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Re: [APD] re: Substrates and mulm in non-co2 tanks

Onyx is indeed sold in Gravel size and Sand size. Gravel
seems too big for aquarium substrate.

I respsectfully beg to differ on Eco-compete being uniform
in size, unless you mean that, after settling, the surface
appears uniform in size.

One of Eco's advertised features is that it comprises
different size bits and that the small bits tend to settle
down at the bottom eventually -- as small bits tend to do
when hanging out with bigger bits -- something to do with
gravity, holes, and the size of things that fall into them
:-) . Eco stratifies! It even unavoidably stratifies --
autostratfication. That might sound like jet age magic, but
mountains have been doing it for years  ;-) . Whether in
the aquarium this is a good or inconsequential thing, I am
not sure.  The big stuff doesn't show the dirt as quickly,
but it's harder to plant in, the plants more readily stay
put when you put them in. But an aquarium substrate
*surface* eventually is uniform -- and in the case of
Eco-complete, made of much larger bits than the bits in
Onyx Sand.

Onyx is every bit as dusty as Flourite. But I've learned to
stop worry and love the dust.  As I now do with Flourite, I
barely rinsed my Onyx -- "dust shmust," I said. I fill the
tank carefully, which, even though boringly long, is much
easier and less time consuming than rinsing. And after a
few months either its mostly settled into the substrate or
the canister has picked it up because it's not a problem in
my tanks, not even when replanting. 

What mulm collects tends to drift toward the filter intake
where it is picked up by normal filter operation or an
occasional vacuuming.  I've have mulm build up on Flourite
sized material too. Perhaps it mostly matters on how fast
the mulm collects versus how fast it breaks down. If the
former is faster, then substrate particle size won't help
much long term as eventually the substrate "fills" and mulm
collects on top.

Btw, re the buffering, if I go weeks and weeks without a
water change, my Onyx tank has a pH max of about 7.6. My
tapwater is about 7.0-7.2 and a GH of about 3 degrees.

It doesn't seem like enough to matter except in tanks where
you are trying manage a very low pH -- like some apisto
breeding tanks?

Scott H.
Scott H.

--- David Grim <grim1214 at bellsouth_net> wrote:

> . . .I tried Onyx right after it came out, and I think 
>  there
> may be two types of
> Onyx sold now (sand and a larger particle size). I would
> buy it if they sold
> it in a Flourite sized variety, but the bags I had had
> particles from dust
> to small rock size.
> I have Eco-Complete in two tanks now, and it is a nice
> substrate as well. It
> buffers as well as Onyx, is uniform in size, and is a
> true black in color,
> whereas Onyx is like a dark gray, not really black.
> I noticed that stem plant roots pull up a lot more
> Eco-Complete when you
> pull them up vs Flourite, so I think there is a good deal
> of porosity in the
> Eco-Complete vs the Flourite.
> I have CO2 inall my tanks, but don't think that makes a
> difference when
> discussing this.
> Dave
> _______________________________________________
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> Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
> http://www.actwin.com/mailman/listinfo.cgi/aquatic-plants

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