Needed: People to test new enriched substrate I'm developing.
Must have over 100 posts.
Must have a camera, preferably with a Macro lens. (May be exceptions to this rule, for example, a moderator)
Must have experience keeping live plants, and own the plants yourself. (A side-by-side comparison would be best.)
I'm still tweaking the recipe, but I'm optimistic. I'm about to start my first tank with it as a substrate.
I'm not ready to sale it for a week or two, (probably longer) but I'd like to get the list together...
Provides Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, and Boron.
Added to the phosphorus and nitrogen already in most aquariums, your rooted plants should be perfectly happy.
Also, you guys can help me come up with a name for it.
Anyone here have reef tanks and planted? It'd be nice if you could use your reef test kit to test the water runoff from the substrate when you wet it. (should be minimal)
It's made of semi-fired clay (so it will not get soft in water), infused with nutrients. It's also much lighter normal gravel or sand when dry.
Disclaimer- Not good for cories or loaches. It's really soft to the touch, but the pieces are irregular. I plan on testing it with RCS and ghost shrimp- Don't use it in your CRS Hino AAA+ shrimp tank, since I haven't tested it.
very interesting... I plan on making a tank and mxing laterite, flourite,power sand, and ada or eco
Are you going mail it to the testers? These clay based substrates are what flourite and eco-complete are, what sets your substrate apart from these? Also, have you tested it for toxicity to fish, ie mineral release too quick, too many heavy metals in the tank, etc.?
In the testing phase now. I'm looking for someone with a SW test kit, so they can test the water runnoff.
It's main ingredient is calcined Montmorillonite, well-known in industrial applications for it's ability to absorb heavy metals. (Due to it's extremely high Cation Exchange Capacity.)
Many substrates like Laterite, Flourite, etc Also have a high CEC and trace elements like iron.
This substrate has an uncanny ability to absorb all sorts of minerals from the water.. If the fresh material is added to hard water, it can pull out all the minerals and cause a ph drop overnight.
I charge the material with nutrients with dolomite and safe chemical fertilizers, to in essence, 'fill' it.
It shouldn't release anything into the water without plant's roots activating the release of nutrients directly to the plant.
So far, my testing has mostly been on it's PH affects, and monitoring nitrogen (nitrates) being released into the water. I started an outdoor pond with the 'charged' material, and it's doing very well. Water is crystal clear, and plants are thriving.
Here is a picture-
Laterite, while cheap, can eventually decompose and cloud the water. Flourite can also cloud the water if not washed properly (Even though the label says there's no need to wash)..
Another advantage of my substrate is it's weight. Many substrates are measured by weight, but my substrate is only half as heavy as normal gravel.. Meaning less shipping costs, and less back-breaking work loading a new tank.
The grain size is irregular, and natural-colored.. Around 3-4mm in size. I'm using it as a cap for soil, and alone.
I can also produce more varieties later, similiar to a 'cichlid substrate'...
I'm also trying to get access to a Mass Spec to analyze it.
Here's another pic- this is what it really looks like in person.
not sure about others, but i prefer heavier substrates, that was one of my main gripes with flourite was that it was too light. Heavier substrates are easier to clean imo and easier to plant.
I dont have SW, so i guess i cant help. But this does sound very interesting, let me know how development goes, i might be interested in purchasing some.
same here... may be setting up a third 20 g
Well im reassessing enriched substrates because of issues ive run into with soil, namely compaction and biodegradability. My main tank used to be sloped upwards, now its kinda flat because the soils been bio-degrading and my tank is losing the depth it had in the original aquascape. The weight is not that much of an issue as im already using ultra-light gravel, the stuff literally floats if even the smallest of bubbles attaches onto it and it is still compacting.
For me as a member of your target market, im assuming your targeting people like me, you should be looking to make something that would compete with the likes of flourite and eco-complete or even ADA AS, standalone substrates. If the aquarist is using soil, its likely they would not spend additional money on enriched substrates since the purpose of soil was to replace those substrates, IMO.
I plan on setting a tank up with the substrate alone... Right now I've only been using it with soil.
Did you use Organic choice or topsoil? My original experiment with topsoil went horribly wrong, so on my guide I went with OC... OC breaks down over time however, while soil just tends to sink.
I have a pond and a bowl set up with topsoil and my substrate, and it's been doing really well. (I suspect due to the irregular shape and light weight. Could just as well be the CEC thats absorbing all the nasties.)
I'll post pictures of my tanks and do a tank journal when I set one up with my substrate alone.
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