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Has anyone here tried this "new" substrate made by Aqualine Buschke? How does it compare in appearance and performance to the more commonly used substrates (Eco-complete, Flourite, etc)?

Carlos
 

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I have two bags of it that I bought just to see what it was like. They will go into the bottom of the tank I set up next, and will be topped by eco and Onyx sand. I had some comparison pics somewhere that I will try to post so you can get an idea what it looks like and the texture.
 

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He sure does. I just finished setting up a 65g tank using the two bags of Volcanit under Eco-complete. I have some in a jar to see if there is any effect on water parameters. Will try to post comparison pics and results in about a week.
 

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Clockwise, starting at top left, it's Eco-complete, Onyx sand, Volcanit, regular Flourite, some sort of bonsai soil, and Moon Sand. They are all dry, except some damp grains of Eco can be seen (the darker ones).

Volcanit almost seems a bit heavier than Flourite, but I don't have a scale suitable to confirm that, so take it with a grain of substrate, err, salt.

Hope this image is not too dark for your screen.
 

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This is what it looked like in my tank. I topped it with eco, so won't have a lot to say about how it is to plant in. The black substrate in this photo is Moon Sand.
 

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That's a great comparative photo of the various textures, colours and grain size.

In bags of Flourite I recently ordered, there have been some chunks as large as an inch across. I expect they missed out in the milling process. Grain size control was far from perfect.

Andrew Cribb
 

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The Volcanit looked pretty ugly in the bag, not so ugly in the tank. If I had known it was going to match my hardscape so well, I might not have topped it with the Eco. All materials were already purchased, though, so I went ahead with the original plan. I will post later after I test the jar of water with Volcanit re parameter shifts.

Speaking of production variations in the Seachem products, I bought Onyx sand that was much more uniform in a second purchase than what I got the first time I purchased it. I thought they were going in the right direction with that, but there might be a "end of production" bag or two with not such good uniformity getting out the shipping door.
 

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One more bit of important info: I screened the Volcanit through hardware cloth. The grain size was quite uniform, and there was about 1/3 of the bag that was too large to pass the screen, and there was also a significant amount of fines, as you can see in the quarter pic. There were no oversize pieces. The Volcanit in the tank pic is the part that passed the screen.
 

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Screening is a great idea which didn't occur to me. Next time I set up a tank I will certainly do that. The Volcanit in the set up above looks a little more brown in colour than the Florite. If that is the case, I like it a lot. Brown, in nature, seems more common than black, at least in terms of what ones sees at the bottom of streams, rivers and lakes.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Brown, in nature, seems more common than black, at least in terms of what ones sees at the bottom of streams, rivers and lakes.
Thats what I was thinking. Flourite has a really fake look to it, but nothing comes close to its iron content. I've used the screening method on onyx sand to keep the larger grain sizes. It gets rid of all the dust, that I would think would cloud the tank. Could we get a tank pic with the tank filled with water?
 

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For my soil tanks I take soil from my yard and screen it. Much faster than trying to remove the grass roots etc. by hand. For substrate like Volcanit and Flourite, larger pieces can be hammered after the screening, if you don't want to lose the large pieces. I was going to do this, but it turned out not to be necessary. There's a bigger difference between the look/feel/weight of Volcanit with Eco than with Flourite.
 
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