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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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SMS charcoal

I found a place near me that still has a few bags of SMS charcoal. I have always had flourite and wanted to know before I bought sms if I'm gonna be unhappy with it compared to flourite? I know it's lighter and you shouldn't have strong bottom feeders with it, but is there anything else I should be concerned with?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 04:24 PM
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Because the gravel is lighter, it tends to get sucked up if you try to siphon it. This is the only drawback that I've noticed. I've seen some really nice tanks that use SMS.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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I'm getting an Eheim Classic 2213, is the flow of that gonna move the sms around?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 04:39 PM
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Filter flow won't move it unless you directly blast it, also easy to do if you refill the tank too hastily. Hills compact easily over time, mixes with sand easily. Some plants are a bit of a pain to keep down, initially, like most light or fine subs other than sand. Other than that I like it, looks natural. My bottom feeders don't really mess it up, but I guess they're probably contributing to what I already mentioned. CEC is one of the highest.

You should buy it simply for the fact that it's hard to come by and cheap, you probably won't regret it.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 05:51 PM
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It is possible that SMS will lower kH/pH of the water. Just keep this in mind, if it does happen, it isn't nearly as drastic as aquasoil.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...y-kh-ph-2.html


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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I went and picked it up, am I gonna need to pre-wash it?

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 07:39 PM
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Nah, don't bother rinsing - rinsing is more of a pain than it's worth.

What I did, and it worked VERY well, is put a piece of thick plastic over the SMS and let the water from the hose hit the plastic, spread out, and seep over the edges. This way it fills up gently without getting blown around. Plates work, but not as well - ideally get plastic that covers the whole bottom. I used 6 mil stuff for crawlspace vapor barriers, but I've heard that saran wrap works too, but not quite as well since it is hard to keep in place. My water was remarkably clear, but the bottom bubbled like champagne for a few days because the SMS is so porous.


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