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Cheap Sand-based CO2 Generating Sub

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  • Originally posted by Digbot View Post
    So on the Bunnings website there is a whole variety of white stones By reading the product description I managed to eliminate most of them as quartz or granite. Only one states in the description "stone" as its material: Tuscan Path 2kg 4 - 6mm White Mini Pebbles I/N: 3461770. Looks like the white version of the crappy starter tank pebbles or decor vase rocks. can someone verify is if is actually marble? My other option is to take vinegar with me to the store and science experiment while nobody is watching
    That sounds like the one.
    As Rebel said shell grit also works it just breaks down a bit faster. It will not break down in the life time of an aquarium but so is a good option.

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    • Originally posted by Madmerv View Post
      That sounds like the one.
      As Rebel said shell grit also works it just breaks down a bit faster. It will not break down in the life time of an aquarium but so is a good option.
      Fair call, one could also use coral rubble from the LFS. Not sure about how easy is it to obtain tho.

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      • I did do the vinegar test at Bunnings, in the stack there was a few loose pebbles to test, poured vinegar over the rocks in my palm and heard the fizzing - confirmed!
        Now I can begin with my nano tank - AquaEL 290x290x350, with Fluval performance LED nano. Still have not decided on a filter yet, I don't have any plans on stocking as yet, mainly as a growing tank that I can use to quarantine new or sick fish, maybe shrimp If I can get a good ph with the substrate, my tap water is 8.4 and no amount of chemical buffering lasts more than a day before it is back up again. With driftwood its 8 - 8.2.
        Any thoughts? It is such a small tank and I don't want to disturb the substrate with a lot of flow.

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        • Originally posted by Digbot View Post
          I did do the vinegar test at Bunnings, in the stack there was a few loose pebbles to test, poured vinegar over the rocks in my palm and heard the fizzing - confirmed!
          Now I can begin with my nano tank - AquaEL 290x290x350, with Fluval performance LED nano. Still have not decided on a filter yet, I don't have any plans on stocking as yet, mainly as a growing tank that I can use to quarantine new or sick fish, maybe shrimp If I can get a good ph with the substrate, my tap water is 8.4 and no amount of chemical buffering lasts more than a day before it is back up again. With driftwood its 8 - 8.2.
          Any thoughts? It is such a small tank and I don't want to disturb the substrate with a lot of flow.
          If your aims are to reduce pH (therefore kH) of tap water, suggest ADA/Black earth soil. There are other ways such as adding true peat to the 2TONED soil but I won't recommend it. For a nano tank, you will only need one bag of ADA etc.

          Other methods of reducing pH of tap water include using RO with acids such as HCL but that is also beyond the scope of this thread; suggest starting new thread. Actually there was a thread about it here somehwhere started by Indir.

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          • Following on from Rebel's recommendation of using soils to reduce pH, my dad and I were doing some testing of premium and home-made mixes a while back and found some surprising results...

            pH of ADA Amazonia was 5.1
            pH of CAL Black Earth was 3.9

            End results were the average of quite a few tests so were not outliers. I was always under the impression black Earth had a pH closer to neutral than Amazonia but apparently not...
            Last edited by Cryptocorynus; 26-03-18, 10:45 AM.
            Rainbowfish, Cryptocoryne, Echinodorus

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            • Crypto, Black earth causes significant pH reduction (sometimes tinting of the water as well). kH ends up usually being 0. It's similar to amazonia so I am curious to see the difference. How did you measure the equal amounts to test? Volume vs weight?

              Also, I think the soils can have batch to batch variance as it's a natural product. These soils are about 5-7% organic matter and rest is clay/silt.
              Last edited by Rebel; 26-03-18, 11:37 AM.

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              • Portions were not exactly equal by mass but were equal by volume (the space they take up) as that would be what you would be going off when filling a pot or a tank to a height, for example. An equal amount of each substrate was put into a small container with the same amount of rainwater (pH ~7) and left for a few days and then tested with a pH meter. Results were then averaged out. It was not super thorough but was all we needed considering we set out mainly to find what the pH would be in beaker culture - a sealed container with a small amount of soil left as is (with rainwater added). Powdering each substrate and testing by weight would be more thorough if wanting the pH of the substrate itself.
                Last edited by Cryptocorynus; 27-03-18, 02:32 PM.
                Rainbowfish, Cryptocoryne, Echinodorus

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                • Hey all,

                  I tried this substrate recipe and wanted a black sand so tried the aquairon mixed with piesces black diamond sand, I'm just wondering whether that is too fine as most of the plants melted initially, only things that survived were some Crypto wendtii and of all things, Rotala walichi.

                  Just trying to workout if I've stuffed up the cap, whether to redo it or if an initial melt is usual (didn't see it occur earlier in this thread).

                  I used 2cm propagating sand,
                  1cm propagating sand mixed with peat moss
                  A light dusting of peatmoss
                  White pebbles (tested and got a reaction)
                  Capped with 3cm aquairon and piesces diamond black sand.

                  I did not use blood n bone due to some of the horror stories I'd read and saw people had success without it, so figured I was playing it safe.

                  Cheers

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                  • If the sand cap is too fine it can affect roots and o2 levels etc. I don't know about the diamond sand specifically.

                    If you didn't use the blood and bone, then there is no nutrients in the sub. So you will need to liquid fert it or use root tabs.

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