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Old 01-21-2019, 12:56 PM
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Default which substrate

hi there
did you buy your substrate ready mixed
or did you mix your own
if so what items did you mix together and how much of each
thanks
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: which substrate

Purchased ready made. It was cheaper than putting my own together.

Solo
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: which substrate

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Purchased ready made. It was cheaper than putting my own together.

Solo
I have never run the numbers, but I don't imagine that a person can but all the ingredients separately for too much less money than she can buy all those same ingredients already mixed in a time-tested ratio. Some of the ingredients (tree fern, especially) can be a real challenge to find at any price.

I made my own "ABG" in the beginning, and regretted it.

I'm now using Glassboxtropical's ABG, and I like it. I have a big box stashed in my basement for future builds.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: which substrate

I use JoshsFrogs ABG mix. Now I am going to try Houston Frogs ABG and other special mix on my new tank. I have watched many videos on YouTube of how to make your own ABG and it does not appear hard. It will be very cost effective if you have several tanks to use it on. As mentioned tree fern fiber will be the only ingredient hard to find.

If you make your own ABG please do not forget to share on here if you wish!
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: which substrate

Turface...I had several bags laying around and have been using it for planted aquariums for a while now. Good stuff, drains exceptionally well, holds nutrients, great cation exchange capacity, doesn't break down etc.

That said if I went ABG I would have simply purchased the appropriate amount.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: which substrate

many thanks everyone for your input on this
and yes I see what you mean about the cost of each item if you mix it yourself
tree fern fiber cost a lot for what it is see here
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tree-Fern...3RKP:rk:1:pf:0
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: which substrate

Here's the deal with ABG. It is very difficult (if not impossible) to source large amounts of tree fern fiber. Someone else (Zero?) pointed to a link recently for "soft" tree fern fiber. No idea how that will fare over the long run. To paraphrase Pumilo, if you aren't using tree fern fiber, it isn't ABG. Lots of folks are trying other things (expanded glass, Turface, etc.) to account for not using tree fern fiber, but those recipes aren't tried and true yet. By way of comparison, check out this thread that Pumilo's son posted a while back.

https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...t-abg-mix.html

Those are amazing results. However, it will take years before we know for sure which of these new recipes will hold up the same way actual ABG does. In the meantime, as JimM says, I have had great luck with Turface. It's not the easiest thing to source, but you can get more than you will need for many builds in a single bag and it works great (and it's super cheap compared to ABG). I have had it in my tanks for years and it still looks the same as the day I put it in and it grows plants well. The only downside is that you really need to stay on top of covering it up with leaf litter. I think that most people would say that you ought to be doing that with ABG, as well.

Anyway, that's my $0.02,

Mark
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: which substrate

I just ordered a couple of bags of this to test.

Solo
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: which substrate

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I just ordered a couple of bags of this to test.

Solo
that's ok but I am in the uk so getting stuff like that here is hard to find
then when you do find it the cost is high
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:13 AM
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Where is the tree fern sourced from? Seems to me a bit of a conservation. Issue, but maybe different countries species are different. Here it is very slow and overharvested, so is becoming less.common.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: which substrate

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Where is the tree fern sourced from? Seems to me a bit of a conservation. Issue, but maybe different countries species are different. Here it is very slow and overharvested, so is becoming less.common.
New Zealand. No machinery is used on the ground, so no soil disturbance, and after selective cutting removal is done by helicopter.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:45 PM
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Good to hear about no ground disturbance. Is tree fern harvesting there sustainable? We lived there briefly a couple years ago and noticed NZ is quite devastated naturally. We collected some spores of a couple tree fern species, they seem common and abundant in many locations but also seem that locations of healthy forests there seem pretty bad. Just curious as a couple species there are surely quite common but its not a super fast group of plants so wondering how it all works out.
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: which substrate

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Turface...I had several bags laying around and have been using it for planted aquariums for a while now. Good stuff, drains exceptionally well, holds nutrients, great cation exchange capacity, doesn't break down etc.

That said if I went ABG I would have simply purchased the appropriate amount.
I also use turface for similar reasons. Whenever I'm putting a plant in I'll scoop a bit of the turface out where I want to place the plant and I'll add a little bit of coco coir and sphagnum moss sprinkled with coffee grounds. Works like a charm for me.
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