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Re: [APD] Soilmaster
Aesthetics is one attribute that is SM gets high marks on. I would say it's as good if not better than Eco Complete. But 10X cheaper.
Many folks seem to prefer darker substrates.
I'm not really one of them.
I like white sand, light tan/slightly off white substrates, these are often what I see in natural systems where submersed vegetation grows.
It gives a different look, but it's certainly nice.
But folks can do a white sand foreground and a ADA soil/Onyx sand/Flourite or SM mix in the rear and the sand in front easily enough, this looks quite nice.
I have fully assessed Flora base. I think it's lousy compared to Onyx and and ADA substrates, both in ease of planting, scaping as well as plant roots.
I have several tanks with different substrates going, they all get non limiting dosing and CO2 mist, but FB substrate has consistently over time not done nearly as well as Flourite, Onyx sand or ADA.
For the money, sand and dirt are the cheapest.
Then Onyx sand/Flourite.
ADA substrate is the only one that needs no rising.
EC does not either, but I really do not appreciate paying for water nor shipping it, 20lbs of substrate is really 10lbs of actual material. Given that it is light weight like SM, a little rinsing for the huge cost difference makes it a clear choice over EC.
I've sold off my EC. I will get rid of the FB this weekend. I'm done with those two substrates. But the SM, sand, Onyx/flourite and ADA substrates are very good based on both price and results and give a wide range of aesthetic difference for the users.
If folks are heading to Mike's for the open SFBAAPS's house this Sat, I will bring several bags of SM along. I think once you see it, folks start to really like it. I've never been that big on light weight substrates, but they work well, the ADA substrates have taken some getting use to, but they do well thereafter and are not expensive and easy to ship etc(lighter weight per volume than hard substrates). I'm much less inclined to use fingers with ADA substrates(and SM) for planting/replanting and much more inclined to use fingers for flourite and onyx sand.
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