Questions regarding calcined clay and other substrate options - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Questions regarding calcined clay and other substrate options

I have done some research in regards to what type of substrate I should employ when starting MY VERY FIRST FRESHWATER PLANTED TANK . I have owned a lot of reef tanks and have a lot of experience in reef aquaria. I actually own an aquarium maintenance. that all being said I have read that SeaChem Flourite is a great substrate for a planted tank, I have also found out that it is just calcined clay (like they use in baseball diamonds). am I wrong about that? second is that stuff just good because it is inert and the texture is conducive to the plants taking root? Thirdly, would the fine gravel that they use in pool filters (not the sand but the gravel that is mixed browns and about the size of rice)? I have read also that putting peat under the gravel could lead to nuisance algae because of the overabundance of nutrients.

If I had a small tank I would just go with the flourite but I have a 130 gallon custom made pentagon shaped tank with a lot of surface area and I would end up spending $200 plus on that stuff. If I have to I will but I would rather try to get away with less. I will be running a Halide over the tank and CO2 eventually so perhaps those will make up for the sub-par substrate.

Any information is welcome even off topic comments can help...


Also, what type of store would I look to find PRO'S CHOICE SOILMASTER SELECT (CHARCOAL) 50#
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 10:28 PM
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Welcome to TPT!

I really like Flourite, personally, especially the new black and dark colors. I used it in my 90gal, and to cut costs I mixed it with 50lbs of black ColorQuartz. I found a local pool supply company that carried it from the www.3M.com website, and picked up the 50lb bag for $23

SoilMaster and Turface are carried by www.Lesco.com. I believe you have to order it and have it sent to a local store to pick up, usually a John Deere store. I strongly considered going this route, but these 2 are a little lighter in weight than Flourite and from others' reports tend cloud the water even more.

I'm very familiar with Flourite and have used it for years with great results. Washing it well first and then letting it dry before adding it to a tank IME takes care of any clouding issues. Plus I didn't care for the only colors available in Soilmaster and Turface; black is my favorite substrate color.

That was my reasoning and the issues that were most important to me. I've seen great tanks with any and all of the substrates you mentioned.





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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. one more thing do you know if calcined clay is the same as flourite? because if it is then calcined clay is alot cheaper.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 03:51 AM
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Flourite is a calcined clay, yes. They aren't all going to be exactly identical b/c they'll be coming from different mines, perhaps even in different parts of the world, and also go through a slightly different industrial processing.





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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 01:29 PM
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I had some Soilmaster and absolutely couldn't stand working with it - too light.

If you want to be really cheap, just use Pool Filter Sand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biowerks View Post
I will be running a Halide over the tank and CO2 eventually so perhaps those will make up for the sub-par substrate.
If I were already spending good coin on an HQI and CO2, I'd get good substrate too. The three areas not to skimp on a planted tank, in my opinion, are tank, light, and substrate.

Get some ADA Aquasoil. It's even spendier, but it's because it really is that good.
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