ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

matpat

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Mar 29, 2005
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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

This stuff is a very nice size isn't it. Yours seems to have a bit more red in it than the two bags I have played with. Then again, maybe all of the reddish particles just happened to show up in your pic ;) Hard to beat that price.

In the link I posted earlier in this thread, I did not rinse mine at all. So far so good on my week old setup and I am curious to rip some plants out and check the root growth. I am interested in comparing it to my Eco Complete tanks just to see how they compare. I just don't have the same plants in both tanks yet.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

Well, the cheap clay like stuff was too inconsistent is particle size.
Time to look for yet another sub.

There is a company that can make species sized clay and slow release ferts here locally. I'll see how much it'll run.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

I have never used EC so I don't know how "heavy" it is. This stuff seems almost as heavy as the blasting grit I used to use though. It certainly doesn't seem light as you wash it. The money in it was a bonus - lets say about .5% was money???
 

Tom Barr

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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

SM and Ec are very similar in weight.
You can also add some regular blac/grey sand to add weight.

But most don't..........

SM is a good Flourite/Onyx replacement, still could use a little more weight, but is alright.

Flora Base and ADA soils are soft uncook clays, cat litter is raw clay(and grows plants well), processing the clay into grains and rolling it and maybe semi cooking it a little would produce something similar.

Adding some ferts to it before you do that step would infuse the material with ferts/peat, etc

If you fully cooked it, you'd get SM like material.
Adding an osmocoat like fertilizer with very little/absent NH4 would also be suitable for a slow release sub fert.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Clone

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Jul 26, 2005
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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

I capped the Soilmaster with a layer of 3M colorquartz and it is looking like that was a mistake. The colorquartz is a finer grainsize and very dense compared to Soilmaster, and has already started its migration to the bottom of the tank. This weekend I am goin to remove as much of the colorquartz that reasonable possible. I put to much substrate in anyhow. Oh well.
 

Simpte

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Feb 17, 2005
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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

I havent had that problem. Even when planting the foreground and just over 1/2 inch of sand, no grey shows. Now to get rid of this damn thread algae.
 

mlfishman

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May 5, 2005
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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

Is soilmaster purely aesthetic or does it contain nutrients as well (like flourite or EC)?
 

VaughnH

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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

Soilmaster is more like Flourite than EC. It doesn't contain a nutrient solution like EC, but is a fracted clay material that provides a huge surface area for adsorption of cations for easy access by roots. Whether this actually improves aquatic plant growth I don't know. My interest in it was only for its color and particle size and shape, and its low price, of course.

I am now moved into a condominium, have my tank out of storage and just sat it in the living room today. My plants are on order from ebay, and I'm getting anxious to plant, baby!!
 

shugato

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May 25, 2005
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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

dear friends
i am planning a new 4 feet planted tank.i have seachems fluorite in mind but have no prior experience about it. so here are the questions :
1. how long would the substrate last for ?
2.in case i need to redo the tank or shift the tank and start allover then how does it behave? can it be washed and reused?
3.how does it compare as a substrate if looks are not the criteria ?
4.how much does it cost in U.S.A ?
i shall be grateful if you guys can share your experience.
thanks
sugato
 

VaughnH

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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

Flourite's cost depends upon a lot of things, primarily shipping costs. My local stores all sell it for about $27 a 15 lb bag, but if I drive 90 miles I can buy it for about half that. However, adding my gasoline cost for the 180 mile round trip gets the cost back up to about $27, depending on how many bags I buy. On the internet you can buy it much cheaper, but again the shipping cost drives the price way up. I can't answer your other questions, because I haven't used it.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: ADA like substrate and Soilmaster

shugato said:
dear friends
i am planning a new 4 feet planted tank.i have seachems fluorite in mind but have no prior experience about it. so here are the questions :
1. how long would the substrate last for ?
2.in case i need to redo the tank or shift the tank and start allover then how does it behave? can it be washed and reused?
3.how does it compare as a substrate if looks are not the criteria ?
4.how much does it cost in U.S.A ?
i shall be grateful if you guys can share your experience.
thanks
sugato

I doubt you'll be able to get it there in India. Most substrates tend to be country specific, otherwise the cost of shipping is a huge issue.

A substrate, IMO, should last forever with proper maintenance.
Yearly vacuuming of mulm build up etc.
It behaves great(flourite/EC/SM etc), mixed layers of things do not.
It does very well if the looks part is not added in to the choice.
We've found it for 8-10$ for some turface products, SM, is a bit more 12-15$ for 50lbs.

You basically need to do a search in your area and see what is available.

Regards,
Tom Barr