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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for substrate that has the following properties.

1. Light-color such as "tan". I don't want black (already have balck substrate in a 40g tank) or pure white.
2. Round shape. I don't want to deal with relatively sharp substrate like the Seachem onyx.
3. Grain size between 1-3mm so that I don't have to worry about floating sand debris' destroying my filters and scratching my tank.

Can you point me to the right direction?
 

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Yep it's made for baseball fields but it's also heavily used in the planted tank hobby just like kitty Litter (another choice that's also manufactured by Oil-Dri). Turface has a higher CEC rating than the commercial equivalents like Flourite, Eco-Complete or ether ADA soils and costs half the price.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I've got to do research on whether Turface (1) changes water parameters and (2) eventually becomes too soft in the water. I really like the look of tan and gray Turface.

If Turface doesn't meet my requirement, I'll probably for with ADA stuff.
 

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According to Brad, yes, according to me, no. :D

Depends on what you mean by "inert."

It may affect your water parameters, and it also has a high CEC so can pull nutrients from the water column and hold them for plant roots.
What water parameters do you think it changes? And what kind of tests have you done? (just curious not combative ;) )

I'm currently using it in 30 tanks with another 10 tanks of other things (MTS, topsoil+fe+Mg+K, etc) and I haven't seen any strange spikes or dips and I keep a fairly good eye on those things.

- Brad
 

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What water parameters do you think it changes? And what kind of tests have you done? (just curious not combative ;) )

I'm currently using it in 30 tanks with another 10 tanks of other things (MTS, topsoil+fe+Mg+K, etc) and I haven't seen any strange spikes or dips and I keep a fairly good eye on those things.

- Brad
Plenty of reports of it stripping kH from people's water if you research it on here. Doesn't happen to everyone, so must depend on the source water.

And I believe that the effect was only temporary, as well.
 

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I ♥ BBA!
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Turface is said to be virtually the same as Shultz Aqua Soil. I have a ton of turface proleague tan. I use it in all of my low tech tanks, either as a mixture of gravel/turface or straight turface. It has never become mushy and is still the same consistency of day one, since it is calcined clay.

Personally, it can be frustrating to learn to plant since it is lightweight and powerheads will blow it all over the place if placed close to the substrate level. Using gravel to cap the turface takes care of this, though.

Here is a picture of it dry and wet:
http://www.youkoubonsai.com/turface.htm

However, I am hestitant to say it is inert based on several sources; mostly are from gardening websites but still apply. Here is one from the University of Perdue:

"Note that both Profile and Turface are clay products so have a high cation exchange capacity: They are not inert like some soil mix components such as perlite."

Also, since has a high CEC, it can also be argued that it is not inert. It really depends on how you want to define it.

Sources:
http://hydroponics-fine.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html
http://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/chiwonlee/plsc210/topics/chap7-soil/soils.htm

It basically comes down to how you define inert, really. A good article for basic definitions is found here: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_substrate.htm

That being said, it is a great planting medium, has a high CEC which is great. If you want to see it before you buy a bunch, send me a PM and I will gladly send you some.
 

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Be careful with the Shultz Aqua Soil, they changed the formula a few years ago by adding little blue fertilizer pellets to help Koi ponds. It will induce a bloom unless you cap it, it's nothing like using miracle gro right out of the bag without a cap but you will see a water parameter spike and probably a bit of an algea bloom with it.

I've used the new and the old and I like the old one better.

- Brad
 

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I used to use Schultz Aquatic Soil but I grew to dislike it for the same reasons I dislike Turface. It's too light weight and not smooth at all. I really like Baylees Better Bottom. The grains are smooth, round and heavy. I prefer the 3-5mm size but they have the smaller size you said you want. It's not as inexpensive at Turface or playsand but I don't mind paying extra for what I like.

EDIT - sorry I tried to add a link to the Baylees Better Bottom website but it won't work for me. Just do a search for Baylees Better Bottom and you'll find it.
 

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I do NOT recommend doing a search on this Bayless product. I just googled it, and the first site listed immediately pops-up with the "You are infected with a virus click here to update your virus software." Just an FYI, since this is a nasty trojan.

Edit: Ignore this message. I spelled the name wrong and that's why I was having issues. D'oh!
 
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