Has anyone tried this Substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Has anyone tried this Substrate?

Hi, I was searching online for Eco-Complete and Flourite prices, and came across AquariumPlants.com (who so far has the best price for flourite, anyone know of better?), and I saw they have their own substrate that is way cheaper than the aforementioned types. Has anyone tried this substrate and know how it compares? Here is the link to it:

http://www.aquariumplants.com/product_p/ss-1.htm

Thanks
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 07:05 PM
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I'm using it in my 55 and like it. It clouds the water if disturbed - even after multiple rinses, and is lighter than Eco. It will get heavier after being in the tank awhile. I've heard it is the same stuff as SMS.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 07:27 PM
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I bought a bucket of it when it was first introduced. It does have nearly identical properties as SMS at a much higher price. But if you're unable to find a local distributor for SMS then it's definitely an option.

Be advised that it will lower you KH substantially.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 08:45 PM
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I don't have issues with the water clouding from my batch. I don't know about the KH thing... Not completly black, more like dark grey, imagine a pencil lead. THe stuff sucks up in my python if I have it at a med-high suction. Not as heavy as gravel.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 08:52 PM
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It will steal all the KH out of the water............
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm...I would really prefer a substrate that does not change the water chemistry. I don't know where I would get SMS around where we live (middle of nowhere eastern washington). Maybe I could order some. So is the consensus that SMS does not change water chemistry?
Thanks
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
It will steal all the KH out of the water............
I have oil dri, which is supposed to be similar to SMS(if not the same), and one of my hg or kh dropped to less than 1. I'll have to check again later, but should I worry about it o_O
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 09:06 PM
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SMS and the aquariumplants.com substrate both will remove KH from your water. If you want a similar look/feel to these two in a substrate that's inert you'll need to get Turface Pro League in gray.

Both SMS and Turface are used as soil amendments on sports fields so you may have a distributor in your area. Check out the Turface web site...

http://www.turface.com/corporate/wheretobuy.cfm

óBill

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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I have read that SMS can really drop the pH of water as well. I need to add fish to this tank immediately, not a heavy load but this tank is an upgrade and there is simply no room in our appartment for both the old tank and the new tank to sit. So major pH swings aren't going to work. To eithe eco or fluorite change the pH/KH
Thanks
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 09:10 PM
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Test your water out of the tap for KH, then test the water in your tank. I use Both SMS, and AP substrate and it steels all my KH. NO problem if you dose sodium bicarbonate.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 09:16 PM
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SMS stripping the KH out of your water isn't too much of a concern if you already have relatively soft water. But for folks with hard water, like me, going from KH14 to KH2 can raise some unrealist expectations as to which plants you can successfully grow. Nothing worse than having a bunch of soft-water-loving stem plants growing well, only to have them start stunting/melting on you when the substrate's buffer eating capacity is exhausted.

On a positive note, if you use it in a low tech tank with infrequent large water changes (mainly topping off the tank) the buffer eating capacity can last well over a year.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. I too have water which is quite hard. I prefer to do weekly medium sized water changes for the health of the fish. Because I add water to the tank right out of the tap, it isn't realistic for me to have a difference in the water coming out of the tap and in the tank (at least not significantly). I need a good substrate which will not change water chemistry, does anyone know of one?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cwhite View Post
I need a good substrate which will not change water chemistry, does anyone know of one?
Thanks
Turface Pro League (check the link in my previous post for a local supplier) is inert. It's cheap at $13-$18/50# bag. And because it's pretty light weight material, 50# goes a long way. It took about 75# to put an avg. 4" deep layer in my 120g tank (48"x24" footprint). And it's relatively fine grained so delicate plants like HC have no problem rooting in it.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 11:17 PM
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Although you can grow plants in anything from chicken grit over laterite clay, fluorite, eco-complete, schultz aquatic soil, pool filter sand over gravel fert tabs and or laterite, seachem onyx sand and even gravel capped over top soil, some substrates, with all other things being equal tend to give better results than others. The way I look at it, you want your substrate to be a one time expense and not have to tear down a tank to replace a substrate at least not for a few years. Keeping this in mind, I would suggest biting the bullet and getting ADA Aquasoil Amazonia I or II. Many members who have grown plants in Eco-Complete, Schultz Aquatic Soil, Fluorite, etc., including Tom Barr state that nothing compares to Aquasoil for plant growth. I cannot speak to this as I just set up a test tank to see what the hype is all about, but if so many members are saying nothing but good things about it, then it cannot be all bad.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the advice. Is Turface Pro League a good option, I mean, will it grow most plants well in a medium light/DIY CO2 situation? I like the price...and there is some suppliers in the general area. I actually do not mind spending more money, BUT I cannot have it changing the water chemistry, and it sounds like pretty much all of the commercially available substrates do.
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