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Thread: Tank build with " Tropica " Plant soil

  1. #21
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    The tank is rebounding from an algae out break due to my co2 concentration out of whack, i will post an updated picture in the near future.
    Basically i did some minor tweaks like flip flopping the filter intake & output location with the co2 diffuser, also removed the monte carlo and allowing the Glosso to carpet in it`s place.

  2. #22
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    So.....where can one buy this soil....?

  3. #23
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    So far bigalsonline.ca is the only place I've found in Canada who has it (and of course it is exempt from their free freight deal). Not inexpensive but fairly close to Fluval Stratum on a per kg/pound basis.

    Charlie have you ever used Stratum? The two seem eerily similar...even the marketing descriptions read like copies of each other. "Made from volcanic soil...lowers Ph..." etc.

    Do you think the initial ammonia leach is low enough to have fish in the aquarium? I really need to replace my substrate but I have a school of neons I don't have a holding tank for....

  4. #24
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sunsanvil Click here to enlarge
    So far bigalsonline.ca is the only place I've found in Canada who has it (and of course it is exempt from their free freight deal). Not inexpensive but fairly close to Fluval Stratum on a per kg/pound basis.

    Charlie have you ever used Stratum? The two seem eerily similar...even the marketing descriptions read like copies of each other. "Made from volcanic soil...lowers Ph..." etc.

    Do you think the initial ammonia leach is low enough to have fish in the aquarium? I really need to replace my substrate but I have a school of neons I don't have a holding tank for....
    Yes i have used stratum , in fact my 79 gallon tank was started in 2011 and still have the stratum substrate in it to this day.
    In my opinion the Tropica soil is different to the Stratum.
    Here are my thoughts on your situation , if you want to use Tropica soil, you will need to house your fish in some type of holding container, as the leached ammonia can create issues with your livestock, that said with frequent water changes and your already cycled bio filter will help speed the cycle time faster.
    Another good idea is to retain some of your present substrate ( loaded with beneficial bacteria) without rinsing or drying out and layer the bottom with about 1 inch of the old substrate , pulled away from the edges of the aquarium ( avoid unsightly double layer) with the new Tropica soil over it, this will also help with the cycle.
    Hope that helps, the distributer of Tropica products visits this site, maybe he can tell you where to get it.
    Regards

  5. #25
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    Thanks Charlie. Amazing that your Stratum is still viable, especially when Fluval themselves recommend replacing it every 1.5-2 years. I kid you not, that is what their rep told me "because it tends to compress....sheesh! :)

    Getting slightly OT here, but my situation is that I have too little Stratum (by half) in the Flora (should have just bought that extra bag the little man in my head was telling me to). Its right around 2 years old now. I was thinking of just adding some more, or the Tropica, right on top of it to thicken things up but wondered if "burying" the old like that would be a bad idea. Thoughts?

  6. #26
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sunsanvil Click here to enlarge
    Thanks Charlie. Amazing that your Stratum is still viable, especially when Fluval themselves recommend replacing it every 1.5-2 years. I kid you not, that is what their rep told me "because it tends to compress....sheesh! :)

    Getting slightly OT here, but my situation is that I have too little Stratum (by half) in the Flora (should have just bought that extra bag the little man in my head was telling me to). Its right around 2 years old now. I was thinking of just adding some more, or the Tropica, right on top of it to thicken things up but wondered if "burying" the old like that would be a bad idea. Thoughts?
    It is a bad idea, a thin layer is not so bad.
    The fluval does breakdown & compress.
    ADA also suggest changing out the substrate after a year or so!

  7. #27
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    Changing out ADA every year seems maddening, that's brown gold to mostly everyone. Thank god for dirted tanks.

  8. #28
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Charlie Click here to enlarge
    The fluval does breakdown & compress. ADA also suggest changing out the substrate after a year or so!
    In all seriousness, how is your 5-year old Stratum doing?

    Makes me wonder if Tropica's "substrate" product (as opposed to "soil" product) might be a better idea. Being a clay/sphagnum layer under inter top layer it sounds sort of like doing dirted but probably less rich? I dont know. The Tropica rep I corresponded with seemed adamant that neither of their two products was better than the other. "Neither of the products is better for any setup (easy, medium, or advanced) than the other" he said.

  9. #29
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Illusionist Click here to enlarge
    Changing out ADA every year seems maddening, that's brown gold to mostly everyone. Thank god for dirted tanks.
    Here is where the problem lies, most hobbyist tend to subscribe to the hype of changing substrate, fluorescent etc. without firstly understanding the way these specialized products operates & why companies makes these suggestions & last but not least understand their personal conditions
    Takashi Amano himself once said in a presentation that his company suggest changing the soil yearly but it can be used for a long time, it`s all about your conditions, water parameters & types of plants etc.
    As with any soil based substrate, yes even dirted tanks will exhaust their nutritional & buffering abilities after a period of time , your individual set ups will dictate how long it takes to do so, even after it is exhausted & you are one of hobbyist that supplement the tanks nutritional requirement, your only set back is when the soil substrate fully breaks down & compress and start to promote anaerobic conditions.
    Here is why my fluval has lasted so long( needs changing now), my source water is very soft , as such the buffering requirement is a non issue, i supplement from day 1 via the EI method & occasional root tabs (( All be it more heavily now) where i have root plants that source their nutrient heavily from the substrate.
    @ sunsanvil here is a picture of the tank with Fluval substrate, i`ll let you judge how the Fluval is doing.
    Click here to enlarge

  10. #30
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Charlie Click here to enlarge
    @ sunsanvil here is a picture of the tank with Fluval substrate, i`ll let you judge how the Fluval is doing.
    Dude that's absolutely gorgeous. Is that Ryuoh or Maten stood with the branchwood? Really inspiring. Intense CO2?

  11. #31
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    I understand that dirted tanks need their substrate changed out too.. but the difference is that it doesn't cost an arm to redo a large tank like a 125 gallon. Your picture looks wonderful.

    Also yes I agree with the conditions of the tank plays a large role.. I'm currently under the par with that regard, so I'm needing to change the dirt out this summer possibly, lasted about a year and a half being on co2 and stronger lights. Will be upping my lights when I change it out. @Charlie

  12. #32
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    I too understand the whole depletion thing, and how that's variable based on which plants, how much (or little) they get from the water column etc, but I'm a little puzzled but the compression thing. Does it or doesn't it? If your tank Charlie is any indication, it would seem that "1.5-2 year" is far too conservative.

  13. #33
    ComfortablyNumb
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    Hi Charlie! I recognize that picture of your tank ....its from quite a while ago though. Do you have any pics of it taken within the last year? Would love to see an update!

  14. #34
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sunsanvil Click here to enlarge
    In all seriousness, how is your 5-year old Stratum doing?

    Makes me wonder if Tropica's "substrate" product (as opposed to "soil" product) might be a better idea. Being a clay/sphagnum layer under inter top layer it sounds sort of like doing dirted but probably less rich? I dont know. The Tropica rep I corresponded with seemed adamant that neither of their two products was better than the other. "Neither of the products is better for any setup (easy, medium, or advanced) than the other" he said.
    I cannot speak to the "substrate" since i have never used it, but in my opinion, they are 2 different approaches with the "substrate" is not nutrient rich, but will over time retain the build up of nutrients from the tank as it becomes available, while the "soil" is just that soil with the nutrient in it.

  15. #35
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ComfortablyNumb Click here to enlarge
    Hi Charlie! I recognize that picture of your tank ....its from quite a while ago though. Do you have any pics of it taken within the last year? Would love to see an update!
    My apologies, i thought that was fairly recent, it is the most recent picture but way back in 2014, on checking i realize i have not taken any updated pics since then .
    I just took a quick cell phone pics, so the lights were manually turned on & picture taken less than 10 mins after lights on.
    As can be seen , there was some slight changes, mainly different rocks , less wood & some different plants & relocation of some.

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    Click here to enlarge
    Regards

  16. #36
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    What is the plant in the front right corner? Do you have to trim it to keep it short like that?

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Charlie Click here to enlarge
    Here is where the problem lies, most hobbyist tend to subscribe to the hype of changing substrate, fluorescent etc. without firstly understanding the way these specialized products operates & why companies makes these suggestions & last but not least understand their personal conditions
    Takashi Amano himself once said in a presentation that his company suggest changing the soil yearly but it can be used for a long time, it`s all about your conditions, water parameters & types of plants etc.
    As with any soil based substrate, yes even dirted tanks will exhaust their nutritional & buffering abilities after a period of time , your individual set ups will dictate how long it takes to do so, even after it is exhausted & you are one of hobbyist that supplement the tanks nutritional requirement, your only set back is when the soil substrate fully breaks down & compress and start to promote anaerobic conditions.
    Here is why my fluval has lasted so long( needs changing now), my source water is very soft , as such the buffering requirement is a non issue, i supplement from day 1 via the EI method & occasional root tabs (( All be it more heavily now) where i have root plants that source their nutrient heavily from the substrate.
    @ sunsanvil here is a picture of the tank with Fluval substrate, i`ll let you judge how the Fluval is doing.
    Click here to enlarge

  17. #37
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Celidh Click here to enlarge
    What is the plant in the front right corner? Do you have to trim it to keep it short like that?
    http://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/4499/4499

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