Substrate mixing ratio?

Good friends in a pinch! Forums Chewin’ the Choya Substrate mixing ratio?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Stacy Stacy 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #3252
    Profile photo of Stacy
    Stacy
    Keymaster

    So I just saw someone state that the ideal ratio is 5:1 sand to EE. They suggested 50lbs of sand to half a brick of EE. Now math is not my strong subject but that is not 5 to one unless you are buying a 20lb brick of ee because 50lbs of sand should equate to 10lbs of ee based on the 5:1 recommended. Right? Also is that brick weight? Wet weight? Dry expanded weight. That seems like a lot of EE to me unless you are using the wet weight. Brick weight that would be about 8 bricks of EE.

    Anyway I have a mix but I don’t know the ratio. I mix till it looked good to me. I think it was two bags of sand to 3 or 4 bricks.

    What mix are you guys using?

    #3427
    Profile photo of John Alpaugh
    John Alpaugh
    Participant

    Nobody understands your question. Really I don’t think most of us measured. Right now I use 100% sand and always will especially with beach sand. But otherwise it’s always been like you said, “I mix it till it looks good……” I think Anne gave me a recipe. I forget and will ask.

    #3428
    Profile photo of John Alpaugh
    John Alpaugh
    Participant

    I think we all did what you did. “mixed it till it looks good….” I never really measured. Anne gave me a recipe. I will tell her about the post.

    #3456
    Profile photo of Stacy
    Stacy
    Keymaster

    My questions:
    A. isn’t that person completely wrong in their math?
    B. doesn’t there seem to be some missing information in how to achieve the proper 5:1 ratio (wet V. dry weights and so on)
    C. what ratio/mix does everyone currently use (is it more sand than EE or the other way around?)
    D. beaches are primarily sand and while hermit crabs hide under leaf litter doesn’t it make more sense to have a mix that is more sand than ee?

    #3458

    Pam
    Participant

    Stacy,
    I don’t know if this helps but this is what I did for a 20 gal. high tank, I used 60 pounds of high grade play sand and one bag of the eco earth(coconut fiber). I did not use the brick ee, I found the bag easier to use.

    #3459

    Pam
    Participant

    Stacy, I checked out zoo meds web site, one brick will make 7 to 8 litres. Here is a link hope this helps

    http://www.zoomed.com/db/products/EntryDetail.php?EntryID=231&DatabaseID=2&SearchID=20

    #3460

    Pam
    Participant

    Also find this handy little chart there, maybe be helpful to all

    http://zoomed.com/Library/Care%20Sheet%20Documents/Recommended_Substrate_Chart.jpg

    #3461
    Profile photo of Anne Grady
    Anne Grady
    Participant

    Stacy, John has me confused with someone else. I always say the sub should be 5 to 1, but what I do is probably what everyone else does. When I set up the 75 I used 125 pounds of sand and 3 bricks of EE, which is apprx 24 liters of the EE. I have never measured how many liters of sand is in a bag, LOL. I mixed it all up, it looked good and I used it. I think if you were going for a 5/1 ratio it would have to be measured, so many liters of sand to so many liters of expanded coco fiber.

    John thought I had sent him a mix with grass in it, but I didn’t. Must have been one of his other groupies, LOL.

    #3463
    Profile photo of Michele
    Michele
    Participant

    There was a time when I was asking myself those very same questions.

    At the risk of opening an old can of worms… 😀 I don’t use EE in my crab tanks. I use quality sand, a little crushed oyster shell and nothing more. Other than a few piles of moss here and there. I’ve been hammered with the “EE is absolutely necessary for a healthy crab environment” mindset and I disagree. I was keeping hermit crabs long before its use became trendy and I’ve had no unexplained losses over the years. When I did try it out in my crabitat, it kept the humidity way to high and I was constantly battling to bring it down. It just didn’t work well for me. In my opinion the use of EE is a personal choice rather than a necessity.

    As for trying to figure the correct ratio, the one time I did use it, I was equally confused so I’m afraid I cant offer much there. ^.^

    #3553
    Profile photo of Stacy
    Stacy
    Keymaster

    I prefer all sand but the EE makes an easy filler to get my depth up to where it should be without packing hundreds of pounds of sand into my basement. I used to use crushed coral sand for parts of my tank but then the ee started creeping into it and what an ungodly mess that became. I’m lazy so I’m not spending hours rinsing the ee out. I finally gave up and sold off almost all of it. I found a small tub that I didn’t sell and I’m secretly thrilled because that means I might be able to use it with my new project this week. I also have some super fine green marine sand so I’m torn between which one to use. I’ve offered it in a dish and the crabs ate it so I’m thinking it would be ideal for my water feature if it doesn’t plug the pump.

    Phew off track… like I just posted elsewhere, beaches are not a perfect mix of 5:1 ee and sand, in fact I’m pretty sure they are 100% sand and this is the natural habitat. If the EE is needed to help keep your humidity up that’s great but I’m not convinced it is a requirement. At least not for experienced crabbers. Over the many years I have learned that we can do things differently and still be successful. Marie Davis has successfully kept hermit crabs for decades and all of her crabs surface molt, something that most people with say is a sign something is wrong but clearly her crabs are thriving.

    #3559
    Profile photo of Anne Grady
    Anne Grady
    Participant

    I have never done anything but the EE and sand and it works for me, but I agree that beaches are just sand and so I can’t see why they wouldn’t be fine with just sand. I actually know several people that use just sand and their crabs are doing well with it. I just reread my earlier post here and see that I said I used 125 pounds of sand, LOL. Actually used 200, 5 bags at 40 pounds each. Now the tank is so heavy that I’ll have to have major help if it ever needs moving.

    Where did you get green marine sand? I’d love some colored sand in the tank, just for the different look. All I’ve ever seen is the calci sand and you might as well pour concrete as use that mess.

    What sort of water feature are you planning. I am trying to wrap my head around a design that would work for me. I think I’ll have to build it myself. Not sure my crabs will care, but I’ll be excited!

    #3570
    Profile photo of Stacy
    Stacy
    Keymaster

    Well Michelle from Naturally Crabby bought the sand for me so I will have to ask her where it came from. She also gifted me a bag of pelleted sea gull poop haha the crabs don’t seem interested in it though.

    Well the item arrived today so I have to get home and work on it. I’ll probably do a video product review like I did with the hygrometer. I don’t want to tell till it’s done 😀

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