Lets talk substrate

Discussion in 'Plant Problems' started by GDJ, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    I intend on replacing the substrate in my 1.2m tank. ( http://www.apsa.co.za/board/index.php?topic=294.60 )
    The current substrate consist of Seachem Flourite, Dazs Aquarium Soil, "Clay balls" and River Sand.
    Now it is not that my current substrate is not working, its the sediment given off the by the Dazs aquarium soil that drives me to drink.
    I also have smaller tank (90cm) that has a river soil substrate with some volcanic rock dust added and capped off with sand. Plant growth is very good in this tank too.

    What I would like to do here is get a discussion going on various substrate mixes and components or if you believe a substrate should be gravel or sand only, please share your views on why.
    If possible list where you would find the components used in the substrate mix, because a lot of the components you read about is not easy to find.
    To get the ball rolling here is what I intend on using for my new substrate.
    some iron filings (bought at Experilab - R10 for a film container full. Thanks Sillikube)
    Supagrow Rose & Shrub Mix (Stodels R18 for 30dm)
    a couple of nails (any hardware store)
    Turbo Grow Volcanic rock dust (Stodels R35 for 500g if memory serves. I'll only use about a cup full for my 1.2)
    Laterite (Sourcing some from a friend.)
    RiverSand (Any nursery about R20 for 15dm)

    River Soil (basically any river, but in that lies another problem)

    The rose and shrub mix and laterite will make up the bulk of the bottom layer then a sprinkling of iron filings and a thin layer of the volcanic rock dust. (Riversoil might also be added) I'll cap this off with a layer of sand. I'll put the nails in the substrate in certain places close to the crypts and swords.
    I am trying to use only components thats easily available so far the Laterite is the only thing that is not easily available at your local nursery.
    :ML20ears:
     
  2. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    Tagging along, my river sand in my 250l is driving me nuts! Can't get the water to stay crystal clear...
     
  3. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    i'm not 100% sure about the iron filings as they might oxidize to quickly for the plants to take up all of the iron....
     
  4. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    Where can you get laterite? Or Flourite for that matter?
     
  5. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    aha... now that is almost ase rare as altums :p
     
  6. hotdog83
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    hotdog83 Algae harvester

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    ;D Thanks Henk... Still pretty new to the whole planted set up, so had no idea...
     
  7. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    Great Topic!

    About the Flourite, I saw some time ago that guppies for yuppies had some on their subsrtate menu, has anyone attempted to get a bag from them?
     
  8. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    Well the flourite is in my tank at the moment, got it a long time ago.
    As far as the laterite is concerned it would be nice to know where you can buy it.
     
  9. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    Silikube to be honest I stole your idea :worthy
     
  10. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL, no harm in that, let's just hope that it works.... :think
     
  11. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    why do you need laterite, iron filings and nails? you can poison plants with too much iron...

    i asked them to get some in and they said they have to import it - R348 for 7.5kg's - ouch

    you can get it from animal kingdom in atterbury in pretoria - R248 for 7.5kg's
     
  12. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    I like your ingredients list, there are definitely certain items I have been looking to get hold of myself. Are you running a low tech no CO2 setup?

    Personally I have never capped anything with sand, I prefer using fine gravel. Other than that, your mix is very similar to what I have been planning.
    I am trying to find a better source for metal shavings, might aswell pop into the experilab for some there. You don't possibly have a picture of what their shavings look like?

    Maybe drop the nails?
     
  13. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    Just wondering, how many 7.5kg bags would a 1.2m setup require?
     
  14. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    from seachem's website:

    "This bag (7.5 kg ) is sufficient for about a 5 cm (2 inch) deep bed in a typical 40 L (10 gallon) tank. Recommended use is 1 kg (2 lbs) for approximately each 200 cm2 (31 in2) of tank bottom at a depth of 5 cm (2 in)."

    my 200l tanks dimensions are 98cm x 40cm

    (98*40)/200/7.5 = 2.6 bags

    i am getting 4 to be safe
     
  15. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    LOL
    WBS: To be honest I am starting think it would be best not to use the iron filings until I've had chance to experiment with them in a fishless setup.
    Aha so laterite is available in JHB.
    (Animal kingdom is a bit further than my average Sunday drive ;-) anybody know where to find it in CPT?)
     
  16. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    Better safe than sorry. I have an empty tank, so I don't need to worry about fish, but I still plan on sprinkling "some" here and there. Dang, come to think of it, R800 for 4 bags of flourite is not all that bad, wish we could get hold of a supplier in the CT area.... nudge...nudge...wink...wink... :dink:
     
  17. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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  18. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    Silikube: Yes my setup is low tech and I also try and run without dosing any ferts.

    The iron filings from Experilab

    [​IMG]

    and the Volcanic rock Dust

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Silikube
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    Silikube Moderator Staff Member

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    WOW, your shavings looks so much nicer than mine! They actually look clean and healthy in a way!
     
  20. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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