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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting to put together a 150 gallon tank that has been sitting in my garage for a few years. The tank will be medium light level and I will follow EI dosing (this has worked well for me in the past). I've only ever used cheap coarse sand or gravel that is sold as road sand in Alaska (getting enough fancy substrate to AK would just cost was too much $$$). I want to make sure I do the right thing in this tank substrate wise and have been reading about materials that conduct nutrients better than gravel. One such product that I can get locally is Turface in the natural color. I ran a trial, it washed up pretty easy and didn't make a huge mess. However, it is really light and I think you might vacuum it up trying to do any gravel vac work in the tank. I know I can make it work, but it using a higher CEC material over a small bed of peat going to be much better for my plants in the long run over a gravel bed? Will capping the Turface with gavel be a decent compromise to allowing nutrient transmission to the plant roots while allowing the Turface to not get blown around the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, that is good to know. I'll go ahead with the Turface then, it actually looks pretty good too.
 

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Hello Aknickolia,

I have this substrate in my 50 gallon with a Eheim 2217 and a 425 Hydor koralia power head have no problems what so ever. I am setting up a 125 and was thinking of using this again with a aquariumplants.com substrate on top. so 2 inches of turface and 2 inches of soft belly substrate from aquariumplants.com. I will tell you that it is light like you said and you might encounter problems with certain stem plants not staying in so I went with 4 inches of it in my 50. Hope this helps trying to figure out the best substrate is kind of driving me nuts too. My concern is for 24 cory's that are going into the 125.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I'm tempted to try and cap it, but whenever I tried multiple layers in the past they always end up getting mixed up by the time I've planted all my plants. I'll be using a pretty thick layer at least 3 inches in the front of the tank and sloping up toward the back of the tank. I hear you about wanting to get this right, I've never given substrate too much thought because I've always had smaller tanks.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what a 1-2 cap of normal gravel would do? It would keep the the Turface down, but I feel like a lot of plants won't create a large enough root system to get below the gravel cap. Of course, there is also the thought that plant without extensive root systems will get their nutrients directly from the water column, while plants that desire root based nutrients will generate large enough roots to get into the Turface layer.
 
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