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[APD] RE: DIY Eco complete and Ferti plant

> It kind of sounds like going back to the layer cake
> substrates of the past. Why so complicated?
> Scott H.

Not really complicated, 
You are mainly subbing the lignite for peat
Mulm/lignite base and cap with Florabase/Onyx sand/Flouritye/Eco
complete/Turface or just plain sand.
The Eco complete I would bet is not a whole lot different than Black MVP
Turface, except the price is far cheaper. You can add black sand to give it
some weight but that's up to you, Turface is not much different weight wise.
Still mixing back turface with black sand will likely be esier than two
tones/shades of Profile/turface with the red brick coloration.
I think over the long haul, lignite may have better properties than peat,
but adding a little peat will not hurt.
The idea of soaking the lignite in a rich N&P solution is something I
personally am interested in. 

Mulm is added for the bacteria and the labile food the bacteria are
munching on that will get them through till some mulm and other organic
matter makes it way intot he substrate.
Peat is added for the slight reduction that is common in many established
substrates and also as a semi labile organic nutrient source.
Lignite appears to be able to hold and bind more since it's more
Turface/Onyx etc is for a source of traces/iron which will help buffer the
reduction at moderate levels.

You can add or delete what ever parts you want, lignite is widely available
all over the world, so is peat, Turface may not be, but some iron rich
porous clay product likely is, mulm is everywhere also.

I like to find things and also methods that everyone can use and find
locally no matter which country they live in. 
Not everyone can get good test kits for example, or RO filters, or
Flourite, and many are simply too Cheap. 

Do you need lignite? No. Will it helps with some methods? Sure. It's not
for everyone, but if you like to mess around with layered sub's, then it's
much cheaper at 5.95$ for 25lbs vs 50$ for a little tub of Fertiplant. I
think I can get a ton/2000lbs for about 400$ or about 20 cents a lb.  

Maybe SeaChem will make base substrates to add on top of Onyx (or someone
else). There's alway a large group of non DIY folks. 

Tom Barr 

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