My try at Granite and Ironite - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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My try at Granite and Ironite

Hey guys, I haven't set up a new tank in a long time, so I figured why not.
I needed a grow out tank and have a 24" ray 2, so might as well do a 20 high. I wanted to try some things I've never tried before in terms of substrate, so I did.

Today I went to Home Depot, and spent $15 on two items, both of which I had no intention of buying when I went it.

Item Number One: Decomposed Granite. This will act as my substrate and my "cap".

Item Number Two: Ironite Mineral Supplement, 50# Bag. This will act as a source of iron.

I did very little research on these two items until after I bought them. Basically I made sure the Granite was aquarium safe that's it. After I got home, I did some research on the Ironite. Apparently Ironite is high in arsenic, however, there are many different forms of it, and I don't know if the couple of webpages I talked about were mine.

The Ironite is made up of:
1% Nitrogen
1% Soluble Potash
12% Calcium
10% Combined Sulfur
.02% Boron
4.5% Iron (2.25% Water Soluble Iron)
.10% Manganese
.0005% Molybdenum
.10% Zinc (.02% Water Soluble Zinc)


There are a lot of nutrients in this stuff, and a good source of Iron. So we'll see!

On to the Granite

So I spilled a 5 Gallon bucket about 3/4 full, which I don't usually do when I rinse a substrate, but I made a mistake, and just went with it. I rinsed this stuff for about 30 minutes. I literally took a chair out to my hose because my back was hurting. After filling and dumping the 5 Gallon bucket about 25 times, the water was pretty clear.

At this point, I began my substrate hill. I went back to front, starting with the Ironite and then capped with the Granite. The entire bag of Granite was a lot, and it looks a bit like Flourite Red, so I really like it. I am waiting for my girlfriend to get here to fill it because I promised she could help, but I will report my findings every couple of days on whether this combination works, and the pros and the cons.

3/26
Pros: Cheap $15 for possibly DIY planted substrate, Granite looks like Flourite, and clumps together well when wet.

Cons: Granite was a biz-flip to rinse, Ironite was kinda smelly and smeared a little, and might contain arsenic.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 12:58 AM
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If you are concerned about heavy metals leaching out of your substrates home depot has free water testing just send a sample to the lab and get the results back. This will tell you if you are getting any metal leaching.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by metageologist View Post
If you are concerned about heavy metals leaching out of your substrates home depot has free water testing just send a sample to the lab and get the results back. This will tell you if you are getting any metal leaching.

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That's a good idea, although mainly what I'm testing is will it work as a planted tank substrate instead of the expensive stuff.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 06:40 AM
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I used the decomposed granite on my tank, too. I love it, but, wish I had done my tank differently, not because of the granite, but, because I was a nube that made nube mistakes, that I am now figuring I should of done differently! lol! I built a mountain in the middle of my tank shored up with styrene pieces. It was a dirt bottom mixed with clay kitty litter and red fluorite and capped with the granite mixed with pool sand and more fluorite. Seemed like a good start, but now, a few months later, the bottom slumped and has completely leveled out to a average depth of 5". I'm getting ready to re-do it soon, by scraping down to a 1" layer of dirt and re-topping with fresh granite only. I really like the look of the granite and had no problems associated with using it. I didn't bother to rinse mine when I put it in. I just poured it in dry, then carefully flooded the tank. Didn't have any cloudiness other than a faint haze for a day. Looking forward to seeing your tank progress!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sparklescale View Post
I used the decomposed granite on my tank, too. I love it, but, wish I had done my tank differently, not because of the granite, but, because I was a nube that made nube mistakes, that I am now figuring I should of done differently! lol! I built a mountain in the middle of my tank shored up with styrene pieces. It was a dirt bottom mixed with clay kitty litter and red fluorite and capped with the granite mixed with pool sand and more fluorite. Seemed like a good start, but now, a few months later, the bottom slumped and has completely leveled out to a average depth of 5". I'm getting ready to re-do it soon, by scraping down to a 1" layer of dirt and re-topping with fresh granite only. I really like the look of the granite and had no problems associated with using it. I didn't bother to rinse mine when I put it in. I just poured it in dry, then carefully flooded the tank. Didn't have any cloudiness other than a faint haze for a day. Looking forward to seeing your tank progress!

Thanks for the interest.
I'm looking forward to how this tank turns out.
I've got it fully planted now, but I'm in class and can't post pictures yet. I'll take some when I get home.
I really like the lighter colored substrate as well, as I usually use black sand, so this is a nice midpoint.

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