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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading many threads i still find myself at a cross road.

just would like your opinions.

tank is 240gal. 96x24x24 so i will need allot. 3" bed? what do you guys think i should go with? going eco-c will break a man and take away from other investment items i need to get.

your thought and why?

Thanks in advance.

Joe
 

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So, rule out Eco-Complete and ADA AS. Flourite might be a viable option. If you're going for cheaper still, you can try Soilmaster Select - Charcoal for a darker color, or they have a red color. It's cheap. $20 for 50 pounds, cheaper sometimes if you look around.

Schultz Aquatic Soil is pretty cheap too. Sand is always a good option for large tanks. I like the look of sand very much, and it's always super cheap at HD, Lowes..etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, rule out Eco-Complete and ADA AS. Flourite might be a viable option. If you're going for cheaper still, you can try Soilmaster Select - Charcoal for a darker color, or they have a red color. It's cheap. $20 for 50 pounds, cheaper sometimes if you look around.

Schultz Aquatic Soil is pretty cheap too. Sand is always a good option for large tanks. I like the look of sand very much, and it's always super cheap at HD, Lowes..etc.

epic you rock always jumping up to help out.

when i did this as a planted tank in the past i had sand and Onyx mixed, i just didn't think sand would be best if i was going to be going all out planted this time around. i do like the sound of $20 for 50 pounds verses the later


Is there a calculator here so i can figure out what "pounds" i will need? should i go 3" , i do remember the one problem i had with the sand is that i was keeping Geophagus in the tank and they uprooted everything, but that was my bad. i just want to make sure i have something that will hold the plants down well this time around.

i want green and green and more green, a big grass bed. and fat planted corners and the back as well. being this is 8ft i should be able to have a very large grass bed.

i have sand in the tank right now and is a reddish brown sand. "Red flint" is what it is. i suppose i could always add another 100 pounds of that and maybe mix in something else?

thanks for your help!


joe

PS you coming over to help set it up? LOL :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Joe, congrat's on that monster tank.

it's like everyone's wet dream here.
think about all soilmaster, it's makes
the most sense if I had such a tank
.

thanks man! i have had this tank for quite a few years and have kept allot of different things in it. but have been stuck with what to do next with it. and anytime i see a Takashi Amano tank i just drool, now i know i probably cannot compare to one of his tanks but it would sure be nice to try! :hihi:

Where can i get soilmaster?
 

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Is there a calculator here so i can figure out what "pounds" i will need? should i go 3" , i do remember the one problem i had with the sand is that i was keeping Geophagus in the tank and they uprooted everything, but that was my bad. i just want to make sure i have something that will hold the plants down well this time around.

Here's a substrate calculator that might help out.

Aquarium Calculators
 

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Just make sure to add a layer of peat moss under that SMS. And if you want 240 ounces of laterite would not hurt either.

I would mix the SMS with some similarly size coarse sand for a bit more "holding" power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys for the links. are any of you suing soilmaster in your tanks?
the tank calculator scared me it said i needed 10 bags for 2" of soil LOL or for 3" 15 bags eeeep :icon_lol: what if i just add it to the red flint sand i already have in the tank?
 

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Just make sure to add a layer of peat moss under that SMS. And if you want 240 ounces of laterite would not hurt either.
I would mix the SMS with some similarly size coarse sand for a bit more "holding" power.

Rex, I understand the peat and laterite to make the SMS more biologically active, but why risk substrate compaction problems by adding sand just to gain a bit more root holding power? I thought SMS was heavy and porous enough to hold roots quite nicely.
 

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spypet: If the grains are the same size there will be no compaction problem. SMS is actually quite light in weight.

Boz: I will not and can not recommend "name brand" sand. A nationally known brand of sand in the same bag will have different contents in different parts of the US. You should get the SMS or a sample, and there are plenty of people here who can provide a sample, and then go look for the sand. Normally if you look for "pool filter sand" it will be close to the right size. And don't restrict yourself to looking at sand. A "fine" gravel may be closer to the correct size.

In the actual rock trade sand and gravel have specific meanings.

Sand is anything between 0.625 and 2 mm.

Gravel is 2 mm in it's largest dimension and up to 75 mm in most cases. Some places consider gravel to be between 2 and 4 mm (Wikipedia is a wonderful thing! )
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just make sure to add a layer of peat moss under that SMS. And if you want 240 ounces of laterite would not hurt either.

I would mix the SMS with some similarly size coarse sand for a bit more "holding" power.
So it would be Laterite then peat moss then soilmaster? or Peat being the very bottom? then laterite then soilmaster?

thanks guys for having patience with me

joe :biggrin:
 

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Doesn't make a difference which on the bottom. I normally add the VERY THIN layer of peat on the bottom. But since you are adding very small amounts of laterite it's not going to make a difference.
 

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How about doing a Walstad tank?
(1" potting soil on the bottom & oyster shell, 1" plain old gravel or sand on top)

it sounds really interesting... I'll definitely do it with my next tank. You won't have to do ferts ever if you have fish in there! And no additional CO2... Sounds like a great low maintanance steup but I'm sure there are draw backs. I've been talking to people that have it and they love it.
 
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