Substrate Query: Is that this protected for planted/shrimp aquarium? TYIA

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  1. Cool. Where did you find that? The equivalent is Black Diamond Blasting Sand found at Tractor Supply. Lots of people have used that as a substrate. As it says, it’s the slag from iron smelting. Some reports say that if you drag a magnet through it, the magnet will pick up iron particles. I’m pretty sure that Petco’s black Imagitarium Aquatic Substrate is the same thing, just more refined.

    I use the Imagitarium, but only because I didn’t know about these cheaper substitutes. All are inert, so you will want to supplement. I suggest that you get enough to get a total depth of about 2.5 inches across the aquarium. Put in 1.5 inches, and then mix in some unadulterated potting soil (no added fertilizers) so there’s a 10% to 90% soil-to-grit mix. Put some root tabs on top, then add plain grit (one inch) on top.

    Look up cation exchange capacity (CEC) to see why the potting soil is important:

  2. I used the black diamond version to cap mineralized top soil. Works great. This is how I got the dirt ready:

  3. It is fine and I’ve been trying to find a bag of coal slag with no luck. No Tractor Supply in Canada.

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