for a big bag to use in the 38g and my 29g (which I want to change the substrate in). Also, I want a dark substrate, so my options are fairly limited. I'd like to be cost effective, but I was willing to buy the Eco.

Anyways...the reason for my post is my concerns about the Soilmaster. I've heard many good things about it, but I'm worried about it being light weight. I would like to have a nice foreground plant like HC in this tank because it will be my only high light CO2 injected tank. I've read a few posts about the SS being too light to hold down the HC though.

Has everyone had this problem?

I could possibly choose another foreground option that fits the lighting, but I'm just wondering if the SS being light would be a problem with any small foreground plants (HC, glosso....).

I'd like to choose a substrate that will correlate with my plant choices.

Can anyone offer some advice on the SS? What have your experiences been?

*Kristin*
Planted tanks:40g breeder, 20g long, 29g
38g Reef tank


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 06:05 AM
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I had a couple Dwarf Sags come up after planting, but they are staying put now. And I did plant some HM and a few leafs of Glosso just to see what happens.

I think it just depends on if you have fish you may dig it up or not.

Current: 45g planted, MTS/EcoC/blastingsand. SunSun filter, pressurized CO2.
Old: 15g planted / Aquaclear 30, Eco-C, Pressurized CO2
Old: 10g heavy plants, Eco complete, Cherry shrimp, otto's. DIY CO2 w/ glass diffuser. Aquaclear 20.
Old: 55g planted, Soilmaster select charcoal, community tank. Pressurized CO2 w/ in-line reactor. Magnum 350 pump.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 04:10 PM
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I have HC, glosso, marsilea, HM, and lileaopsis doing fine in soilmaster. As long as you don't have any digging fish you should be fine. The HC didn't want to stay down until I planted the stems individually.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 04:24 PM
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Kristin, if you do go for the SS, are you going to try to get the charcoal?

Sláinte!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 05:29 PM
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I am currently using SS (charcoal) and I don't have any more problems with this substrate than I've had with others. I too, have glosso growing in mine and it is doing very well. Of course I have had a few stems plants float up after initial planting but I don't recall ever using a substrate where that didn't happen.

The only thing I noticed with this substrate is that if you don't rinse it (I didn't), you're GH may shoot up for a while. I didn't have any issues with cloudy water, in fact mine was crystal clear by that evening, but I did notice a very high GH until I did a few water changes.

Try some, I think you'll like it.

Take care.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 05:46 PM
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I don't think that the SS is any lighter than ADA Aquasoil. If you have problems in one you'll have problems in the other and, by all account, the Aquasoil is a top notch substrate.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 07:42 PM
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I have some in my 46 and it is very light. I just put it in a week ago and some plants are still coming out. I think I need some more.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-19-2006, 09:05 PM
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if you are worried about the HM coming up you could just hold it down with SS/aluminum mesh. check out rain-'s journal she has some pictures of her's and that is how she did it.

- Fish newb
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Kristin, if you do go for the SS, are you going to try to get the charcoal?
I am planning on getting charcoal. Is that not available here? I haven't tried to call yet...

Quote:
if you are worried about the HM coming up you could just hold it down with SS/aluminum mesh. check out rain-'s journal she has some pictures of her's and that is how she did it.
Thanks for the suggestion...I will definitely check out her journal.

The only potential problem fish would be cories, but they don't dig that much really. Its mostly at feeding time that they do alot of digging (I already have 4 of the cories destined for the 38g). I plan on having about 6 Albino cories in this tank. I may plant the tank first and then wait awhile to add the cories, so that any foreground plant will have a chance to root.

Thanks everyone for the replies. I am not as worried now...I'm just hoping now that I can get the charcoal kind like I want. Your replies definitely helped!

*Kristin*
Planted tanks:40g breeder, 20g long, 29g
38g Reef tank


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 03:55 PM
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I have no idea. But from reading threads on it, both here and over at APC, I get the idea that it (charcoal color) can be difficult to come by.

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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No problems here yet. I've had my tank set up almost a month now and have glosso growing.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:10 PM
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I've mentioned this in a few other posts, but if you're having a hard time locating Soilmaster Select you should ask around for Turface Pro League, which is basically the same material. Both are used as sports field soil amenders (the red version is the stuff you see the grounds crew tossing on the pitcher's mound when it's raining).

—Bill

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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I have no idea. But from reading threads on it, both here and over at APC, I get the idea that it (charcoal color) can be difficult to come by
Ahh...you know it would be just my luck. I'll probably call the Lesco place this weekend and ask. I'm not in a hurry to get the SS, but I will worry about not being able to get the charcoal. I'll let you know what I find out.

bharada: Would the Lesco place carry the Turface as well? If not, where should I look for it...Home Depot or Lowes maybe?

*Kristin*
Planted tanks:40g breeder, 20g long, 29g
38g Reef tank


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Love4Animals20 View Post
bharada: Would the Lesco place carry the Turface as well? If not, where should I look for it...Home Depot or Lowes maybe?
Lesco won't carry Turface as it's not one of their products.

There's an 800# on the Priofile site I linked to that can probably direct you to a local distributor. It'll be a industrial lawn care-type outift, not a home improvement superstore.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Love4Animals20 View Post
Ahh...you know it would be just my luck. I'll probably call the Lesco place this weekend and ask. I'm not in a hurry to get the SS, but I will worry about not being able to get the charcoal. I'll let you know what I find out.

bharada: Would the Lesco place carry the Turface as well? If not, where should I look for it...Home Depot or Lowes maybe?

Don't call Lesco! They won't cooperate if you are trying to order a bag or two of Soilmaster, they will tell a bunch of lies about minimum orders. Order it online and pickup at the store. You will get it within a week and there will be no problems.
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