soilmaster select questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Smile soilmaster select questions

hi, im new here. figured this would be the right place to ask these questions. i also have a very lightly planted tank right now which im going to convert to medium planted soon. hopefully it will become heavily planted over time.

my questions are about soilmaster select
i have a slightly acidic pH to begin with, between 6.5-7.0 depending on how aged the water is.
im looking for a dark substrate for my oscar's tank. i dont want anything that will really lower the pH because i already have semi-soft/acidic water in the first place and i have a couple of pieces of driftwood in there.
i like the look of the charcoal colored soilmaster select, and i also like that its a lot cheaper than similar looking substrates(ecocomplete)
i figured id get a 50lb bag and use it in my 55 gallon oscar tank and my soon to be more planted 20 gallon.

can someone give me some info as to how much it will lower my pH, or some alternatives to this substrate?

thanks in advance!
easydoesit is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
also, i have light sand that i like the look of, but am getting rid of in my smaller tank because of the scaping. i have a corner with 3" of sand that forms a nasty anaerobic pocket in it quickly. it's hard to stir it because i dont want to mess up my scaping.
i plan on having some higher-substrate areas in my oscar's tank as well. just thought it add that. dont want something really compact
easydoesit is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 08:49 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: California
Posts: 233
SMS is inert it shouldnt affect your pH level. Turface pro league has a comperable grey color and is pretty much the same stuff as SMS. SMS should also be less likely to form the anaerobic pockets.

Also

Welcome to the planted tank
Spiritwind is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 09:06 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
fishscale's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,895
You will almost certainly mess up your scape. SMS gets kicked up by snails moving too fast.

Eheim Pimp #254, Eheim Wolverine #1


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Work in progress
10 Gallon Shrimp Tank
10 Gallon Planted QT
20 Gallon Shrimp Tank (Work in progress)


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
fishscale is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 01:50 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Bugman's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hillsboro, Ga.
Posts: 792
SMS has been reported to affect you KH and in turn you PH but by my experience it is just for the first month or so. I'm no scientist so I can't give you an explaination as to why. I now have both of my 55's with SMS. My tap PH is 7.0 and the KH is around 2. When I installed both tanks the KH immediately dropped to 1 or lower and the PH dropped in the 6.5 to 6.6 range. I added a filter bag of crushed coral to my canister and was able to stabalize the KH drop and PH swings over the first month. After the first month I had no more issues. The first tank was a tear down (non planted) and rebuild. The only additions from non planted to planted were the SMS and plants. Along with the other post I have read this certainly led me to believe it was the SMS that created the issue.

Larry Bugg
Atlanta Area Aquarium Association
North American Discus Association - Vice President
Bugman is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
thanks for the info. Im going to get some crushed coral and let the tank run for a couple of weeks before putting my fish in.
and the scape will be different now that im going to use the SMS.
Ill test my pH and KH until it stabilizes. thanks again guys!
i heard that baking soda will up the KH or GH?
easydoesit is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:15 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
jaidexl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (42/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 33919
Posts: 3,500
You might want to rethink the crushed coral, it may cause pH to increase as it slowly dissolves in your slightly acidic tank. If your SMS absorbs some bicarbs and lowers the KH, you can bump it up with baking soda at water change time, until the SMS calms down. Much more controlled on your part, and safer if you do it right. Crushed coral can become a run away train and take pH w/ it, definitely not the best choice if your goal is stability.

Baking soda doesn't effect GH, general hardness is a measurement of Ca and Mg, and doesn't need to be higher than say 6dGH in a planted tank unless you have hard water cichlids, in which case yours is from SA softwater and probably doesn't care about GH. I think fishbase says 5 to 19 dH which is fairly broad for a pretty adaptive fish.
jaidexl is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:26 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
jaidexl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (42/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 33919
Posts: 3,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by easydoesit View Post
i have a slightly acidic pH to begin with, between 6.5-7.0 depending on how aged the water is.
If it's 7.0 out of the tap, then 6.5 is your actual source water pH, or at least where it's at once it's in your tank and exposed to it's acids (not sure if you're giving us 6.5ph 'aged tap' or 'in tank'). Either way, the 7.0 straight from the tap would be a temporary increase from the treatment plant additives (unless it's a well) which usually precipitate within a day or two.

Try not to concentrate on pH, rather the KH after you have the SMS in the tank, because it's own pH may have an effect on the tank's pH that isn't necessarily related to it stripping carbonates out of the water. Your goal is stability, so it's the KH your concerned with over pH. You also have the wood tannins which are effecting pH, the plants and oscar will have no issues there, nor will they care about the KH. Yes, no buffering capacity can leave a larger window for pH changes, but you have to take into consideration what is causing the fluctuation and decide if it's detrimental to your fish, for example, is it only an increase in O2 or CO2? Is it only a temporary increase from non-aged tap water on water change day, caused by treatment plant additives that the fish have no issues with either? All situations that are generally not dangerous to fish unless the cause is a CO2 injection overdose.

If it's any consolation, there are plenty of folks here running pressurized CO2 with no KH and see no bad fluctuations in their pH. If wood is your only main source of acids then you only need to worry about a pH shift if you fail to do regular water changes. Otherwise, the changes will replenish carbonates while removing acids, keeping things stable, though you may have add a bit of baking soda for a short while after adding the SMS to keep KH where it usually is, considering a few folks have reported a drop on KH from SMS. I wouldn't doubt it's happening due to SMS's high CEC, bt I personally had no problem w/ my SMS.
jaidexl is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 03:45 AM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
If you want something dark that won't affect the water parameters at all, I'd personally suggest you check out black Colorquartz. You can locate a local pool supply company that carries it by going to www.3M.com It's very similar to Tahitian Moon Sand. No nutrient content, however. The biggest plus is it's about $25 for a 50lb bag.

Eco Complete and Onyx Sand both do contain plant nutrients, but both will raise and buffer pH and hardness. Fluorite is one of the few nutrient-containing substrates that has no effect on water parameters. As you already seem to know, these plant substrates are all more expensive than Colorquartz or SMS/Turface.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 03:29 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
macclellan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (208/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 5,071
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishscale View Post
SMS gets kicked up by snails moving too fast.
LOL - This is sooo true. SMS is a PITA to work with. Because I'm a masochist, I have an SMS tank with dwarf hairgrass, glosso, blyxa, and limno. aromatica. Anyone ever tried planting a foreground or 'floaty' stems like blyxa and aromatica? OMG...took forever. Luckily, the shrimp don't move anything around too much in their wakes.

Ditto on the colorquarts recommendation. There is an endless thread about it over at cichlid-forum.com - it is highly regarded by cichlid-heads. Be sure to get the large grade stuff, as Oscars kick up substrate like nobody's business.
macclellan is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome