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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to mix black flourite and "aquarium plants own" substrate. I know some will say buy Turface and be done with it. But I dont like the grey. I want the black substrate. So I was thinking about using the "aquarium plants ow"n black with Flourite black on top. So 6 lbs of "APO" and 4-5 bags of Flourite on top. I might throw a thin layer of peat on the bottom. Unless people think that is not needed. This will be in a 72'' 125 gallon.

Good bad? Enough?
 

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I've seen APO and it's ether SMS or an extremely similar Oil-dri product (Oil-dri makes SMS/Turface for Lesco and makes most Kitty Litter products) it's going to look about the same as Turface Gray but if you like it better then go for it they mix without any problems.

I'd add the peat plus potash and iron chleate to the bottom it just helps with the plant uptake from day one like ADA and MTS does.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Overstocked- I was guessing I would need that much. Is that too much for 3'' sandbed?

Bradac56-Aquariumplants lists an option of "Black Diamond" If you click on the picture it looks black. Also where is a good place to order potash,iron and peat and is there a way to calculate how much?
 

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Thanks for the update I hadn't seen the Black Diamond listed last time I was on there site. I couldn't get it to show me image but I might order some just to take a look. I've used there older version without any problems. I know some people here have bad things to say about them but I haven't had any problems with anything but there fert system and nothing with the company itself.

You can get all three (potash, peat, fe) from a local landscaping or orchard supply store for pennies on the dollar verses buying them online and in much larger quantities. You only need a 'dusting' of the three on the bottom of the tank before you add your substrate so there's no exact science involved as long as you don't go crazy you'll be fine. I just mix them together and grab a handfull myself.

- Brad
 

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There won't be any benefit to mixing them both are non-inert/organic (depending on the PC police) so I'd go with one or the other. Both will hold your plants fine the APO stuff will probably be lighter it was in my case but as long as your careful you won't have any problems planting.

I'll grant you that I've used SMS/Turface long enough to not think about how to gravel vac or plant/re-plant stuff so the light weight substrates isn't a big deal to me but anyone can figure it out pretty fast with trial-&-error.

- Brad
 

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Odie, this is my favorite link on explaining the types of substrates: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_substrate.htm

It is really a nice explaination of inert versus CEC and just gives you a basic explanation for all types.

Aquarium plants substrate is nice, I've just heard there is a learning curve because of it's light weight nature. I've used Turface which is very similar, and can tell you, it does benefit to have a top layer to keep the powerheads from blowing it around. Other than that, there is no reason you cannot use it in alone in a tank.
 

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I'd forgotten about powerheads ... I angle them slightly up in my tanks to keep them off of the substrate and I mount them low enough so they do not break the water line unless it's a really low-tech tank and then I probably wouldn't use a powerhead anyway.

- Brad
 

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i have done it. well it was eco on top. i used about 100 pounds of sms with about a inch of eco on top which was i think 10 bags. its a crypt tank i planted it once and really never touched it again. if you get in and out of it a lot the sms/APO will be on the top. i also have many tanks with 100% sms. it does take some time to learn how to plant it. what i do is dig a hole put the plant in cover it up press down them move more substrate around it. this has worked well for me.

personally i would look for sms/turface local go with that since its cheap. if you dont like it you can switch. someone on APC said something about finding it auto zone....
 

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Bradac56-Aquariumplants lists an option of "Black Diamond" If you click on the picture it looks black.
I just about laughed my ass off. I went to AP.com to see what the black substrate looked like and the planted aquarium in the larger photos is my 40 gallon aquarium right after I did the first round of planting the background plants.

That picture was taken 09/2007. The substrate has lost some of its color over the years and is more gray than black.

The aquarium above it (my 55) now has black Soil Master Select, put in last summer. It looks exactly like the photo that has the three colors in an aquarium with a sword in the middle of each color. In fact, the tan looks exactly like tan Turface.

The SMS looks black when wet, just like in AP's picture where it is next to the penny.
 
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