Aquariumplants.com's Freshwater Planted Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Aquariumplants.com's Freshwater Planted Substrate

Hi everyone,

I am looking for a substrate that is inert (no Buffering), for a discus, planted tank. We now have Seachem Black Onyx Sand.(About 110 pounds. $220+). the ph is off the wall, even with r/o water and peat.(7.5) Were looking into Aquariumplants.com's Freshwater Planted Aquarium Substrate. Anyone ever use it? We are waiting for email back as to the buffering effects, if there is any, and any other water altering properties.
thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 05:26 AM
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It is said the Aquariumplants.com substrate is the same as SMS charcoal (Soil Master Select). It is cheaper averaging anywhere from $13-$17, readily available 'might have to special order the Charcoal' to most locally, you get more pounds (50Lb) for your money and it grows plants well. As far as buffering is concerned some say it lowers the PH, possibly KH and will stop doing this over time.

If you do a search for SMS you will get lots of good information which should help with your decision.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for the 411.............I will look into SMS
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 07:02 AM
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It's good stuff, a little light in the beginning and moves around easily. Give it about 1-1˝wk for it to become water logged and then it becomes easier to work in/with.

I have soft water and have no issues maintaining stable KH, my PH is below 6 due to RO/DI + Co2 and I have no low range test kit to verify fluctuation's if any, but even if it does, it goes in the direction where I want it to be anyway. Since this will be for a Discus setup these 'issues' might help with the necessary parameters you are looking to achieve.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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I was just thinking of that when I looked at my ph test kit. It starts at 6.0. But I guess I can depend on my ph controller to tell me the ph. Thanks for the input. I am still kicking myself for wasting all that money on Onyx Sand. But my wife and kids want to have discus and plants in the tank, and I am totally new to all of this, and very overwhelmed. The only bright spot has been helpful ppl like yourself, this forum and web info
Appreciate it
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 07:34 AM
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I am helping as I've been helped by the members here ...
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkookm View Post
It's good stuff, a little light in the beginning and moves around easily. Give it about 1-1˝wk for it to become water logged and then it becomes easier to work in/with.

I have soft water and have no issues maintaining stable KH, my PH is below 6 due to RO/DI + Co2 and I have no low range test kit to verify fluctuation's if any, but even if it does, it goes in the direction where I want it to be anyway. Since this will be for a Discus setup these 'issues' might help with the necessary parameters you are looking to achieve.
Just out of curiosity and I hope you don't mind me asking. I have read lots of good things about AP'S own substrate but most people who posted about this on other forums claimed that they experienced phenomenol plant growth when they used AP's own substrate with the AP substrate fertilizer tabs. I am assuming you did not use the tabs. Thanks.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 02:32 PM
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I am using aquariumplants substrate and have been satisfied with it. I havn't used any other substrate before (this is my first tank) so I dont have anything to compare it to, but the color is nice, and its pretty easy to plant in (hc anchors nicely in it). I don't believe it has altered my pH.

When you rinse it I would suggest not churning it around too much because this breaks the substate up creates alot of dust. What I did was put small amounts into to a bucket then rinsed 3 or few times swirling it around just a little bit. Any dust from it settles down very quickly in the aquarium.

If you want to see what it looks like in my aquarium check out my journal (I will be putting up newer pics soon).


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Homer,
Your right, I did not use AP fert tabs. Why would I? I don't have any plants.
Infact, I posted inquirying about AP Substrate. I don't have any of that either.

I am looking to replace my Onyx Sand Substrate, with one that does not raise my ph. We are in the process of setting up a discus, planted tank. Even with r/o water and peat the ph was 7.5. Not exceptable!
But thanks for your help!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
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Homer,
Your right, I did not use AP fert tabs. Why would I? I don't have any plants.
Infact, I posted inquirying about AP Substrate. I don't have any of that either.

I am looking to replace my Onyx Sand Substrate, with one that does not raise my ph. We are in the process of setting up a discus, planted tank. Even with r/o water and peat the ph was 7.5. Not exceptable!
But thanks for your help!

Okay, I know you don't use AP fert tabs or the AP Substrate, I was asking MrKookm if he did as he was using the AP Substrate.

For what it's worth, I had read Onyx Sand can raise PH, but from what I understand Schultz Aquatic Soil does not raise PH(at least I never found it to). If you are looking for an inert sand, how about pool filter sand?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2007, 10:50 PM
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They say AP's own = Soil Master Selects Charcoal repackaged in a 5gal bucket. I used the official SMS 'charcoal' product and I do not use any root tabs. It was suggested by an experienced member here to add a dusting of peat under my substrate which I have done for all my tanks and I then added a layer of laterite too and so far it is working well for me.

This is what the SMS pacakaging looks like:
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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I called Lesco today, about getting a bag of Soilmaster Select. They told me there isn't a bag in the state of Florida. Also, they would have to order a pallet of it, which they won't do. They did find some in Massachusetts, and are checking to see if they will interstate ship it. If not, I will have to go with AP.com. Actually the price is not that bad, with the free shipping and the bucket.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2007, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Followup: Lesco couldn't or wouldn't ship me a bag from up North. AP.com charged me $77.00, $44.95 for the product and the rest for shipping. Their customer service rep swore that they mine and treat their own substrate, and its not Soil Master Select.
Ohwell!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Trying to Clean Up My Tank

What is the best way to vac AP Substrate? I have accumulated algae BBA, and other mulm on it. I have tried the conventional gravel suction vac, into a pail, and it does not seem to get the job done (maybe due to the baked properties of the substrate?)
Somewhere I have a Magnum 350 with a vac, maybe if I can find all of the parts, and fix the leaking valves, that would work best?

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Last edited by The Rockster; 07-17-2009 at 08:30 PM. Reason: I'm old and brain dead.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 07:56 PM
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wow.. talk about bringing a thread back from the dead!


I used the python to vacuum the tank when I had sms and it worked fine.. when it would pick up too much substrate I would just pinch off the line and lift it out of the tank and let it drop back in and keep going.

75 Gallon Planted Tank.

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