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Profile Plat Soil/Black Magic Sandblasting Sand ??

Hello All,

I have been keeping tropical fish, most currently Discus, for some time now 
with only average success in keeping plants.  So I have been reading the APD 
for some time and have decided to take the plunge and build a 75g planted 
Discuss tank !  (Oh no what have I done).  I've definitely been bitten and 
my wife thinks the plants in my Discus tank look nice but now she won't talk 
to me anymore.  I told her I'm "building up to reef tanks" so I can raiser 
her some pearls !?  Oh well she will be "saved" soon enough.  On with the 
questions and one comment.

Q1: While in my Home Depot searching for, you got it, sandblasting sand, I 
stumbled across "Professional" Aquatic Plant Soil from AIMCOR (Buffalo 
Grove, IL)  called "Profile" in the pond section.  Anyone heard of it, used 
it, or have any comments/recommendations about it's use in planted aquarium 
?  The package indicated that it could be used for "all kinds of aquatic 
plants", meets some kind of NASA requirements for hydroponics medium on 
shuttle flights (maybe it's crushed moon rocks!), and (most interestingly), 
"holds and exchanges nutrients for the roots of aquatic plants".  It seems 
to be some sort of kiln fired mineral blend that contains thousand of 
internal and external pore spaces that will hold water and nutrients. It 
seems pretty inert, not a chemical (I thought everything is made from 
chemicals), it's not a fertilizer, and non toxic (to what? Home Depot 
employees ?), and has no effect on pH.  

I got so excited I paid 7 bucks for it and here I am. (maybe a little buyers 
remorse happening here?)

Has any one looked at the CEC on this stuff ??  
How much would one use if one where to use it ?
How should I mix it, with sand, vermiculite, 5% organic material, worm 
castings ?
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck ... oh sorry.

HOW HOW HOW...this sounds like a Timber Wolf convention...sorry.

Q2: All I could find for sandblasting sand is "#1240 Black Magic" which is 
some sort of coal slag.  I found this stuff in a tools rental place (my 
reasoning was if you rent sandblasters you must have you know what).  It 
looks to be more course than sand and just the right size for a top 
substrate layer, maybe too sharp for algae/scavengers, but it's got this 
great jet-black color that would look real cool, maybe mixed with white 
sandblasting sand.  Will this stuff just make one big carbon filter across 
the bottom of the 75g ?  (I can hear the flames now).  Your thoughts on it's 
use......covering my space-age crushed moon-rock lateriate with Red-Art clay 
balls, kitty liter, worm castings, Liliponds, Osmicote, PMDD concoction... 
of course.

Comment:  This list has been very informative and fun read.  Thanks to all 
for their effort and knowledge.  One day I may figure this all out.

Tom Brennan 
Brennans at ix_netcom.com