Substrate mixing question

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fandt94
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Substrate mixing question

Post by fandt94 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:08 pm

Hello! I am going to be setting up a new tank in the next few days (once I find a suitable stand or table that will hold the weight). I know that most use the 5:1 ratio but I was thinking of going more with the EE for humidity reasons...is it okay to do a 5:2 or 5:3 ratio? I don’t have a lid for the newer tank yet so will most likely be using Saran Wrap for a bit. I don’t currently have a humidity problem but that’s because my substrate is pretty much all EE.
Mom to 3 human boys, 2 dogs - Hemi & Athena, 2 cats - Fat a$$ (realname Spark Plug) & Batman & 5 PP’s - Monstro, Pinkie aka Little Bit, Shellie, other 2 unnamed

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wodesorel
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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by wodesorel » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:25 pm

Yep! There is nothing wrong with going with more EE and it will help with the hunidity levels for sure. Just be aware it may take more maintence when it comes to keeping it moist, and that it can get oversaturated more easily as well.

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by fandt94 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:28 pm

Thank you! It will be crabless for a few days so I think I will start out with the 5:1 and see how the humidity holds up for a day or 2 and go from there.
Mom to 3 human boys, 2 dogs - Hemi & Athena, 2 cats - Fat a$$ (realname Spark Plug) & Batman & 5 PP’s - Monstro, Pinkie aka Little Bit, Shellie, other 2 unnamed

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by fandt94 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:50 am

wodesorel wrote:Yep! There is nothing wrong with going with more EE and it will help with the hunidity levels for sure. Just be aware it may take more maintence when it comes to keeping it moist, and that it can get oversaturated more easily as well.
One more question... Is it easier to mix in the tank or a bucket??

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by aussieJJDude » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:58 am

I preferred to mix in tank, but many find it easier to mix in bucket... even then, crabs will end up mixing it themselves so it doesn't have to be perfect!

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by fandt94 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:00 am

aussieJJDude wrote:I preferred to mix in tank, but many find it easier to mix in bucket... even then, crabs will end up mixing it themselves so it doesn't have to be perfect!

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Thank you! Picking up my tank stand later so hoping to get started at least with substrate and getting levels good before moving anyone over.... Much appreciated!

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Mom to 3 human boys, 2 dogs - Hemi & Athena, 2 cats - Fat a$$ (realname Spark Plug) & Batman & 5 PP’s - Monstro, Pinkie aka Little Bit, Shellie, other 2 unnamed

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:41 am

I like to soak my ee bricks in dechlorinated msw in a bucket, then I mix in a tank. :)


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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by piratetoothgir » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am

I always mix my ee with msw nowadays, it helps with odors or mold! :)
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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by fandt94 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:18 am

I’m going to soak it that way this time also....seems the best way to go from everyone’s experience
Mom to 3 human boys, 2 dogs - Hemi & Athena, 2 cats - Fat a$$ (realname Spark Plug) & Batman & 5 PP’s - Monstro, Pinkie aka Little Bit, Shellie, other 2 unnamed

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:32 pm

We are probably some of the few that prefer mixing outside of the tank in smaller batches. I prefer being outdoors and mixing on my trucks tailgate and a bit of elbow grease. When we mix we use playsand and large bags of EE. I'm not sure how different the bricks are compared to the bags. We use two five gallon buckets, a quart sized container you would get coleslaw or potato salad in as a measuring cup, pretty much anything would work, and a small garden shovel to mix. We take 3 full containers of sand in a bucket, add about 1/3 of a gallon of water, mix, add a half container of EE, mix again, Add 2 containers of sand and the other 1/2 container of EE, Add about the same 1/3 gallon of water, mix again. Once it's mixed we dump that mix into another 5 gallon bucket. Repeat. Each batch will make around 1.5 gallons worth of mix. Each batch we make this way uses about 3/4 of a gallon on water.

I like doing this because it saves the crabs the tedious task of mixing everything themselves! LOL! I believe it helps to keep the sandcastle consistency throughout the entire substrate and allows easier experimenting with different ratios as well. If one batch appears with too much EE or Sand you can add more or less in the next batch to compensate. I believe it is a lot more time and labor intensive for sure but it depends on what you prefer for your substrate appearance. I think it would drive me crazy looking at the tank everyday not seeing it unevenly mixed. Once you get into a groove it goes pretty quick.


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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by BettaCrew » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:06 pm

How big are your containers of sand? I always worry I'm mixing the wrong ratios even though I think I've hit the 5:1 eco-earth:sand ratio. I usually use a 5g bucket to hydrate one brick at a time and then fill a 1 cup measuring cup 5 times with eco-earth and once with sand. It takes.....forever. I need a more efficient method and I'm willing to learn.

Should I not be using aquarium sand and only use play sand? I worry that maybe im not mixing correctly. I hadn't made the mixes with msw....I read wrong somewhere... fixing that in this next batch. Do I need to replace the old substrate? It's almost dry now..ugh... what do I do to remedy this?

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:32 pm

We get plain old 50 lb bags of play sand from the hardware store. $5 or less usually. It a lot cheaper.

Since my last post we stopped measuring all together. The ratio is what you and your crabs prefer. Some do just sand, others plain EE. The 5:1 mix is what most resembles beach sand. The same with adding fresh or salt water. As long as you can build a sand castle and it isn't dripping wet you are good.


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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by BettaCrew » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:25 pm

How do I best keep it properly moist? The substrate keeps drying out even though the air is the proper humidity. Is it because im using aquarium sand and not play sand? Should I use a watering can (like ther handheld ones for plants) or only a spray bottle?

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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by wodesorel » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:43 pm

Most people use 5 parts sand to one part eco-earth. That's probably why yours is drying out so quickly! It also depends on the aquarium sand, not many are made of silica, like play sand. They tend to be calcium sand, or are coated with paint or epoxy.

One 50 pound bag of sand, added to a half or whole brick of EE works well, and is about 5:1.


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Re: Substrate mixing question

Post by BettaCrew » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:49 pm

Ahh....I had it backwards. Oops. The sand I use is Super Naturals white but there is some TopFin white (from petsmart) too. Is that ok? Should i be mixing it solely with msw?

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