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3088 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  alan j t
Has anyone used this? Its like little clay pellets. The stuff they use on baseball diamonds. We just got some bags in at my lab last semester and we are finally trying to get a planted tank started in there.

There was some left over after setting up two tanks...SO...yes I took some home.

Im looking to start a little 10g grow out tank for stems that I cut that I cant just throw in some "non-plant specific" tank and hope for the best. This way I will be able to have more plants to sell or trade for longer periods of time, and offer a better product.

So here goes. Cheap substrate...has anyone used this? What were your results...if not what do you guys recommend for my little 10g growout tank? Thanks
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i think some people use it, but not really sure on how good it is though. i never used it myself
Lets hope we get some opinions.

So if you were going to do a simple system (basically just medium light no co2 no ferts nothing...) what sort of substrate would you use? Thanks
Turface is an inert substrate, no nutritional value for plant roots. I have used it before with mineralized soil and had great results. Turface by itself is fairly light and plants could easily get pulled up by fish until roots are established. You could supplement with root tabs and not have to worry about dosing ferts in the water.
I heard that it is very high in iron content...this doesnt have to be much...just someplace to stash and hold plants that I trim instead of tossing them...going to get a bulb for this tank tonightt.

I have used Turface for about 18 months and am very happy with it. It grows plants great with strong, healthy roots.

Here is information on Turface.

Here is a discussion on Turface/Soilmaster Select.

And here is what it looks like!

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I will second Seattle_Aquarist's opinion of Turface.

It's very porous. When saturated, it's specific gravity is probably only 1.2 or 1.3. That's nowhere near as dense as gravel, so initially it can be a challenge to keep newly planted stems anchored. But they soon grow extensive root systems.

It has a monstrously high CEC, so at first it greedily adsorbes nutrients out of the water column. But once it's in a rough equilibrium, it provides a very effective nutrient reservoir.

My understanding us that the gray variety shown in his photos is no longer being produced, although apparently some folks can still find it. I have the other color. Most of the grains are a deep tan; a few have overtones of red, and others are shades of gray. The overall color variablitiy is very much like that of his photos, although obviously the color balance would be vastly different.

Compared to the various alternatives, is it attractive? That's subjective. But I like it.
i am also using turface with great results... i do not use root tabs only dose the water column... the only downside like has been stated before is that it is very light, plants with unestablished root systems in this substrate can easily be uprooted...

it comes in a few colors and i am using red... i like the look. it really looks more brown than red
There wont be much in the way of fish...just an oto cat or two to keep algae down...remember for me its just a grow out tank...

Would you suggest soaking it in h2o for awhile? Maybe dosed with something? I have read that people like to soak it in nutriets.
Thanks guys...I will throw up some pics when it is all set up and running.
Would you be soaking it simply to saturate it? Or to rinse away the dust? Or to preload it with nutrients?

It becomes pretty well waterlogged very quickly. And the consensus seems to be that there's no particular value to rinsing -- after a few hours of filtration, the fine particles are out of the water column -- but that it deosn't hurt either, unless you want to preload it.

In which case you would dump dry, unrinsed Turface into a solution of the nutrients that you wanted it to adsorb. That way it should take up a lot more of them.
I like to rinse Turface off to take away the dust. You don't 'have' to, but I found if I didn't, most of this gunked up the filter in a few days and I just had to clean the filter faster. But, it's really just a preference.
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