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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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i need a substrate...

ok so ive some to the conclusion im not doing some fancy ada aquasoil for my 75g its just too much money. i will be dosing ferts with high light and c02. I need to figure out a cost effective substrate for my aquarium. i need something that my plants will grow well in carpet plants too. I like that black diamond sand but will it compact? i might be able to add flourite or eco complete on the bottom and top it with black sand or something. or maybe potting soil. i read that sand stops roots from spreading. not sure what substrate to use. Also wondering if i did all inert substrate i could lay a bunch of root tabs under the substrate. i basically need a substrate that my plants can grow without restrictions in. preferably black to resemble dirt and cost effective. what are my options my wise aquascapers
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:51 PM
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What type of carpet? Ive used sts and glosso holds fine hc or Monte Carlo prolly wouldnt. Its cheap 5 bucks filled my 40b. Its a little lighter un weight then flourite.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:52 PM
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Many use what I believe is called Black Diamond Blasting media from Tractor Supply.
You can spread some Osmocote+ under it and/or get the capsules of it from a few people on here. Needs to be used only according to the directions so sparingly if just spread
under the sub before putting it in there.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latchdan View Post
What type of carpet? Ive used sts and glosso holds fine hc or Monte Carlo prolly wouldnt. Its cheap 5 bucks filled my 40b. Its a little lighter un weight then flourite.

I think id like a carpet of HC

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What type of carpet? Ive used sts and glosso holds fine hc or Monte Carlo prolly wouldnt. Its cheap 5 bucks filled my 40b. Its a little lighter un weight then flourite.
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Many use what I believe is called Black Diamond Blasting media from Tractor Supply.
You can spread some Osmocote+ under it and/or get the capsules of it from a few people on here. Needs to be used only according to the directions so sparingly if just spread
under the sub before putting it in there.
Ill get the osmocote. And my concern with sand is i used to have play sand and it wouldnt allow anything thrpugh ot so everything would clump on the surface it was gross and id imagine terrible for plants to root. Im trying to find out if that black diamond sand will compact like that. As for the osmocote this might sound like a dumb question but if its all the way at the bottom how do plants utilize its nutrients through the sand...
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 09:30 PM
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It is in the form of slow release beads.
I would wait till others who have used the Blasting "sand" answer this thread.
They seem to have a preference for a certain size of grain for it. It comes in different
sizes of grains.
There is a tank "style" that is called a "Walstad" tank which is totally different from most tanks, but the main reason that I mention this is that the tank uses dirt as a sub,
but the top for the sub...they suggest you not use sand as it won't allow the water through it to contact with the dirt. The want circulation in the sub and suggest a fine gravel, yet not so fine as sand to be used for the cap.
The grain size that people prefer for that Blasting sand in more coarse than sand.
How much so is what I don't know. But not pieces as large as Fluorite I'm fairly sure.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
It is in the form of slow release beads.
I would wait till others who have used the Blasting "sand" answer this thread.
They seem to have a preference for a certain size of grain for it. It comes in different
sizes of grains.
There is a tank "style" that is called a "Walstad" tank which is totally different from most tanks, but the main reason that I mention this is that the tank uses dirt as a sub,
but the top for the sub...they suggest you not use sand as it won't allow the water through it to contact with the dirt. The want circulation in the sub and suggest a fine gravel, yet not so fine as sand to be used for the cap.
The grain size that people prefer for that Blasting sand in more coarse than sand.
How much so is what I don't know. But not pieces as large as Fluorite I'm fairly sure.
Well i just found out the place you buy the black diamond from is too far from me so id need to order online making it not worth the money. I currently have pool filter sand which gives a beach look and the grain size is bigger then sand water flows through it good juat not sure how HC would hang on in it. So now im wondering am i better off buying say black sand from a petco or keeping my pfs and adding osmocote to it since i want carpet i prob wont notice that its sand? Im planting to where theres no floor visible
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 09:47 PM
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I have no experience/w growing that at all so someone who does would give a better answer than my guessing at it.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 01:20 PM
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I haven't been able to find it on there website or catalog, but I've seen some bags of Black Diamond blasting sand the last time I was in my local Harbor Freight. Since you have several around Miami it might be worth a few phone calls.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 11:26 PM
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A sprinkling of gypsum and calcium-phosphate on the floor of the tank, spread an inch of laterite layer on top of it, and then cap that with pool sand - you will have a substrate which will support any plant you care to grow.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by essabee View Post
A sprinkling of gypsum and calcium-phosphate on the floor of the tank, spread an inch of laterite layer on top of it, and then cap that with pool sand - you will have a substrate which will support any plant you care to grow.

that actually sounds very intereting im kind of leaning towards this then the osmocote. what is the gypsum and calcium phosphate for? also arnt i missing other nutrients like say my macros since laterite is a prime source of iron but that about it? correct me if im wrong dont know much on this topic. i do plan on keeping my pool filter sand unfortunately its already been established and running for over a year in my aquarium so its going to be a huge pain in the @$$ to get a layer of something under
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 02:13 AM
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Laterite, especially nodular laterite, is rich in minerals especially iron but have very poor content of Ca, S, & P. Iron exist in both ferrous and ferric states but the ferric iron is unavailable to plants. Iron is the most difficult of all the fertilisers to deliver through the water column - we use costly chelated ferrous iron fertilisers but usually most of it is converted into ferric state before being utilised by the plants.

Iron is present in the unavailable ferric state in laterite and it only becomes available to plants after being reduced to ferrous state by the action of certain anaerobic bacteria. The ph in lateritic strata tends to stay low this reduces bacterial activity. The Ca added by gypsum and phosphate will help in maintaining a higher ph and also supply the S & P needed by the bacteria which reduces the ferric iron to the soluble ferrous state in which the plants need them.

The rest of the macro and micro nutrients are very easy to deliver to plants through the water column. So I prefer the substrate to be set up as I posted.

In my tanks; instead of using the granular laterite you all must be using; I use the fine dust that I sieve out from nodular laterite. Nodular laterite is quite easily available in my locality and it is there for the taking in shovelfuls. I mix this dust with gypsum and the phosphate and put a inch thick layer in the bottom of my tanks and cap it with sand.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 02:35 AM
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I am brand new to the whole "blasting sand' thing.....I have three tanks with blasting sand as substrate
1. shrimp tank 55 gallon. so far so good. shrimp and plants are thriving
2. 4o gallon, I have had some cllouding issues...but that seems to be from some driftwood that had algae on it prio
3. 55 dirt tank....still messing with the co2 with this tank but the blasting sand looks great

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29 shrimp tank, blue- not sure what kind
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40 breeder- planted
10- nursery
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5.5- cycling to be another shrimp tank...
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 02:44 AM
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If I had money, I'd try one tank with ADA Amazonia, and probably do the rest with Flourite Black Sand (not actually sand - just fine-grained baked clay, so it has the high CEC of Flourite). Since dirt becomes pretty barren over time, I probably wouldn't bother capping with anything. In any big, high-tech tanks that I was going to dose regularly, I'd go with blasting sand.

I've done Flourite, Flourite Black Sand, Flourite Black Sand capping dirt, and a small-grain gravel mix. Straight Flourite Black Sand has been my favorite. Never tried blasting sand, but I expect it would look similar to the Flourite Black Sand. Never tried ADA anything. I've been able to carpet in all of them, given high enough light, nutrients, and pressurized CO2. I expect that you could have similar results with anything but the largest-grain substrate.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 03:17 AM
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Sand is packaged in several forms.
'Play Sand' is a mix of fines and not very coarse particles. This blend of sizes means the pore spaces pretty much get clogged with the fines, so there is very poor water movement through this type of sand. Think of a box of ping-pong balls, with marbles, and dried peas, and flour. (I have no idea why this is 'play' sand- I sure would not want my kids to play in it- they would track it into the house all too easily. Coarser sand could be brushed off before they come in)

'Pool Filter Sand' is almost always sifted so all the particles are the same size, usually 20 or 30 mesh. These same size particles maintain good space between the particles. Think of a box of ping-pong balls, with just a little flour (from shipping and handling).

'Blasting sand' is also graded for size. For example, one size of the Black Diamond material available at the local Tractor Supply is 20-40 mesh. Think of ping-pong balls and large marbles.

Many other sizes of particles are available. Check with local masonry stores and similar- rock yards, soils, and so on. Lapis Lustre is one brand name that packages sand in different sizes.
The one thing they all have in common is this: The particles of sand are so coarse they do not hold onto fertilizers in a way plants can get them.
Finer materials like clay (a certain soil particle size) and humus (very finely decomposed organic matter) are so fine they can show a charge, like a polar material. Charged fertilizer molecules can cling to these polar materials until the plants remove them. Good sources of this size particles include the montmorillonite clays such as Safe-T-Sorb, Turface and similar things.
Garden soil (Walstad concept tanks) will have a blend of materials, and often include some clay sized particles. The soil particles (especially the finest ones) are clumped together in a way that makes them act like coarser materials, with the pore space between the particles that will allow good water movement. Think of a popcorn ball- small particles are held together into larger balls. Water flows between the larger balls, and between the popcorn pieces that make up the balls. Yet the finer material retains its polar properties and the right kind of garden soil can be a good material for an aquarium.

Some commercial substrates are also like this.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essabee View Post
Laterite, especially nodular laterite, is rich in minerals especially iron but have very poor content of Ca, S, & P. Iron exist in both ferrous and ferric states but the ferric iron is unavailable to plants. Iron is the most difficult of all the fertilisers to deliver through the water column - we use costly chelated ferrous iron fertilisers but usually most of it is converted into ferric state before being utilised by the plants.

Iron is present in the unavailable ferric state in laterite and it only becomes available to plants after being reduced to ferrous state by the action of certain anaerobic bacteria. The ph in lateritic strata tends to stay low this reduces bacterial activity. The Ca added by gypsum and phosphate will help in maintaining a higher ph and also supply the S & P needed by the bacteria which reduces the ferric iron to the soluble ferrous state in which the plants need them.

The rest of the macro and micro nutrients are very easy to deliver to plants through the water column. So I prefer the substrate to be set up as I posted.

In my tanks; instead of using the granular laterite you all must be using; I use the fine dust that I sieve out from nodular laterite. Nodular laterite is quite easily available in my locality and it is there for the taking in shovelfuls. I mix this dust with gypsum and the phosphate and put a inch thick layer in the bottom of my tanks and cap it with sand.

Well that was informative. I like the idea and laterite is pretty cost effective. My thing is the idea of getting this stuff under over 50lbs of pool filter sand in a tank thats already running... lol this is gonna suck. Do you think it would work to make this powdered mix and put it in empty pill capsules and start digging then in? I know id need A LOT of pills lol i just know this tank wont be dry for me to sprinkle powders in and im not removing all this sand
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