clay conditioner for 200g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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clay conditioner for 200g

I put together a 29g tank a while ago that is going so well and looking so good that I have decided to start up my 200g as well. With the 29 I used Eco complete and love it but there is NO way I can afford to do that with the 200g. It took 70 lbs for 3.5 in the 29.


Anyway, I was searching threads and gave some thought to KL but decided to do Schultz Clay conditioner instead. No stores around here actually carries it but I found one that can order it for me. My question is, does it look like the Profile plant soil? I was able to find that(profile) but only in the 10lb bag for 7.00.

Will it keep its granular form?

How much should I get? I was thinking about 120 lbs of clay conditioner. Any idea how much depth that will be?
I would like to have a very deep bed because it makes planting so much easier and frankly the tank is 2 feet tall, bringing the plants a bit closer to the lights and me would not be such a bad thing. I have to stand on a stool and bend all the way over to reach the bottom.

I was looking at gravel today also and Lowes has pea gravel but that seamed too big. Pet stores have a nice smaller size but a 10lb bag was 10 bucks. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 02:54 AM
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Profile and the Schultz product are the same thing. AFAIK it's not going to go soft or mushy on you as it's a fired clay product. Heck it were me I would call Seachem and see what they would charge me for Flourite if I drove down to their place with my pickup.

You could use a fine gravel/coarse sand with Laterite under it. What are the dimensions of the tank? I doubt that 120 lbs of any normal substrate is going to make a very deep bed in a 200 gallon tank.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Rex, the tank is 2 feet w x 7long x 2 high.

Is seachem located in va?

Would one inch of the clay conditioner be enough or should it be more? Acording to the calculator I'd need 100 lbs of gravel for every inch. I'd realy like to have about 5 inches total.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 05:03 PM
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Seachem in in GA, but hey, it's a road trip

Five inches is a bit deep IMHO, you will have problems with anaerobic areas in the substrate. And you are going to need right around 100 lbs per inch of most any substrate in a tank that size.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I was afraid 5 would be too much. I'll shoot for four.

Any idea what you call 2-3mm gravel or where one usually can find 300 lbs of it?

Also, now I'm confused I think, if I am using gravel and profile has no nutrients, why am I using it again? Why am I topping an inert substance with another?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colleen
Also, now I'm confused I think, if I am using gravel and profile has no nutrients, why am I using it again? Why am I topping an inert substance with another?
That's a good question. If you are going to go with an inert substrate then pick one or the other. Personally the Profile is a bit orange for my tastes. But coarse sand has a very low CEC. So actually mixing the two is not a bad idea. You can normally find 1-3 mm coarse sand at a variety of locations. I get mine from a local industrial supply house. If you are lucky the BORG might have usable sand. But make sure that whatever sand you buy is chemically inert.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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I saw some posts where you suggest pool sand, that I can get but I was hoping for gravel, what (if you know) is the size of the small size gravel that LFS's sell? that would be a good size wouldn't it? But its too darn expensive at pet stores,someone else must have it, and certinaly in bigger bags than 10lbs, don't you think?

BTW what is the BORG?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 02:14 AM
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Schultz clay conditioner and Profile aquatic plant soil are EXCACTLY the same product made by the same company. They don't want you to know that because it is a lot cheaper to buy it as clay conditioner, which comes in 40 pound bags and is usually 10 to 15$. the plant soil is about the same price for 10 pounds. Good stuff. I use it in 20 something different aquariums. I have been using it for about 7 years. Its a tan color, usualy the same color as sand. I don't see any reason to use sand which contains no minerals at all. Schultz is made of "fullers earth" which are various clays. It contains iron and several other minerals. It is very light weight, so mixing it with a little gravel of any type will make it heavier and easier to keep the plants from popping up.

This is a quote from Schultz/Profile, 100% natural clay gravel, providing iron, calcium, and manganese, (no additives, all from natural minerals) Over 70% pore space for the storing and exchange of nutrients."

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Robert, unfortunately, I can't afford the 10 bags of Schultz I would need for the 4' in the 200. I found it for 23 dollars a bag. Do you think 1 inch is enough? I can do up to 1 1/2- 2 inches if it makes a big diff. Then use gravel for the other 2. What do you think?

Has anyone ever used chicken grit? I read that it is a ground granite? Sounds dark, I would like that. I love my black eco complete.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 04:12 AM
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BORG = Big Orange Retail Giant. At one time this meant Home Depot, but has now been expanded to include Lowe's.

Pool filter sand can work if it's the right size and doesn't contain any carbonates. Check with some lawn care companies and see if they carry Profile in the 40 lb bags.

The smallest size gravel the LFS normally carries is actually on the larger end of what one wants for a planted tank. Remember that the LFS sells primarily FISH tanks and not PLANT tanks. I'm lucky in that my LFS carries a very wide range of substrates, but then again they also do a great business in plants.

Get on the phone and call around to industrial supply houses and places that carry sand blasting supplies. You might find what you are looking for there.
The chicken grit I can get out here would work well in a planted tank as it's quartz and a nice rose color I have also seen the ground granite and can get bags of the granite at a local rock yard.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Rex,
Ground granite, is that the stuff you see in giant piles that they use sometimes for traction during snow?

I have a quarry like 5 mins from my house but I checked with them a while ago trying to find pebbles smaller than pea gravel but they looked at me like I had an extra head. But they might have the granite.

You know its hard to believe I am having trouble finding what I'm looking for here, all there is around here is cows and clay and rocks. And now thousands of us yankees invading. AGAIN The born and bread never let us foreigners forget. LOL

BORG My personal fav is Wal-Mart NOT
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 12:59 PM
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Well out here they use basic river sand for traction in the snow, or fine gravel. 50 miles to the east they use the red lava rock. There's not a lot of granite here in the western part of Oregon. In fact if one finds a piece of granite on the river bank you can pretty much safely assume that it arrived here during the great Montana Floods around 10,000 years ago.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 02:32 AM
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Why are we still talking about sand? What was $22 a bag? clay conditioner or Profile? If the 40 pound bags of Clay conditioner are costing you $22, find a new store! Their WEB site must have a store locator. Home depot used to carry it, but around me they no longer do. Lowes might. I got mine at Fred Meyers. Sand is nothing but filler. And it compacts together. If you are going to use course sand, you will then need to use some sort of substrate fertilizer like laterite, or soil. Sand by itself is useless. Even $22 for forty pounds isn't a bad deal.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 03:26 PM
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Colleen,

I have been very happy with a layer of profile or KL underneath pea gravel. The gravel is too coarse to plant hair grass and glosso, but it works well for anything else, and allows any fishpoop to disappear into the cracks. Profile has a good nutrient exchange capability, and stays underneath the pea gravel. I don't care for its color at all, but any of it that is pulled up while replanting disappears quickly inside of the pea gravel.

Substrate depth about 2" in the front and 3" in the back, with some terrassed areas that are a little higher.

I think I spent about $25 on substrate for my 100 gal tank. About 100 lb of pea gravel over the same volume (not weight) of profile.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 03:33 PM
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The chick grit available in MD is white to grey-ish pulverised granite, not black. I'm going out on a limb but I'd guess it'd be the same stuff in VA. At $5 for 50 pounds it's a great deal. It would work well to mix it with the Profile as filler, reducing the amount of Profile you need. You could cap the substrate with a layer of pure Profile to get a uniforrm look to the tank.

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Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

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