Oil Dri as a substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Oil Dri as a substrate

Hello,
Recently I tried to use osmocote on an existing 55 gallon tank that has been set up for some time. The substrate was# 10 sand. I over dosed the tank & did not get the osmocote deep in the substrate. Shortly there the tank got cloudy, real cloudy. So in a period of two weeks I kept doing 50% water changes. While doing the WC I notice the osmocote balls on top of the substrate (time after time). I suspect that there was urea released into the tank making it very cloudy. I thought I might be able to wait it out but the prospect of it getting better did not seem likely. So I started looking at various substrates. Being the cheap skate that I am I opted to try Oil Dri available at Wal-Mart in the auto section? I purchased 3 bags for a whooping 12 bucks total. After emptying the tank and moving plants & fish to a storage container. I put down a layer of peat and then place 3-4 osmocote balls every 3" on center. Then without rinsing the Oil-Dri I just put it in and filled the tank with about 4" of the material initially it was cloudy but since has settled down. I am posting this link so others might benefit from what I have done. There is very little about Oil Dri on any of the forums. All sites agreed that Oil Dri has a high CEC. This is why I added the osomocote. In reading others tales it seems like it will take about three weeks to balance out. Here is a link to the photos I took. I hope to take some water parameter readings in the next few days. I am doseing ferts using EI.

Here is the link http://tinyurl.com/2elc5zz

Hope this works
All comments are welcome
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 07:03 PM
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I've never heard of Oil Dri, but judging by the name and your description, it sounds like it's similar to simple clay kitty litter. It seems like it would have similar benefits and downsides when used as a substrate.

I'm interested to know how things turn out.

Joy to the fishes!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 10:37 PM
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Been there, done that.
I think your selection is good, but I would have used more Osmocote. I'd use about four times as much. Your mileage may vary. Or mine. ;-)
Oil Dry may contain some dust holding chemicals that may make your pH bounce for a couple of weeks. After that all should be good.

As for the kitty litter, some is kiln fired. OilDry brand clay is kiln fired at a higher temperature and Turface, SMS, etc. are kiln fired at a still higher temperature.
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 10:43 PM
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I had horrible luck with oil dri. I couldn't get it to clear up after 5 months of 50 percent weekly water changes.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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I beleive Heat Treated Montmorillonite Clay is what gives it a high CEC


Jadelen - what negatives are you referring too ?
Also the only reason I am doing this thread is so that others will know how it turns out. I was not able to do so - hence this thread. I'd like to provide info as others have provided for me :-)

[email protected] - I probably will have to add more osomcote but I am doing it slowly. I took Diana Walstad's recommendation for amount & spacing.


Overstocked - Not sure what you circulation may have been. I am running an eheim cannister filter 2217 and was able to get a clear tank ( not 100% yet) in 3 days with two- three water changes. I also filled the tank very slowly after each WC. I recall reading somewhere about a type of media you can put in the top of a cannister filter & it will "polish" the water. Can anyone provide the name or even better a link to this material?

HTH

Last edited by Aquaticz; 08-13-2010 at 03:37 PM. Reason: typo
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticz View Post
I beleive Heat Treated Montmorillonite Clay is what gives it a high CEC

Jadelen - what negatives are you referring too ?
I don't have any personal experience, but I've heard that sometimes kitty litter will dissolve into a mush after a while, and/or they could never get their water clear. Apparently the properties of kitty litter are very changeable, even from bag to bag of the same brand. You'd have to do a search for kitty litter as a substrate to find more, since I don't know that much.
Although if your Oil Dri has been fired at a higher temperature, it sounds like it would be a better substrate than kitty litter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticz View Post
I recall reading somewhere about a type of media you can put in the top of a cannister filter & it will "polish" the water. Can anyone provide the name or even better a link to this material?
Are you talking about Seachem Purigen?

Joy to the fishes!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 04:37 PM
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^^or maybe even more polyfiber fill material


**UPDATE?**

it is IMPOSSIBLE to find 1 person who regrets going pressurized

if you do it right, you can spend a lot of money in this hobby...of course, if you do it wrong - you'll spend A LOT more
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 10:11 PM
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i use it in my cray tanks. its lighter than most aquatic spefic substrates but works fine. its completely inert but you can precharge it somewhat by soaking it in buckets with ferts before adding it to tank. the quality and even color can vary bag to bag, but it seems to hold up ok to minor planting and even my crays digging around in it. not my fisrt choice for planted tanks, but its cheap and when it comes time to change a tank, you can just throw it out without a second thought. dont care for the lighter color myself though. stay away from kitty litter, as others have mentioned, its composition can vary by region and bag to bag. oil dry is cheaper than litter anyway. never had cloudy water issues, i simply fill the tank and run the filters for a week or so and it clears up on its own. you do need to give it a few weeks though before adding livestock as the ph/hardness will yo-yo (mostly down).
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2011, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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these pics were taken in April.

photos.rbkkinspects.com


If I get some good ones tonight I'll post them as well. AS you can see it will even grow glosso & DHG. The price could only be better if it were free ( 7 bucks for #50)

Regards,
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhavoc View Post
its completely inert but you can precharge it somewhat by soaking it in buckets with ferts before adding it to tank
I know this is a some what older thread but had my curiosity sparked when researching things.

It's mentioned that you can "precharge" it by soaking it in ferts? If someone could elaborate more on this, that would be great!

Thx
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 01:12 PM
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No other info on the Oil Dry?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 02:12 AM
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i have not messed with the stuff but when I went looking for aquarium soil locally i couldn't find any. I did however find shultz brand aquasoil for ponds in the lowes for very cheap. it took nearly a week with no water changes for the cloudy residue cleared but i have not regretted the decision. i bought the stuff again when i got my 55 gal. i rinsed the stuff thoroughly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and did not have to wait more than 24 hours to have crystal clear water. it was a good decision for me and I would make it again. my new project however will be a 20 gal long. the substrate black blasting sand (coal slag)
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