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Warning: Do NOT Buy Turface Pro League Gray

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Philosophos, May 2, 2010.

  1. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's discontinued, but there are bags hanging around. It does this to your tank:

    [​IMG]

    4 rinse throughs and a lot of substrate stirring with a bag and a half in an 80 gallon tank and it's starting to look like regular Turface Pro League.

    I'm currently trying to contact Profile to ask about what compound they used for the pigment. There doesn't seem to be any MSDS info around on this color of the product.

    I'll be doing some tests for toxicity before this tank runs. I will post the results for the sake of anyone else who ends up with this stuff in their lap.
     
  2. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    That absolutely sucks man.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Dan,

    Sorry to hear.....

    Are you sure you want to go ahead and use it? Is iT less risk ( BUT more work) to simply dump it and get the regular?

    Avoid any issues now IMO....not like the tank is scaped or anything right?
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm going to find out what the pigment is first, then look up some toxicity reports for it and related compounds. If it's pretty inert, I'm not going to make a big deal of it.

    The regular stuff would take about 2 weeks to order in. It's a pain ripping up about 80-100lb of substrate, not to mention that it's a $60-70 loss.
     
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Boogers!

    Hi Dan,

    Boogers! What a mess! I feel for ya brother. :(

    The good news is that there really isn’t anything nasty in there.

    My experience some years back is the stuff needs to soak for a couple of weeks. Truth is I find most clays do better with a soak.

    I think if you skim the surface and change out some water a time or two, doesn’t even have to be “good" water (till the last change), you will find everything settles out.

    After a week or so adding some sodium thiosulfate or Alum can help speed up clearing the fines.

    Hang tough buddy. :gw

    Biollante
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    It doesn't look so bad as the picture anymore thankfully. The column is clear, but the peat has actually been stained and a little has begun to come up into the top layer. The stock list for this tank is basically tons of apistos; unpaired males and juvies. This being the case, less expensive fish are going to test the water first.

    There's definitely a stink coming off the pigment; sulfur like, but not putrid enough to be H2S. Here's hoping hypoxia never becomes a problem.

    Sodium based compounds with virgin CEC isn't something I'm excited about the idea of. It's something I've had in mind, but it's not my first choice.

    Turface is weird stuff; some of it was neutrally buoyant during the month long soak. There was actually a horizontal line sitting mid-column, with some outliers and other bits traveling up and down.
     
  7. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    They Laugh At My Kitty Litter & Worm Poop Substrates...

    Hi,

    I do not recall any smell, sort of makes me wonder if something crawled in and died. :eek:

    If you soaked it for a month, that should have taken care of most of the buoyancy issue. I did find the stuff messy.

    I think you will find that everything settles out, I agree with after it has had some time to settle “letting” some of the less valuable stock try it.

    Biollante
     
  8. LoudCreature

    LoudCreature Prolific Poster

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    Hi Dan,

    So what happened?

    Is it settling?

    LC
     
  9. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    The column looks clear. The pigment is so persistent that it's actually clinging to the inside glass, and there's a fine layer of dyed peat on the surface of the substrate. Right now I'm just trying to find a good day to do tank work; there's about 200 gallons spread out between 8 tanks plus 6 beta-sized tanks with beta fry or shrimp to be cleaned and a few kinds of live food cultures that need to be re-seeded. It's all in a one bedroom apartment, so doing a little at a time makes for enough mess that it's best done all at once.
     
  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just to be thorough, the substrate was ripped out today and the mixed peat rinsed out of the undercoating.

    For anyone who's curious, turface pro league seems to have a density in around 1.4-1.5g/ml once soaked as measured by displacement. You could probably shave that down to 1.1-1.3g/ml for the purpose of estimating to fill your own aquarium in the future. It's really light stuff.

    To state the obvious, buy the regular not the gray/black or red.
     
  11. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks For Sharing

    Hi Dan,

    That is too bad. Thank you for sharing your experience

    I am just curious, did you try sodium thiosulfate or sodium bisulfate to knock the stuff down and/or clean the glass?

    I was not impressed with Turface, principally because it was so light, though I guess I did not have any of the dye in it, I was thinking (always a painfully bad idea) the stuff I used had the colorant but the LoudCreatureWhatSharesMySpace assures me it did not.

    Biollante
     
  12. waltwiso

    waltwiso Junior Poster

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    Turface Pro

    Hello all.....I'm new at this forum....Just did a search and it sent me here. Anyway.... I've been into fish keeping & aquariums for over 40 years. Have had many planted tanks since then. I'm VP of the Dia St Aq Soc (in DE) At our April meeting we had a speaker from an Aquatic plant club and I really got turned on with aquascaping. But, I don't like to start small. Right now I have over 60 tanks (only two planted with regular gravel). I went out and bought a 90 and 75 for my rec room. That is a lot of plant substrate I'll be needing. I was told to get the Turface Pro. But after reading these posts......I don't know????? How many of you are using the Turface Pro? I found in in Maryland for $12 something a bag. I was going to get 300#. What do you all think? Should I go with regular #2 & 3 gravel instead? Or shop around and get several tpyes and mix it? I was going to make the trip to Maryland today and get it.....I was going to start setting up a tank this week. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks. Walt in Delaware.....http://dsas.topcities.com/index.html
     
  13. pat w

    pat w Member

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    I just caught the thread. Rough one Dan, my sympathies, too.

    I've got the tan All Sport in my tank, in dry start right now and soon to be flooded. I've had some standing water from time to time from the misting every day. I've seen nothing remotely like what I saw in your photos. I’ll just have to cross my fingers after the flooding.

    Pat
     
  14. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    We didn't end up going that route. Mrs. Philo and I (mostly her; it's her tank) removed it all and rinsed it about a gallon at a time, about 8-9 times through each pale full. It all got loaded back in the tank, and now I'd say about a total of 6-7 fills/rinses through more with the substrate in and we can finally see the back of the tank from the front after stirring up the substrate during a fill. It would've probably taken enough sodium thiosulfate to ruin the substrate's CEC. Either way, a few more rinses today and hopefully that will be the end of it.

    Tons of people have used Turface, the light weight is definitely a downside and it's hard so it doesn't hold shapes well. Any hardened clay with a CEC and few additives does the job; even some types of kitty litter work. If you want what they use to make ADA AS and there's a bonsai nursery near you, akadama is 1/3 the price of aquasoil. You won't get the nutrient preload or the pH drop, but the CEC is still there as well as all the scaping properties. The big thing is to make sure that it's very well hardened. Myself, I've been contemplating trying crushed adobe minus the straw; there's a place that sells it near here but it's not fine enough.
     
  15. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Anything sodium based would've been needed at quantities high enough to risk sodium toxicity by way of messing up the CEC.

    It took 8-10 rinses through, one gallon at a time, then another half dozen rinses in the tank to make this stuff so that it can be disturbed heavily without messing up the water quality. It's just starting to clear to the point where you can see the back glass after a heavy rinse now. More will be done today most likely.

    Walt and Pat, plenty of people use Turface safely. I'd suggest opening a bag and examining first; if you can take a cup full and rinse it clear quickly, you're fine. If after a half dozen rinses it still leaves an impenetrable cloud that leaves pigment all over your fingers when you dip them in the glass, then it's the wrong stuff.

    Pat, your stuff looks like a lighter version of what the turface gray rinsed off to. If there is a similar pigment, I doubt it's going to be the same level of problem.

    Walt, Personally I wouldn't call Turface my first choice if akadama were nearby; any bonzai supply store should carry it. Kitty litter of certain brands can work as well. Turface is definitely on the light side, and the pro league stuff is of extremely fine grain. Still, plenty of beautiful tanks have been done with the stuff and $12 a bag is a nice deal.
     
  16. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    On Ebay they have 15 liter bags of akadama for $50.00, I wouldn't call that a cheaper alternative to something aquarium specfic.
     
  17. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I wouldn't buy akadama from ebay. IMO ebay substrate means re-labeled and over priced. Repackaged pool filter sand for all.

    There are bonsai stores in some states that sell it in bulk; it's the only good way I know to get the stuff at a good price. Forget shipping unless you're going to freight.
     
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