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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found this at the local Home Despot, err... Depot, and took a look at it... I'm in the process of setting up a 115G tank, and am needing fair deal more substrate still (have some left over from a 60G setup). So, here's the idea...

Use this stuff to form a sloping bed 1" (front) to 3" (rear of tank) and cap it with at least 2" of a 50/50 Flourite/gravel mixture.

I'm also planning on using a Substrate heating system (simple version- The Bioplast ThermoFloat) if that makes any difference.

Any one have experience with this product? Is this likely to work, or turn my tank into a mudskipper's paradise? Is it all too confusing and I should just go jump off a cheesecake instead?
 

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I would just use plain gravel and not expensive Schultz. It is inert and wont cloud your water, but since plain gravel is so much cheaper, and you only want it for a filler and not to provide any nutrients, why not just use gravel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It says it doesn't cloud the water (but an advertisement also said I'd have X-Ray vision with those glasses.... :lol: ), and I'm apt to believe it. Mainly, I'm looking for it as a cheap alternative to Flourite in the bottom layer(s). I'm still wet behind the ears (snicker) on when it comes to plants. I know a lot of theory, but very little practical experience. And a lot of my theory is 4+ years old, so even it's not up to snuff anymore.
 

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I think the cheapest alternative to flourite in the bottom layer would be regular gravel. I would probably put the flourite/gravel mixture underneath a layer of plain gravel, instead of the flourite on top. I think the plants roots would have better access to it that way.
 

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Since you are using a substrate heating system (why in the world are you using that expensive equipment?:)), you will at least want to take advantage of it by keeping the bottom layer of your substrate relatively fertile. Flourite/Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil and some peat should work quite well. I would make this layer about one inch deep. If it doesn't with just your flourite, Schultz Aquatic Plant soil can be a cheaper alternative. It will not cloud your water (I've used it). If you can find it in your local hydroponics store, Diamond Black is an excellent product to use to further enrich your very bottom layer.

Cap that with the regular gravel if cost is a concern. You can cap it with flourite, though. Plants do use the top layer of the substrate, too...

IME, there is definitely a difference between plants that were grown in regular aquarium gravel and plants that were grown with flourite/eco-complete+enriched bottom layer.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, the Substrate heater is pretty cheap overall... $91 for a 115G tank. They were the 'new big thing' when last I left off with planted tanks around 4-5 years ago. Are they worth investing in?

Anyways, I guess updating the plan would now look something like this:

1" sloping back to 3" layer of composite mixture (2-3mm pool filter gravel, Flourite, Shutlz A.P.S., peat, and maybe Diamond Black if I can find it)
3" covering layer of 50/50 Flourite/pool filter gravel

I want to do the sloping bottom layer given depth of the tank (over 24") and the fact I plan on doing a lot of terracing.
 

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Shultz is a good product. Its not very expensive either. It may take a little bit of rinsing to have a crystal clear tank right away but thats all. Also its pretty light stuff so to top it with some gravel is a good idea.

.dc
 
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