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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife just had me redo the floors and that meant tearing down the tank in order to move it. I was using the Schultz clay which I bought from Home Depot previously and pea gravel on top. I always had a huge algae problem so I am seeking substrate advice. I can get the soilmaster locally (red only). Please advise as I have to have this tank in place and full before she confiscates the floor space!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I purchased the soilmaser from my local Lesco. I rinsed by using a large strainer but I still have a huge cload in the water. Unfortunately the Lesco I went to only had the red color. Honestly I thought it would be more red. It looks like a natural color once it is wet. I am filtering the tank with a Filstar 3 at this point but I am considering putting a diatom filter on it to speed up the process. This is my first experience with soilmaster so any input and recommendations would be welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I 'm not sure... THe consistency seems about the same. I don't have the packaging for the Schultz so I can't compare based on ingridients. I don't recall the water being as cloudy at initial startup with the Schultz. I wonder if the red color has anything to do with it?
 

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I've tried Schultz on several occasions in an attempt to save money. Didn't like it. I've had better luck with sand.

Try a quality substrate, you won't regret it.

I like Flourite and Drs Foster & Smith ship as many as you need for $17.99. I ordered 10 bags for my 90 and had plenty left over for other projects.

HTH

Ed
 

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I believe Schultz and Turface Pro League are made by Profile and are both reported to be inert and high in CEC content. Both are very light weight and can be picked up easily by a vac. I have never used either, but have researched Turface alot. I would have used Turface if I could of found the grey color in the NW.

SMS is made by a different company and is not inert. It can drastically lower pH and KH/GH, reportedly. If you have hard water, that might be good. If not, it can be a big problem. I also like Flourite. Its inert, has lots of iron and can result in a very stable tank. I just bought 12 bags from Drs. Foster & Smith while it was on sale - for a switch from ADA Aqua Soil for my 90. I'm (ugh) doing a restart myself in the next few weeks. I have had great luck with Flourite in my other two tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay... the tank is starting to clear after I filled it on Thursday. The Ph was a little low but nothing crazy like I' ve read on some other treads. I had trouble calibrating my SME 122. I played with the adjustment on the back and I think I may have thrown something off. I only have 7.0 reageant. I'll be posting some pictures soon.
I went to that pet place tent sale this weekend and found a Filstar 3 for $40.00 in the box. Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!
 

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I had trouble calibrating my SME 122. I played with the adjustment on the back and I think I may have thrown something off. I only have 7.0 reageant.

I went to that pet place tent sale this weekend and found a Filstar 3 for $40.00 in the box. Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!
I believe you are not suppose to touch that adjustment on the back. You might want to call Milwaukee to confirm, as that's a factory setting. I recall reading about that a couple years ago. Most say its best to just calibrate with just the 7.0, FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
These are my test readings five days after initial setup.
dkh= 7
Gh= 35.8
PH= 7.0
NH3 NH4= .25
NO2 = 0.3
Nitrate ( tetra Test kit) =5.0-10.0
Phosphate =5.0

Please not that I added baking soda at start up to bring up the low PH.

I got in touch with Milwaukee and they walked me through a calibration procedure to ensure my probe was functional. This involved Windex, Sprite, and their 7.0 reageant. Interesting.
 
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