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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard Soilmaster Select is very light. Can anyone tell me if a 50lb bag will give me enough coverage for my 48 x 18 75 gal tank?

BTW, Next week I'm going to post the name of a Lesco dealer I spoke with who agreed to ship Soilmaster Select for a very reasonable cost to anyone who can't get it nearby (without having to order more than 1 bag).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Cott,

Why would you want to? I just used it in a 75 gallon tank setup. It's light, but heavy enough to hold down plants and not cloud up the tank every time you plant.

Regarding clouding, without doing any pre- rinsing, my tank cleared up overnight. I just poured water in the tank over a plate to minimize agitation and then ran my canister filter and my Magnum 350 with a micron filter overnight and the water was crystal clear in the morning. I'm sure I didn't even need to run the 350 micron filter.
 

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Is it OK to cover it with gravel? The lightness of it is a concern.
Should cover fine. The smaller particles will end on the bottom, so be sure the gravel is larger diameter.
 

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Lightness as in color? or density/buoyancy?

Just make sure to rinse it really well before adding it to your tank. It takes some time to do, but is worth it.
 

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light as in density. 50# is a lot of volume, and was more than enough for my 75g (I didn't even use about 1/5 of the bag).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would not spend a minute rinsing. On the advice of others on this forum I didn't rinse and I couldn't be happier with the results. I used to use Flourite and was a religious rinser. A dozen rinses perhaps per bag of Flourite. With Soilmaster Select, I assure you that if you just place the SMS in your tank and put a plate over it when you add water, you do not need to rinse. Any cloudiness in the water column was removed by my filter, settling and a Magnum 350 with a micron filter cartridge overnight. So much easier and less time consuming (and less water wasting) than rinsing. My water was crystal clear after less than 8 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Same I would add with Seachem Flourite or other inert substrate. I add EI ferts to the water column + CO2 and add plant tabs every few inches to the substrate. Even with good C02 and fertilizers added to the water column, some plants will really benefit from substrate fertilizer. In particular,I found red temple plants, Amazon swords, crypts and other plants with deep roots really took off with fertilizer tabs added to the substrate.
 

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My experience is the same as fishstein regarding rinsing. It is a waste of time and water. SMS is really light as first, but it does seem to get heavier after a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
IMHO rinsing is a total waste of time. I have now done two tank setups with Soilmaster Select - it was a pleasure not having to rinse - all you need to do is put it in your tank and ADD WATER CAREFULLY WITHOUT STIRRING UP THE SUBSTRATE.

How? Place a plate on the substrate and pour water gently onto the plate. Then use a micron filter (like Magnum 350 with a micron cartridge) to accelerate clearing the water column or just let your regular canister filter do the work. You can add some micron filter pads to your canister filter, just be sure to take out the bad after a day or so when you are done so as not to stop up your filter.

Both tanks cleared for me overnight. Water was crystal clear in AM.
 

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IMHO rinsing is a total waste of time. I have now done two tank setups with Soilmaster Select - it was a pleasure not having to rinse - all you need to do is put it in your tank and ADD WATER CAREFULLY WITHOUT STIRRING UP THE SUBSTRATE.

How? Place a plate on the substrate and pour water gently onto the plate. Then use a micron filter (like Magnum 350 with a micron cartridge) to accelerate clearing the water column or just let your regular canister filter do the work. You can add some micron filter pads to your canister filter, just be sure to take out the bad after a day or so when you are done so as not to stop up your filter.

Both tanks cleared for me overnight. Water was crystal clear in AM.
But, doesn't it get cloudy again whenever you plant or stirup the substrate?
 

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Aside from debates on whether or not to rinse it for dust, this stuff has super high CEC and each pellet seems to hold enough air for me to live off of for a day (lol). It does get alittle heavier after absorbing water, so I rinse for that purpose. I soaked mine for an hour or so and the tank still rained air bubbles for two days. You can put your ear to the glass and hear it hisssss.
 

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I'm not sure I understand your Q, problem with high CEC? Nothing, that's why I use it. Was just stating it doesn't hurt to let it soak up some water since it seems to take a week to fill up. I guess I personally didn't like the constant bubbling, plus I set mine on a higher level next to sand, and every sweep of the hand would send some flying. Seems more seated now, from roots and probably water/mulm.
 

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Aside from debates on whether or not to rinse it for dust, this stuff has super high CEC and each pellet seems to hold enough air for me to live off of for a day (lol). It does get alittle heavier after absorbing water, so I rinse for that purpose. I soaked mine for an hour or so and the tank still rained air bubbles for two days. You can put your ear to the glass and hear it hisssss.
I agree. Rinsing it seems to have also paid off. Once I filled my tank the water did not cloud at all, I simply filled it slowly using my python.
 
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