upgrading tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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upgrading tank

I'm moving from a 75 to a 90. I was able to get the tank for pretty much nothing and I'm trying to keep the cost of this change minimal.

Since the only difference of the tank is the height I plan to reuse the water, lights, filters, plants, co2, filters, etc....

My question is the substrate. What I have in the 75 is basically 10 years old and is simply gravel from petsmart. Its natural in color but is probably too large in size. The plants do ok but it is probably not the best scenario.

I looked at my options and ECO soil seems to be a good option but to do the whole tank in this would probably cost almost $200.

I was thinking of adding a inch of this with a red flint on the top. Is this a good option or should I be looking at something else?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 08:40 AM
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if cost is an issue, why not get a nutrient base and lay 2" thick layer of gravel above it?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 09:53 AM
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You could try and get soilmaster select, oil dri, shultz aquatic soil, 3m colorquartz(i think), this pool filter sand(forget what kind o_O). Those are all cheap alternatives i considered for my tank, but went with oil dri since it was the cheapest.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 01:18 PM
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The advantage of Eco-Complete and Flourite is that they are specifically formulated with the minerals that plants need. The cheap alternatives like Oil-Dri and cat litter and such are just fired clay. Yes, they'll work, but not as well. I'd say you'd be better using a base of EC topped by gravel.

But if you're going to top it with red flint, might I suggest you go with Flourite or Flourite red instead of EC? EC is black and it would not look good when it comes up through your reddish gravel. Flourite would look more like the flint, and as a bonus, at least around here, it's usually cheaper too.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Canoe2Can View Post
The advantage of Eco-Complete and Flourite is that they are specifically formulated with the minerals that plants need. The cheap alternatives like Oil-Dri and cat litter and such are just fired clay. Yes, they'll work, but not as well. I'd say you'd be better using a base of EC topped by gravel.

But if you're going to top it with red flint, might I suggest you go with Flourite or Flourite red instead of EC? EC is black and it would not look good when it comes up through your reddish gravel. Flourite would look more like the flint, and as a bonus, at least around here, it's usually cheaper too.
I was leaning toward the Eco because I was led to believe it is better than the Fluorite. I am concerned about the black ECO mixing in with the gravel but was told that since its finner it will stay down.

Are Fluorite and ECO about the same as far as longevity?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 06:43 PM
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For the most part EC will stay below the other gravel, but only for the most part. For one thing, EC does have larger particles in it (I've seen some people call it Eco-Chunky). But also, if you uproot a plant, you'll pull some of it up.

As for quality and longevity, I'm sure some people would pick one as better than the other, but I think they're both tried and true substrates.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 08:54 PM
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As said above I would check out soilmaster select if I were your. A lot cheaper and will serve as well.

For what its worth eco is easier to plant in than flourite.


Good luck

Dave
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2007, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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As said above I would check out soilmaster select if I were your. A lot cheaper and will serve as well.

For what its worth eco is easier to plant in than flourite.


Good luck

Dave
Well I bit he bullet and went with fluorite. I plan to do the first 1.5" with this and the next 1.5" with regular gravel.

I added the first layer tonight. The directions said to rinse and holy cow.!! When do you stop?? It was like mud when I rinsed it. I assume that some of this is benificail to plants.

How much rinsing is required?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2007, 03:46 AM
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You can get eco online from dr foster smith for 23 a bag with their flat shipping costs (10 bags costed me like 15). I used only 6 of them when i redid my 120gal tank.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-25-2007, 02:45 PM
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10 year old gravel substrate? Full of mulm and all that other good stuff.

I'd have kept that original "juicy" substrate.


Mike

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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10 year old gravel substrate? Full of mulm and all that other good stuff.

I'd have kept that original "juicy" substrate.


Mike
I plan on using the old stuff on top of the flourite.

How much flourite should I use?
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