Soilmaster red questions please - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Soilmaster red questions please

OK,I`m lost amongst all the info on here.So far i can tell that soilmaster is a good substrate for planted tank because of grain size.Is there any other benefit to plants as far as nutrition in it?Or is it just a safe cheap planted tank option?I got a bag of red 50lbs and was wondering if i should just do sands,as fishes may enjoy that more?A coarser sand should have the same planting medium as SMS?Any thoughts on this particular dilemma?
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Dave
BTW in Ohio Lesco has red SMS for $11.00 a 50lb bag still.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 07:56 PM
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It has high CEC(Cation exchange capacity), in other words it can move nutrients rapidly from water column to the roots. It is an excellent choice, and for the price it is very hard to beat. Most people prefer a darker substrate and try to get the charcoal SMS, probably why you cant find info on red.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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is CEC high because of the grain size or is it the clay composition?just would like to know,and thanks for the tip.I did see a lot of complaints about SMS`s
light weight,being a pain to root plants in initially.Has anyone ever mixed it with other substrates i wonder.Being red it may be hard to find something that would look good.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:02 AM
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It will steal KH out of the water..
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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thanks Orlando.I`m going for a dwarf cichlid tank so that should be ideal then....
Dave

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:07 AM
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Very good, I use Blk SMS for my Ram Tanks and it works very well.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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yes i would have gotten grey or black,but as they/Lesco/ are phasing SMS out ,thats all they had.He said he will have to look up the Turface equivalent of SMS.
Dave

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 07:27 AM
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I believe the CEC is high because it is very porous(which also probably makes it lightweight). Do you have it already? The pictures I have seen look almost like a natural gravel. Turface Pro League Grey would be the equivalent.

Orlando, where is the info in it stealing KH, I thought it was inert. Also was yours actually called black? I only have seen listings for charcoal.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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update: as an experiment i put some in a betta bowl/1gal/ and now going on 3 days.I thoroughly rinsed a 1/4 lbs of it and placed it in there.Even today after 2 days,if i move the bowl a little "dust cloud" emerges on the substrate surface,looking like a smoke effect.Is this whats going to happen in a tank?Any fish then could dislodge a lot,and make the tank a mess!!!!!!!
Anything to do different?
thanks
Dave
PS:my red looks like light a natural light reddish brown.definitely light though.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 12:52 PM
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I have a few bags of SMS, Turface and a few others and use all of them in a few tanks. It does rob your KH right out of the water column. And its more of a grey color.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiritwind View Post
I believe the CEC is high because it is very porous(which also probably makes it lightweight). Do you have it already? The pictures I have seen look almost like a natural gravel. Turface Pro League Grey would be the equivalent.

Orlando, where is the info in it stealing KH, I thought it was inert. Also was yours actually called black? I only have seen listings for charcoal.
The info does not exist , but only to experienced users. Remember this is designed for Baseball fields and the like.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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can you guys comment on its "cloudiness" or ability to stir too easily?or should i have rinsed it even more?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:19 PM
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It will be a little cloudy for some time, but in due time it will go away.
I rinse the stuff for hours and it was still cloudy when new.
After some time it seemed to go away.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 06:22 PM
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i am washing mine right now.... i just tossed it in and turn on my hot mag micron filter. does it always suck up the kh or will it hit a point where it stops?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for the replies here Orlando, I read a little more after a search on carbonate hardness and SMS. I am curious too though, does the kh ever stop going down?
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