LESCO Prochoice Soilmaster - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-20-2006, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs up LESCO Prochoice Soilmaster

Changed out my substrate today to some Prochoice soilmaster from LESCO. I got the red standard soil master. They had a four pack sample with prochoice soilmaster select, regular prochoice soilmaster, promound packing clay, and rapid dry.

The Rapid Dry is very fine, less than .5mm, too fine for substrate IMO. The Soilmaster Select has a nice uniform grain size about 1mm, but seemed a little fine for my taste and application. The Prochoice Soilmaster grain size is not as uniform as the select and is slightly larger with a mix of size from 1-3mm. All three of these products are red. The Promound packing clay is black but not uniform in size all, ranging from dust particles to 5mm+ sizes. The Soilmaster select and regular soilmaster also are available in charcoal color but was not in stock at the store by my house.

link
http://www.lesco.com/?PageID=27&ItemNumber=080310

The tank I put the Prochoice Soilmaster has a standard 75/90 gal footprint of 48" x 18". I used a substrate calculator for Flourite; for a 3 inch bed it said I would need 90lbs. Well I bought 2 50lb bags of the Prochoice Soilmaster.

I filled a 5 gallon bucket half full of the Soilmaster and washed it until ran clear. I repeated this, put approx. 75lbs of the Soilmaster in the tank. This made for a tapered depth of 3.5 inches in front and 4.5 inches + in the rear, there are also a few hills over 6 inches. One bag would be enough if you plan to top dress it. I filled the tank with water slowly and it was fairly clear. Not perfectly clear but I am sure it would settle/filter in a day. I am running my diatom filter on it now to clear it because I hate to wait for anything.

I found it easy to plant in and the plants seemed well anchored. Even the two big sword plants that have runners going out of the tank seem to be holding on.

I left a good layer mulm in the bottom, also I am going to dose every day (macros morning, micros evening) and watch the levels. Then go back to every other day once everything seems normal.

The bill was less than $26 for 100lbs including tax.

One note is it did reduce my KH by 2dKH, I buffered it back with some baking soda.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-20-2006, 02:36 AM
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I think you'll be really happy with this stuff! Thanks for sharing the great review! I use the charcoal colored Soilmaster and I really love it.


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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-20-2006, 02:56 AM
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I think you'll be really happy with this stuff! Thanks for sharing the great review! I use the charcoal colored Soilmaster and I really love it.
Same here. I'm not much for the red-orange color of the regular, but it does grow plants well and you can't beat the price.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-20-2006, 02:22 PM
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I have had the "red" in my 125g for about a year now and couldn't be happier with the growth of my plants but I wanted the darker color so I had my local lesco have some of the charcoal shipped in. It only took about a week for them to get it. I'm going to swap it all out over the christmas break. I think I might try a journal as I will be starting form scratch. Anyway, enjoy the soilmaster.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-20-2006, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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The red doesn't bother me right now. But, I may top dress it later on for a different look. Ran the DE filter on it for about 1 hour last night and water was clear. I mean so clear I put my finger in it to make sure there was water in the tank.

None of the plants were floating this morning and everything looked good. Dosed NPK and add some baking soda this morning. The KH had dropped 1dKH overnight. Going to dose micros this evening. Keeping an eye the KH, GH, and PH, all seems good with no wild swings.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 09:22 PM
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Can anyone say for sure if the charcoal color of Soilmaster only comes in the "Soilmaster Select" version.

I've read (in another thread here) that Soilmaster is preferrable to Soilmaster Select.

Here is the link for all Soilmaster products:
http://www.lesco.com/?PageID=87&Keyw...=059&Form=1255

Any help getting Soilmaster Charcoal (in a 50 lb bag, no need for a ton - yet) would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Scott
Sanford, Maine
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 10:17 PM
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I think you would have to go with the brown. It is very close in color to the charcoal.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 10:21 PM
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But I don't want no stinkin' brown!

Thanks - what part of Indiana are you in? I grew up in Hobart, IN (the "Region").

Scott
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 10:56 PM
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Can we see some pictures of the tank?

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Can we see some pictures of the tank?
Here are some of the red

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...-big-pics.html
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 11:27 PM
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Very nice tank. The red seems to bring out the color of the plants, to me at least.

For some reason I think the red would look nice in a Discus tank. *shrugs*

Nice review as well. Thank you.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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I have been thinking the same thing, some blue discus would really look nice with the red substrate.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 11:36 PM
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So, the ordering process is a bit strange.

Since I'll be paying when I go in, you would think that they would not need my credit card information now?!?

Or am I just doing this wrong somehow?

s
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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I am not familar with the ordering process from LESCO, I just go to one of my local stores and pick it up.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 11:50 PM
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So, the ordering process is a bit strange.

Since I'll be paying when I go in, you would think that they would not need my credit card information now?!?

Or am I just doing this wrong somehow?

s
They took my credit card info too, but didn't charge me. I then picked it up and paid at the store.

I'm in Greenwood, just south of Indy. I've never heard of hobart except as a mixer.
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