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SMS vs Turface

  • SMS - Charcoal

    Votes: 23 92.0%
  • Turface - Redish

    Votes: 2 8.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you may know, I have been having issues with my top soil substrate capped with PFS. So, I started calling around for Turface. I happenned to find some in stock at a local John Deere landscaping center.

Once I got there and was asked what it was for they seemed surprised but wanted to show me "the other one" that they had. It turns out they had one bag of charcoal Soil Master Select left over from when they were a Lesco years ago and couldn't get rid of it.

They offered me the SMS for $10 so I went ahead and got both just in case. I didn't really know the difference and the extra $10 was worth more than making a second trip. (over an hour round trip)

The biggest thing that I noticed other than the color was the grain size; the Turface seems to have considerably large grains. I do like the charcoal SMS color more but it took several rinses to get the water to clear, whereas the Turface did not require any rinsing at all for the pic.


On with the pics for comparison...



Bags






Dry SMS






Dry Turface






Wet SMS






Wet Turface






Under water







So, please, cast your vote and if you'd like to add any comments or opinions be my guest!

If nothing else, the pics may help others who are interested in one of these products for their own substrate.

Thanks for your time!

~Devin
 

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Yea, fish and plants look better with dark substrates :)

I would use primarily the charcoal, with a little bit of the reddish one mixed in to add some diversity, but almost all charcoal...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since I have a great deal of freedom at work I may tinker with mixing some tomorrow. If I like that I may consider it. My only concern would be that over time the larger/smaller particles might separate into 2 layers.

It looks like the decision is already made to use SMS, 7-0 so far.

I am glad to get my hands on something that is known to be relatively problem free, I just hate that I have to put the time and effort BACK into a substrate that I just set up.

Thanks to everyone who has voted and commented thus far!
 

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I use Turface for my Bonsai soil...Great stuff. Colors a bit goofy for tanks I think. I re-plant cuttings in it sometimes and when I move the pot some of the Turface falls out and mixes with my black substrate. It adds a little color diversity to the substrate( like Lymore stated above)....Let us know what you end up with
 

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There are several different Turface colors more than with the older SMS but it's hit or miss if the local Lesco or John Deere dealers have the MVP Gray in stock and most of them do not know much about SMS/Turface in general other than they supply it to baseball fields. It does help that Kansas City has a major league baseball team so there's allot of SMS/Turface in stock.

I'm still liking SMS better at this point but once my stockpile runs out I won't have any worries about switching to my Turface MVP Gray.

- Brad
 

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I like both, but to me, the Turface is better. I think it makes it look more natural, or is that just me!
EDIT: Sorry about the bad grammer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far it's a land slide 19-1 for the SMS.

I have pics of the two mixed that I will post tonight. I mixed a 2:1 (sms:turface) and a 1:1 as well. It looks pretty nice mixed as 2:1 with a bit of red added to the charcoal but I prefer pure SMS for the smaller tank. I may mix them for the 50G, though.

Thanks again everyone for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess the pic of 2:1 didn't take, but here is the one that is 1:1.


 

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Wow awesome thread...i cant seem to find photos of this stuff in tanks...and youve got the wet and dry photos and everything right there. everything I could have asked for haha. I was trying to locate some black turface, but that soilmaster stuff looks great already...

What are the growing capabilities of that stuff? and is it basically turface in another color? thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have only used the SMS so far and it seems to be working out really well. It is also easy to work with (move around etc...) but can stir up quite a bit of sediment if you're not gentle. I have a journal for all my tanks that show the substrate after planting.

They haven't been updated in a great while due to an overwhelming workload and other hobbies taking up time.

The 10G is now a 20G and the 5.5 and 2.5 have been combined in the 10G tank. Hope I get a bit of time to update them soon.


50G
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t.../93867-devinwolfes-50g-back-up-running-3.html

10G
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/tank-journals-photo-album/93936-devinwolfes-office-10g.html

5.5G Shrimp Tank
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t.../95088-devinwolfes-5-5g-home-shrimp-tank.html

2.5G Shrimp Tank
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...5004-devinwolfes-2-5g-office-shrimp-tank.html
 

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I know the SMS lowers PH factors, I my case from 8.2 >4.9
does anyone know if Turface will do the same. My John Deere dist. is offering the Turface now as a replacement for SMS.
 

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The look of your mixed product, looks identical to my OIL-Dri substrate. I love it, btw. So many people are afraid to use it. It is also used by bonsai growers.
 

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I've used allot of SMS and Turface and I've never seen it change pH especially by that factor that's a jaw dropping amount.

~

Oildry makes SMS/Turface for Lesco so it's very similar to there other products (Oil-Dri and Kitty Litter) both of them are usable you just have to make sure to test it first because they are made in different part of the country and can have slightly different make ups.

- Brad
 

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i use turface in my tanks and I have a PH of 8.2 out the tap and a PH of 6.8 in my aqaurium were the turface is used. so yes it will lower your PH but the extenet depens on the TDS
 
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