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Discussion Starter #1
How many times has someone begun with, "I'm sorry if this question has already been asked a million times..."?

I'm sorry if this question has already been asked a million times,
but how many bags of Flourite (or maybe now's a good time to decide on EcoComplete) should I buy for a 75 gallon tank? How deep should it be?
I will also be using a top layer of gravel.
Just as soon as I hear from you, I shall place my order at DrsF&S.
Thank you,
Barbels
 

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I set up a 10 gal with Eco and one bag was enough. I don't know if you can extrapolate to a larger tank from that, though, I would guess 7 bags minimum for a 75. BTW, I love the Eco!
 

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Substrate Calculator

Assuming standard 75 ot 48x18 footprint

To achieve a depth of 3 inches in a tank 18 inches long and 48 wide, you will need to purchase 90 lbs of Flourite .

To achieve a depth of 3 inches in a tank 18 inches long and 48 wide, you will need to purchase 144 lbs of Eco-Complete .

Just noticed I have the Length and Width swapped, but the results will be the same.

BTW, PetSolutions has an unadvertised sale of Flourite this week, 9.99 15lb bag.
 

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When I set up my 75g, I used 80lbs of Eco, since that was all my LFS had in stock, and 60lbs of Tahitian Moon Sand. The sand is nice because it really helps hold some of the smaller foreground plants (Dwarf Hairgrass, Hemianthus callitrichoides, etc) in place a bit better then the Eco alone. Some say Eco is too light. In most cases I would disagree but with small foreground plants, the Eco just isn't enough to hold them down. If I were to do it again, I would add another 20lbs of the sand.

The black sand also gives the tank a darker coloring and smoother texture than the Eco alone, which I like. I guess that is a matter of opinion. The sand will eventually get mixed in with the Eco, but I figure when it does, I will just add a bit more sand. As another plus, the sand is about $10 cheaper for 20lbs in my area.

If you decide on flourite instead of Eco, I have had good luck mixing Flourite with Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil. They are similarly priced but the Shultz has more iron and a much greater CEC. It is very light though, and the Flourite will add some weight for anchoring the plants. The Schultz is also much, much easier to rinse than the Flourite. Try doing a search for Shultz or Profile (same thing) on here. The Schultz/Flourite option may save you some money over the Eco.

For a depth comparison, I used 2 bags of Schultz ($14 @ walmart), and 1 bag of Flourite (~$20), topped with 1 bag of Flora Base in a 55g and this gave me a 3 1/2 - 4" substrate in a 55g. You could leave out the Flora base and just add another bag of Shultz or Flourite.

Shultz and Flourite are very similar in appearance (when wet) and size. Once they are mixed together it is hard to tell which is which. If you use the calculator gnatster gave you the link for, just use Flourite and then you can figure out how much of each you want to add depending on your budget and desire to rinse.
 

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MatPat said:
They are similarly priced but the Shultz has more iron and a much greater CEC.
I'm curious how you know that the Schultz has a much greater Iron content. What are you basing that on?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
gnatster said:
Hey thank you! That substrate calculator is the bees knees. :roll:

If 3" is good, then is 4" better?

Oh by the way, what is the best rock for my top layer? Smaller epoxy coated rock? Sand?
 

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I found this while searching for ideas for a substrate for my 55g tank. This is a quote from Steve Spituch on Schultz and Flourite:

"In "Substrates for the Planted Aquarium" it mentions Flourite as having 9610 mg/Kg Fe, while the old Profile Schultz (illite + fullers earth) having 13200 mg/Kg Fe. (Pure illite has no Fe, suggesting that fullers earth does.)

You are right on the CEC: Profile Schultz is very high (33.2), and Flourite is quite low (1.7). "

If I remember correctly the article in Steve's qoute had several different types of substrates analyzed for mineral content and that is where the results were taken from. I will do some "searching" and see if I can find the article again. It was pretty good.
 

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I found it. Here is the link:

http://home.infinet.net/teban/jamie.htm

There is a chart about halfway down that shows the information. The whole article is pretty good reading. While it does not mention Schultz Aquatic Soil specifically in the chart itself, it does mention Profile which is the same thing as Schultz. This can be verified by reading the description of each type of substrate above the chart. You can do a search for Profile or Schultz and find more info.
 

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hey how are ya i just setup my 75 last week i used 6 bags of flourite and have 3 inches maybe 3 and half in the back i think its perfect
 
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