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I’ve been in the hobby for 5 years now. And since I’ve upgraded to my 75 I just have not been satisfied. I used to have a 60 gallon with Caribsea Sunset Gold Sand which I absolutely loved. But when I upgraded I wanted to try a darker substrate, something that would benefit my plants. So I wasted over $100 on Flourite Black Sand. This was my first biggest regret. This stuff was a nightmare from day one as far as how messy it was... and no, I didn’t rinse it. Probably wouldn’t have helped anyways. I didn’t like how it wasn’t jet black, it was more a dreary grey color. And it was so dusty that the stuff would always stick to my plants.

After about 6 months I finally gave up on it and decided to switch to EcoComplete. At first, I liked it but, it was a pain in the ass to plant in, and didn’t look as natural. Eventually I started to get algae issues up that wahzoo! I’ve tried everything from algaefix to algae eaters to lowing the lights to excel. Never had issue like this before ecocomplete. Plus plant growth in this stuff sucks compared to the sands I’ve had before. I want CO2 eventually, I just can’t afford it right now.

Overall I’m just unsatisfied with the way my tank looks. When I had my 60 gallon with the sunset gold I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it, but now with the 75 I just don’t even care to look at it.

In a nutshell, I want to either go back to the sunset gold, and try a jet black sandy substrate. And I do not want black diamond blasting sand. For one, I can’t find it by me, and two, I don’t like the specks of gold that I’ve seen. I was gonna try caribsea tahitian moon sand but I guess it was recalled and is no longer sold, so that’s out. The only thing I’ve seen on the internet that I like is Estes Stoney River Black Sand, but I can’t find anyone that sells it.

Should I just go back to the Sunset Gold Sand?

My old 60 Gallon.


My current 75 Gallon



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Hi @ricktfoster,

How long have you been dealing with the apparent magnesium deficiency?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I dose easy green once a week and change 50% water once a week. I’ve tried equilibrium in the past but it didn’t do anything. I understand I need CO2, but right now that’s not an option. I’ve tried to keep up with Excel but that’s not always readily available to me. I’ve always had lush plants in the past with minor issues. It wasn’t until I added ecocomplete that I started have major issues with plants and excess algae.

I was told before that I may have a phosphate Deficiency.

Regardless of what this issue is, I just want to change the substrate. But can’t decide between black sand and sunset gold.








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Hi @ricktfoster,

I don't want you to change anything. Keep your lights and photoperiod the same, your nutrient dosing the same, and do your weekly water changes.

I would like you to go to the drug store and pick up some Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate / MgS"O4*7H2O). Get the cheapest stuff on the shelf with no additives, scents, or perfumes. It should cost no more than $1 for a pound.

Do an Initial Dose of 1/2 teaspoon per 10 gallons

Thereafter, when you do your weekly water change add 1/2 teaspoon per 10 gallons of new water added.

Do this for two weeks. Now the hard part...waiting. Watch the new leaves as they emerge from the stems / crowns of the plants over the next two weeks. Do not watch the existing leaves, the damage has been done they will not improve and may continue to decline and die. If it is a magnesium issue what you should see is healthier looking leaves, greener, possibly larger, and you may see the growth rate of the plants increase. As these new leaves mature they should not develop the curled under leaf margins that we see in your pictures.

This is just a start, the amount of magnesium sulfate will likely need to be adjusted and the plants improve in health and require more nutrients. If the added magnesium works, then next step is to check the nitrate level in your tank and verify sufficient Easy Green is being dosed to achieve a +/- 20ppm of NO3 level.
 

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What are the water parameters? What's the GH/KH; Ca, Mg? NPK? Symptoms strongly suggest -B and -Zn but it could be induced.

What's in the fertilizer?

BTW, CO2 is a myth for a lush tank. No amount of CO2 will fix nutrient disorders.
 

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I’ve been in the hobby for 5 years now. And since I’ve upgraded to my 75 I just have not been satisfied. I used to have a 60 gallon with Caribsea Sunset Gold Sand which I absolutely loved. But when I upgraded I wanted to try a darker substrate, something that would benefit my plants. So I wasted over $100 on Flourite Black Sand. This was my first biggest regret. This stuff was a nightmare from day one as far as how messy it was... and no, I didn’t rinse it. Probably wouldn’t have helped anyways. I didn’t like how it wasn’t jet black, it was more a dreary grey color. And it was so dusty that the stuff would always stick to my plants.

After about 6 months I finally gave up on it and decided to switch to EcoComplete. At first, I liked it but, it was a pain in the ass to plant in, and didn’t look as natural. Eventually I started to get algae issues up that wahzoo! I’ve tried everything from algaefix to algae eaters to lowing the lights to excel. Never had issue like this before ecocomplete. Plus plant growth in this stuff sucks compared to the sands I’ve had before. I want CO2 eventually, I just can’t afford it right now.

Overall I’m just unsatisfied with the way my tank looks. When I had my 60 gallon with the sunset gold I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it, but now with the 75 I just don’t even care to look at it.

In a nutshell, I want to either go back to the sunset gold, and try a jet black sandy substrate. And I do not want black diamond blasting sand. For one, I can’t find it by me, and two, I don’t like the specks of gold that I’ve seen. I was gonna try caribsea tahitian moon sand but I guess it was recalled and is no longer sold, so that’s out. The only thing I’ve seen on the internet that I like is Estes Stoney River Black Sand, but I can’t find anyone that sells it.

Should I just go back to the Sunset Gold Sand?
I think you should just go back to the Sunset Gold. Then when you have the same issues that are going on now you might take some of the expert advice that's being given for you.
 

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C02 is NOT a myth for a lush tank. No one is saying it works in a vacuum. Of course you need to fertilize properly.
Optimal nutrients > high CO2. This is my conclusion after years of doing nutrient experiments. It's why virtually everyone who runs high CO2 tanks have plants with nutrient disorders bc the nutrients and fertilization methods are not optimal. Fix the nutrient profile and your plants won't require much CO2. That's why there are so many threads about how to fertilize, what to fertilize, how much fertilizer and ratios, etc. Thus, "fertilize properly" is so general as to be completely meaningless since no one knows how. But dumping CO2 is easily quantifiable, but it's still a myth, the biggest myth in this hobby.
 

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Optimal nutrients > high CO2. This is my conclusion after years of doing nutrient experiments. It's why virtually everyone who runs high CO2 tanks have plants with nutrient disorders bc the nutrients and fertilization methods are not optimal. Fix the nutrient profile and your plants won't require much CO2. That's why there are so many threads about how to fertilize, what to fertilize, how much fertilizer and ratios, etc. Thus, "fertilize properly" is so general as to be completely meaningless since no one knows how. But dumping CO2 is easily quantifiable, but it's still a myth, the biggest myth in this hobby.
Can I see some of your setups and the results? I can't write a book in a thread. "Fertilize Properly" obviously means for a particular setup and what it requires. No your conclusion that virtually all high co2 tanks have nutrient disorders is total bunk. All submersed plants are co2 deprived, they look and grow their healthiest when co2 is added to any setup.
 

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Can I see some of your setups and the results? I can't write a book in a thread. "Fertilize Properly" obviously means for a particular setup and what it requires. No your conclusion that virtually all high co2 tanks have nutrient disorders is total bunk. All submersed plants are co2 deprived, they look and grow their healthiest when co2 is added to any setup.
I've done the experiments to be able to identify nutrient disorders and I can quickly identify many of them by sight. That's why you believe what you do bc you can't identify them even if it's right in front of your eyes; most ppl can't until the disorders are very severe. Unless you've done these experiments and controlled for CO2 and nutrients, you'll believe what you read bc it's the internet. Just bc a lot of ppl believe this myth doesn't make that myth a reality. Lack of CO2 as the reason for plant problems is the biggest myth in this hobby. And no, you can't write a book about your beliefs unless it's fiction.

" All submersed plants are co2 deprived, they look and grow their healthiest when co2 is added to any setup."
You can't even back this statement up with evidence bc it's just an opinion.
 

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I've done the experiments to be able to identify nutrient disorders and I can quickly identify many of them by sight. That's why you believe what you do bc you can't identify them even if it's right in front of your eyes; most ppl can't until the disorders are very severe. Unless you've done these experiments and controlled for CO2 and nutrients, you'll believe what you read bc it's the internet. Just bc a lot of ppl believe this myth doesn't make that myth a reality. Lack of CO2 as the reason for plant problems is the biggest myth in this hobby. And no, you can't write a book about your beliefs unless it's fiction.

" All submersed plants are co2 deprived, they look and grow their healthiest when co2 is added to any setup."
You can't even back this statement up with evidence bc it's just an opinion.
Translation - You have nothing to show and no verifiable results. :surprise:

You and Edward should get together at least then you'll be putting together two variables instead of your irrelevant laboratory type experiments that aren't even applicable to the hobby. Anecdotal evidence of 1,000 of hobbyist and professionals is far more valuable in this case.
 

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Hi @ricktfoster,

How is it going with the new dosing? What are the new leaves looking like?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi @ricktfoster,



How is it going with the new dosing? What are the new leaves looking like?


Wow... this became a friendly thread, lol. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and has their own experiences I guess! Kubla, I am taking the expert advice regardless, but thanks! . As for what my perimeters are, I will have to get back to you on that. But they’ve always been pretty steady at:

Nitrate N03: 5.0ppm
Nitrite N02: 0ppm
Hardness GH: 150
Alkalinity KH: 180
pH: 8.2ppm
Ammonia .0

Seattle, I have yet to start the dosing of the epson salt, but plan to start this Sunday when I do my weekly water change.


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Discussion Starter #16
Sol you should consider starting your own thread detailing the methods you recommend. And provide pics of tanks that are using this method. I'm sure it would be interesting and might create some good dialogue.

Otherwise it's just round 2 of Sol vs Tom Barr (and Vin Kutty, and Dennis Wong, and Burr740, etc), and the first round didn't end well when you got banned from the board. Folks who start a friendly thread should not get caught in the crossfire of your ranting against EI dosing.

Dropping bombs into other folks thread is exactly the way you got banned last time. If you really have something to say, then you should start your own thread and just say it.

And to the OP, sorry for the intrusion.

In my opinion, CO2 would be a game changer for you. There is no substitute, and you once you get it you will be glad you did. It will make every other single thing easier.

And I have BDBS, and I am not sure what you mean by gold in it? It looks pretty darn jet black in most every tank I see it in.

And while easy green might be easy......you really should consider dry ferts. Lots of advantages. What I see see a tank that is close, and just needs a little more attention to detail.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing where this goes for you.


Thanks. Yeah I would love to get CO2, it’s just unfortunately out of my budget right now. But I definitely believe it would be a game changer. I almost obtained a whole kit last year from a co worker for $100 bucks but his whole setup was left behind when he moved and he wasn’t able to get it back.

As far as the dry ferts I still gotta do some research on that and how it works but I understand it’s much better for your plants and lasts much much longer than liquid ferts.

And the BDBS, I can’t find it ANYWHERE in my location. So I’ve never actually seen it in person. I’ve just seen a lot of pics and comments with the gold specs in it. Really it’s not I big deal I know, I’m just picky like that. It’s one of those things that would bother me.

Thanks for the input though!


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Sol you should consider starting your own thread detailing the methods you recommend. And provide pics of tanks that are using this method. I'm sure it would be interesting and might create some good dialogue.

Otherwise it's just round 2 of Sol vs Tom Barr (and Vin Kutty, and Dennis Wong, and Burr740, etc), and the first round didn't end well when you got banned from the board. Folks who start a friendly thread should not get caught in the crossfire of your ranting against EI dosing.

Dropping bombs into other folks threads is exactly the way you got banned last time. If you really have something to say, then you should start your own thread and just say it.

And to the OP, sorry for the intrusion.

In my opinion, CO2 would be a game changer for you. There is no substitute, and you once you get it you will be glad you did. It will make every other single thing easier.

And I have BDBS, and I am not sure what you mean by gold in it? It looks pretty darn jet black in most every tank I see it in.

And while easy green might be easy......you really should consider dry ferts. Lots of advantages. What I see see a tank that is close, and just needs a little more attention to detail.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing where this goes for you.
I didn't get banned for the reason you stated; you make ludicrous assumptions based on your ignorance. I was banned bc the moderator had an axe to grind which ppl here know about. I was banned bc ppl like you attacked me for holding different opinions from the mainstream but instead of banning you ppl for attacking me, that mod banned me instead and lied about me when I contacted an admin about his behavior. I never attacked anyone. That's why ppl here and on other EI friendly forums never openly criticize EI bc they know what will happen bc they saw what happened to me. Ppl still message me asking me about their plant problems bc they said don't want to use the word "toxicity" on these forums even though that's what they suspect is wrong with their plants. And the advice given on these forums is archaic, not based on any verifiable facts. They try the advice but they still have problems. Ppl here just repeat the same old wrong advice ad nauseum and any possibility of advancement in knowledge is never allowed bc it's inherently stuck in the past. Just look at your attitude and of that other person's. That's why I stopped posting here.
 

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I have cleaned up this thread once; if I am required to clean it up again, I personally will be handing out infractions (not warnings) and bans.

Please keep the thread on topic, and the discourse polite and civil.
 
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