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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Soilmaster is as they say: a thermally optimized Montmorillonite clay that is baked around 1000 to 1500 F.

This is 2 US Montmorillonite Clay chemical makeup (should be close to Soilmaster)

Texas Montmorillonite
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION (%):
SiO2: 70.1
Al2O3: 16.0
TiO2: 0.22
Fe2O3: 0.65
FeO: 0.15
MnO: 0.009
MgO: 3.69
CaO: 1.59
Na2O: 0.27
K2O: 0.078
F:0.084,
P2O5: 0.026
S: 0.04.

Montmorillonite (Wyoming)
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION (%):
SiO2: 62.9,
Al2O3: 19.6
TiO2: 0.090,
Fe2O3:3.35
FeO: 0.32
MnO: 0.006
MgO: 3.05
CaO: 1.68
Na2O: 1.53
K2O: 0.53
F: 0.111
P2O5: 0.049

Soilmaster CEC=19, PH=6 (from a Power Point of the Company)

Turface (beige, red) is an Illite calcined clay

Composition Mg/Kg:
Al : 6590
As : 8
Ba 124
Be : 0.7
Ca : 3640
Cd : 0
Co : 2.6
Cr : 15.8
Cu : 4.1
Fe : 10700
K : 3210
Mg :2730
Mn : 96
Na : 574
Ni : 11.8
Pb : 6.6
Sb : 0
Se : 0
Sn : 0
Ti : 0
V : 10.4
Zn : 33.4
Ag : 0

(maybe somebody can translate in %, like that we can have a good comparaison with Soilmaster

Turface beige CEC=29.8, PH=6.2

Turface black is an Illite calcined clay

Composition Mg/Kg:
Al : 10500
As : 0
Ba 119
Be : 0
Ca : 5310
Cd : 0
Co : 3.5
Cr : 39.5
Cu : 5.21
Fe : 12600
K : 3980
Mg :4130
Mn : 61.1
Na : 353
Ni : 14.8
Pb : 0
Sb : 0
Se : 0
Sn : 0
Ti : 0
V : 18.7
Zn : 50.5
Ag : 0

Turface black CEC=41.1, PH=6.2

From:
http://home.infinet.net/teban/jamie.htm
 

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Great Link! Very interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tanks jaidexl

Thanks, I updated my numbers, even better than Soilmaster....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bof! That’s interesting

It seem that this thread, that I think really important, do not bring the interest I was expected.

First Soilmaster, Turface and other DIY stuff are really important for this hobby because they are inexpensive alternative to the stuff reserve to a certain elite that do not really want to take the time to understand what is involved in a good substrat, and buy the ready to use expensive stuff.
:wink:

Good, now that this is said, Soilmaster and Turface are used mostly for their CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity) that is the capacity to retain nutrients in dissolution to make it easily available to the plants.
They are fired clay at around 1000F. At this temperature clay is vitrified it will remain in this state for thousand of years.
No more organic materials, no more soluble material. This mean that whatever the chemical composition, no leaching of any element will occurs or only a so small amount that it will not participate to any nutrient available for the plant. The real advantage is the CEC, or the capacity to grab nutrients, oxygen from the water and build a reserve available to the roots of plants.

Make your choice:
Soilmaster CEC: 19 and low PH 6 (remember that the lower layer will have tendency to lower this ph number and bacterial activity is not imperative to low ph)

Turface:CEC 29 to 41 and a higher ph of 6.2 that will be almost an ideal ph for the water column (achtung, we will need some kind off buffering capacity , like Soilmaster) to keep lower layer to have very low ph)
 

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Still a good thread Glouglou and of value to the community. Thanks for posting. If only I could have found Turface gray in Seattle. So its flourite for me.
 

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I've found it interesting as well....the only problem is that usually one or the other is usually more easily available in an area....correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Agreed, it really comes down to availability. Also, its not like one will grow twice as much biomass as the other, rather it has a higher "potential'.

The truth is simple plain old gravel will work.
 

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It seem that this thread, that I think really important, do not bring the interest I was expected.

First Soilmaster, Turface and other DIY stuff are really important for this hobby because they are inexpensive alternative to the stuff reserve to a certain elite that do not really want to take the time to understand what is involved in a good substrat, and buy the ready to use expensive stuff.
:wink:
So if someone has the money to purchase an expensive substrate this means they are too lazy to learn what it is that makes a substrate good for plants?

I wonder who the real elitist is?

:rolleyes:
 

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Still a good thread Glouglou and of value to the community.
Definitely, many of us who couldn't find the info before can pass it to those who will research later, as long as the threads stay up front. I would have bags of AS if it wasn't so acidic, but I'm also a person who likes to save money without cutting corners, and you need good researchable info to do that. There are plenty of things that haven't been done yet in this hobby, and that evolution and introduction of new ideas is part of what makes it so fun for a lot of us.
 

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One thing to note, that Barada has related. This stuff is super light weight. Even a quick motion of one's hand in the tank will easily disturb, if not rooted in. A 50# bag will go a LONG way. It is not really comparable to say flourite, regards its mass. But plants flourish in Turface...
 
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