bulking up eco complete

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Nick16, 29 Sep 2009.

  1. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    hi, i have about 45KG of this stuff but i need a lot more before i can get enough slope in my tank. Now, instead of buying more that will cost me about £70 can i use something to bulk it up with. like slide in 10KG of something else, i idealy want just the one substrate, unlike last time (i used black gravel and akadama). Having never used EC i dont know what it looks like etc. Can someone recommend something i can use. I dont mind if its inert. I was thinking black sand/very fine gravel. ?

    cheers for any help.

    i know its only another 10kgs but it guess its a bit more to play with. if i mix it all together, it wont affect my growth too much as it will be a ration of roughly 4.5:1. (if i get 10kgs)
     
  2. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Kidderminster, Worcs
    I wouldnt mix it up if you are going to add an inert black gravel for example, just cap the stuff you have with a fine gravel you like the look of.
     
  3. Mortis

    Mortis Member

    Messages:
    355
    You could mix it with black roman gravel that you get at pet shops. I think it is about the same size and colour
     
  4. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    capping it is worse IMO as whenever i move/uproot something i always get the sutff from underneath on top, thats why if i can find something very similar i can mix them together, something bigger than sand but very fine gravel.
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Add anything you like. EC is basically inert anyway. It has a little bit of Iron and some other trace elements and that's about it. Certainly nothing to write home about. Mix in some cheap black gravel as suggested earlier and no one will be the wiser.

    Cheers,
     
  6. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    right cheers for that, i will see what i can match up. is there anything non inert that would be good to get in there?
    i will have some osmocote on the very bottom to add a little something.
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yes, just have a look at JamesC's Akadama sticky and add the items he suggests. Osmocote is a good one for NKP. Peat is good for adding carbon for the bacteria. You can also kick start the sediment by adding mulm from an existing filter or tank. Should be fine. EC claims to have a ready supply of bacteria laden liquid mulm but it's not clear whether that's marketing hype or not. If you have a tank/filter running already I'd certainly get some mulm from there and add it in.

    Cheers,
     
  8. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    yep the mulm will go in as per usual :D
    osmocote is good stuff, smeels bad, but is good :lol:

    i understand there is a differeance between spagnum moss peat and peat moss, i believe the spagnum is the stuff underneath the peat moss? however are there any advantages/disadv to each?
    i might get a small amount but not sure whihc will benefit me the mostt, if any.
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Sphagnum is a family of moss which has typically large cell structures enabling them to absorb large amounts of air and water in a way very similar to a sponge. A peat bog is an area of moss wetland wherein, over generations, the moss dies and is overgrown by new shoots. The underlying material, which is called the peat, slowly decomposes and in so doing actually supports the overgrowth. These boglands are harvested for the layers of this partially decomposed plant material. The Canadians have millions of acres of this type of wetland so they sell quite a bit of it. As far as I can tell there ought not to be much of a difference between these two terms, unless of course the peat in question is from a type of moss that is not of the sphagnum variety.

    For our purposes, the decomposing organic material basically releases carbohydrates which is in a form that is accessible to the bacteria. The sediment bacteria require all the same things that plants and animals require for growth. Carbon, NPK and micronutrients are all necessary for healthy bacteria, so if the sediment is rich in accessible forms of these components then both plant roots and bacteria can benefit. Accelerating the bacterial colonies stabilizes the tanks chemistry helping to fix Nitrogen more quickly, and in so doing reduces the level of ammonium. Sediment bacteria do exactly the same job as the filter bacteria, so it's in our interest to help this process along.

    I believe that the more exotic sediments such as AquaSoil have peat baked on to the surface of the clay granules in addition to NPK. Many of the sediment supplements (which require topping) such as the JBL and the Tropica product are basically peat derived, either in a mushy form or dried on clay pellets. I'm less certain of their NPK content though. Anyway, that's why the supplements have to be topped, so that they don't make a mess as they decompose. In James' Akadama journal you can see that he is basically simulating Aquasoil by adding the ingredients that do the same job as the industrially fabricated product (for a much lower price).

    Cheers,
     

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