Help choosing a substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Help choosing a substrate

I am in the process of setting up a 125g Fancy Goldfish tank. I want to use dark slate colored river stones between .5-2" and some larger ones for my hardscape. I am trying to locate a cheap enough substrate to have about 2" of gravel in my tank. Would I be better to do 2" of river stones/pebbles or should I get a base layer of something like color quartz or flourite and top that with a layer of the pebbles? I'm looking for something that is cheap but that will not jack the pH up to 8 or leach off poisons into the water.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 07:56 PM
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If you aren't going to grow aquatic plants, almost any material with particles bigger than 1-2mm will work. Just don't get carbonate containing materials, and verify that you haven't done so by dripping some swimming pool acid on a sample to see if they fizz.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 08:07 PM
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I would go with 2" of SMS/Turface if you want to go cheap it's easier to wash than quartz and much cheaper ($20 for 50lb bags) or the cheapest idea would be to buy pool filter sand ($10 for 50lb bags) at a local pool/spa dealer.

While those aren't the prettiest substrates they won't mess with your water parameters and you can always hide it by putting a ring of the pretty stuff 2" deep around the glass sides and then fill it in with 2" of the cheaper stuff to save money and then cap it with 1" of the pretty stuff.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thats what I was thinking of doing Brad, I just don't want to use my aragonite even though I've got several hundred pounds of the stuff, due to the pH issues. What is Turface though? I've never heard of it...

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb210 View Post
Thats what I was thinking of doing Brad, I just don't want to use my aragonite even though I've got several hundred pounds of the stuff, due to the pH issues. What is Turface though? I've never heard of it...

Mike
Turface is what Lesco replaced SMS (SoilMaster Select) with and comes in a few different colors you can find them at Lesco or John Deere dealers and most of them do sell it for less than the $20 I stated it's just hit or miss on that but I've never seen it for more.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 09:10 PM
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So will you be planting?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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No plants. I'm trying to get a look similar to this:



Not exact but close to it. I like the way the smaller stones look as a substrate with the larger ones scattered amongst. I think the way Brad described it would be the easiest, but I'm not sure where to get something that looks similar.
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