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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning on adding 2 bags of Shultz Aquatic soil along with 5 bags of Fluorite. My question is would you put the Aquatic Soil down first as a small base and then add all the Fluorite on top or simply mix it all together and distribute it around?
 

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It's best to avoid mixing substrates, more for aesthetics than function. So either use 100% Flourite or 100% Schultz's Aquatic Plant Soil. But if you opt for both, then the order of which you place them is unimportant because they are more-or-less the same product. Mix them together instead of layering is ok as well.

Don't forget to put a layer of peat on the bottom of the tank, but only enough to barely cover the bottom. You should still be able to see some of the glass bottom showing through. It functions to accellerate the maturation process of the substrate, making the iron (among other nutrients) in the substrate more available to plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
cS said:
Don't forget to put a layer of peat on the bottom of the tank, but only enough to barely cover the bottom.
Thanks for reminding me. I am a little confused on peat for this application. What kind should I use on the bottom? The only peat I see at any LFS is for the filter.

As far as the mixing of the substrates my thought were to put down the Shultz to a point just below the black bottom band the use the fluorite on top of that so that is basically what you will see.
 

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Peat moss varies in composition/quality depending on the source, but peat is peat and for this application, any difference(s) is negligible. You can use the peat at the LFS or the peat found at your local garden centers (probably cheaper here).

If you are purchasing peat at the garden center, then make sure that it has no added fertilizers. Some manufacturers load it with extra nitrogen.

Oh, before you add the substrate, it's probably a good idea to take the tank out on the lawn and spray paint the back of tank black or whatever color you like. It gets pretty difficult to spray paint once everything has been set up. :wink:
 

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so how long do you have to wait for your substrate to mature without the peat? i happen to have 100% flourite, but didn't add peat .....
 

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Have you considered using Laterite mixed with regular small-grain gravel?
For my 75, it cost me about $60 to get a 3" layer of 2-3 mm gravel and enough laterite for the substrate, plus a year or two's worth extra for substrate supplementation. Wet it, roll it into little balls, bake it - nice cheap iron replenishment for the substrate.
IME, peat becomes pretty messy and always wants to float up when you are planting/replanting. I have read a number of sources stating a layer of peat will turn anaerobic, which is no good for your plants' roots (or your tank for that matter). I used it once and was not happy with the results - I've never had a plant tank with so many algae problems...peat is loaded with organics and once it's down in the substrate, there's no getting it out without a complete teardown.
Just something to think about...
 

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cS-
PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong (I'm really new to this stuff, and getting really confused), but isn't Flourite iron-bearing, while Schultz's Aquatic Plant Soil (Profile) is fuller's earth (clay), which has a high CEC, but no iron?
I'm asking this specifically because I'm planning on re-doing my 100g tank's substrate with a bottom layer of the Aquatic Plant Soil and gravel, topped with more regular aquarium gravel, and thought about tossing in some Flourite for good measure (iron).
Or, is it Laterite I'm thinking of that has iron?
 

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look up "Substrates for the planted aquarium"

you'll find an article that comparisons all types of substrates among them flourite and profile
 

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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).

Steve Pituch
 

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Yes, that was the most surprising finding out of all of it. I mean, if you do your research, a lot of websites will say how great flourite is cuz of it's CEC, but it turns out it's so low. I'm still in disbelief over that.
 

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I'm going to setup a 90g planted soon and wondered about using Schultz Aquatic soil with sand. I want to use about 3 inches of schultz underneath about a 1/2 inch of sand. Does this sound okay.

Also is there a downside to using Schultz as opposed to flourite? I can get Schultz at a much lower price than flourite, but I rather spend the extra if it's better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
lemonblazer said:
I'm going to setup a 90g planted soon and wondered about using Schultz Aquatic soil with sand. I want to use about 3 inches of schultz underneath about a 1/2 inch of sand. Does this sound okay.

Also is there a downside to using Schultz as opposed to flourite? I can get Schultz at a much lower price than flourite, but I rather spend the extra if it's better.
I have not tried what you are asking but I do have it under Fluorite. I would think in time the sand would sift itself down through the Aquatic soil to the bottom. Then the Aquatic soil will be too light.
 

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If cost is the issue, then MPV turface which is the same as the SAPS and cost 8$ for 5x as much.
Mixing that with some 2-3 mm sand is not a bad idea, they are both cheap and you might cover the substrate with plants completely or find a similar sand etc.

I'd add the sand for one main reason, SAPS is light weight, it makes planting tough. Some don't mind this, I really do.

Flourite and Onyx sand are the heaviest hardest substrates out there.
I prefer the Onyx sand.

FYI, peat will not "rot" unless you add O2, that's why it accumulates in wetlands, it __is__ anaerobic. Ground peat added the bottom layer is not messy nor causes issues, you do not add that much and then 3-4" of flourite will not allow this to come up for a very long time, peat will decay but it will take a long time(months at least).
I've used it for a long time.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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If I put onyx sand or pool filter sand on top of flourite or MPV Turface, will the sand sift through the flourite or Turface. I don't want sand to mic with anything I want it to stay on top. Is this possible?. However Onyx sand isn't cheap enough to fill up a tank with it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
plantbrain said:
Regards,
Tom Barr
Tom thanks for being on the forum. I have been looking for some of your articles on-line that I hear people refer to but have not been able to find. Would you please post links to them. Thanks.
 

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

Steve Pituch
Just want to jump back to CEC, a larger difference between fluorite and profile.

Has it been observed between these two substrates, that the difference in CEC causes a difference in the plants?
 
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