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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Introducing quick & dirty: Ion | Plant Gravels. I'll have more details on the way soon, but for now I describe the first release. Check it out...

Ion Brick | Plant Gravel



This is a nice baked clay, lighter-colored substrate that plants love. You might recognize it as similar to certain commercial products, but I offer it here shipped to your door at a pretty good price.

Here are a few quick specs...

  • Even grain and slightly varied orange brick color — more attractive than a similar commercial aquarium plant product :icon_wink
  • Triple-rinsed — low dust will cloud your water very little.
  • Moist-packed, not slimy wet — easier handling
  • 31 cups (approximately 7.3 liters) $23 shipped USPS Priority
This generous box of gravel is plenty for a layer 1.5" thick in a tank 12" X 24", leaving a bit left over too. I'll have a few more details soon and more colors on the way pretty soon.
 

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This is the typical high CEC type substrate? Not nutrient rich but similar features/performance to the better known baked clay type of plant substrates?

Looking forward to seeing what other colors become available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is the typical high CEC type substrate? Not nutrient rich but similar features/performance to the better known baked clay type of plant substrates?

Looking forward to seeing what other colors become available.
Yep it is a pretty familiar product, but I hope that I am offering it in a convenient and easy-to-use way.

It's a standard baked clay material with high CEC that creates a very good rooting environment for plants. This one is fired at a higher temperature than some similar products and thus it will not tend to soften and clump over time. I have some of it that is more than two years old and it has maintained its shape and hardness very well.

I hope to have two more colors pretty soon.
 

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Depending on how this goes, I think I found a substrate for my next tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey I will get back in here to respond some more after Sunday brunch.

Yes it will lower pH and hardness, but only temporarily. If you keep it in a tank with tapwater and some ferts dosed it will reach an equilibrium after a week or so. It would be best to not have livestock in there during that one-week period because those parameters will shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How sharp is the substrate? Would be it be useable as a cap or would you need to cap it?

In the photo it doesn't look too sharp but maybe a bit rougher than regular aquarium gravel.
It's not really sharp at all. It is sort of angular, but the grains are only about as hard as baked terra cotta. It should be fine with most any livestock.

It's like flourite with grain sizes that are more uniform like flourite black.

Same thing, same results, LESS $$$!

You don't need to cap it, it can be used as a cap.
Yep I think it is better-looking than other similar commercial plant substrates, and I am not packing it in a slimy wet bag either.

This I am very interested to see! Have been looking at the Flourite Dark, but not impressed with the large/irregular grain sizes.
This stuff has a pretty even grain size that looks nice. I will work on getting that dark brown color.

I think I would want the dark grey one
See next post...

Depending on how this goes, I think I found a substrate for my next tank.
Just let me know. Hey I haven't forgotten about your pending box. I just haven't quite gotten bags the right size yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Introducing.....

Ion Slate | Plant Gravel



This is the Ion | Plant Gravel in an attractive dark slate gray color, also $23 for 31 cups shipped. I have only a limited supply of this one and it will run out pretty quick. I hope to get more in soon.

Note that Ion | Plant Gravel substrates have the important cation exchange capacity, (CEC) meaning that they grab nutrient ions from the water column, then make them available to plant roots. This is why this sort of material is so great for growing plants. However, it is important to remember this chemical quality when first adding to the tank. New Ion | Plant Gravel is ion "hungry", so as it sequesters ions from the water it will lower hardness until it reaches a state of equilibrium. If your water is hard or has lots of nutrients this will happen more quickly, and it will be a slower process if you are using very soft water. Since you can expect to observe this water chemistry shift it would be a good idea to avoid putting livestock in the tank with the new gravel for about one week or so. Most hardy plants should be ore or less OK with these shifts so long as they are short-term. You can speed up the ion loading process and restore hardness if you dose some ferts and if you change your water a few times during this initial period.

I might offer a "loaded" version of Ion | Plant Gravel later on, but it will require more processing and cost a bit more.
 
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