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  1. Re:Substrates and Profile
    by "Tom Brennan" <brennans/> (Mon, 1 Mar 1999)
  2. Turface/Profile
    by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/> (Tue, 22 Jun 1999)
  3. More about Turface
    by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/> (Thu, 24 Jun 1999)
  4. re: Profile
    by "E.T. Leung" <leung22/> (Fri, 04 Feb 2000)
  5. Profile
    by Elliot Williams <ewilliams/> (Sat, 5 Feb 2000)
  6. Profile
    by Kean Huat Yeap <keanhuat/> (Thu, 16 Mar 2000)
  7. RE: Profile/Turface
    by "James Purchase" <jpurch/> (Fri, 17 Mar 2000)
  8. Profile / Turface /Profile Aquatic Plantn Soil
    by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/> (Fri, 17 Mar 2000)
  9. Aquatic Plant Soil *IS* Clay Soil Conditioner
    by "John & Denise Haydt" <haydt/> (Fri, 17 Mar 2000)
  10. Profile
    by "Robert H" <robertpaulh/> (Tue, 4 Apr 2000)
  11. RE: Profile / Turface
    by "James Purchase" <jpurch/> (Wed, 5 Apr 2000)
  12. Profile hardens water
    by "Jeff" <ljeff20/> (Wed, 14 Mar 2001)
  13. Profile hardens water
    by Lobos <lobos0331/> (Wed, 14 Mar 2001)
  14. Profile hardens water
    by Lobos <lobos0331/> (Wed, 14 Mar 2001)
  15. Profile hardens water
    by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/> (Thu, 15 Mar 2001)
  16. Turface in Seattle
    by John Caddy <jtcaddy/> (Fri, 29 Dec 2000)

Re:Substrates and Profile

by "Tom Brennan" <brennans/>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999

Dave Gromberg states he has had good luck with Profile/Turface in pots with
Jobs/Fern sticks.  I too have had excellent success using profile in the
bottom 1/2 of a 30g set up over two years ago and a 10g in my office.  The
profile seems very stable, extensive roots on crypts, swords and stem
plants, no real signs or compaction or major anerobisity (I make up words as
I go), accumulation of sulfide gases etc.. or  that it is exhausted in
anyway.  I do sometime uproot/vacuum an on occasion and I have basically
"Roto-Tilled" the whole tank and replanted once.  I add DIY clay balls from
time to time and the Jobs Ferns stick under heavy root feeders every 4-6
months.  I also think,  to Profile's credit,  that it helps provide a better
rooting medium than gravel/sand alone. Anything I put in this tank grows
well given a spot with good light.

To give you an example:  after receiving a two-inch-square mat of
glossostigma elantinoides from a friend, I cleared a section 5" square by
3/4-1" deep of the existing gravel and added  a mixture of Profile and
smaller 1-2mm gravel, mixing lots of the existing mulm into this section as
a bedding for glossostigma.

After repeatedly  pushing the glossostigma down into the Profile-bed and
taking some of the fine gravel and covering it then knocking the gravel off
the top layer of glossistigma leaves, over a month or two, I have finally
got it to take root, stay in place (not floating up) and with some
horizontal growth. Taking  into consideration that 2 Corys and two 4" Discus
are working against me not to mention the little earth-moving MTSs.... I am
amazed it's rooted finally.

No hair nets, no tying it to rocks or driftwood or sticking U-shaped paper
clips in the gravel (not that these methods don't work), just persistence
and patience.  I think the 80W of Chroma50 and Tritons help and I can't
accredit this entirely to the Profile but I think it does help fine-rooted
plants such as glossostigma.  Maybe it's reportedly good CEC retains and
makes available cations that would otherwise not be so available using
regular gravel.  I am happy with Profile and will use it again.    YMWV.

Peace & Cheers!
Tom Brennan
brennans aaaaattttttt  ix ddddoooottttt netcom dddddooootttt com

( .... I mean......This is Wink Dinkerman signing off
from the basement of the computer science building at OSU, with my 44Magnum,
clamors, razor wire, Doberman attack dogs and various electronic monitoring
devices to keep the human race away.....sorry I gave at the office...take me
off your list.....this is a none  listed number.... no forwarding
address.....KEEP OUT......hey are you looking at me....the end is the bomb shelter.....paranoid attack.....oh my god!)


by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999

At 03:48 PM 6/22/99 -0400,  Robert H said:
>Well I can share a little info on this too. I use Profile Aquatic Plant
soil in
>four tanks.  It gives off about
>the same amount of dust in shipment as Flourite and is a little lighter in
>A ten pound bag costs about $6 in a store, and they now have it in 25
pound as

And under the name Turface it is available in 50# bags for about $8.  Plant
on, Dude!
- --
Dave Gomberg, San Francisco  
The latest in CO2 news: 
Tropica MasterGrow in the USA: 
- -----------------------------------------------------------------

More about Turface

by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999

A list reader asked: "Have you used Turface?  Does it seem to possess
qualities similer to Flourite?  And, what type of stores carry it?  "

Yes, I have used Turface.  It is not similar to Flourite.   It has no
additives, it is purely a passive substrate (altho it does have a high
CEC).  It is carried by landscape supply stores, but your best bet to find
it is to call the groundskeeper of the local professional ballpark and ask
where to get Turface MVP.   He or she will know.
- --
Dave Gomberg, San Francisco  
The latest in CO2 news: 
Tropica MasterGrow in the USA: 
- -----------------------------------------------------------------

re: Profile

by "E.T. Leung" <leung22/>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000

On 3 Feb 2000 Todd wrote:

>>What about Profile, has anyone ever used it?

Greetings Todd,

I became interested in Profile almost two years ago, at which time it seemed 
a number of people on this list had tried and had success with it; these 
accounts can be found within the archives. After locating it at a nearby 
Home Depot I used it in an 85 gallon tank, and have been happy with the 
product, subsequently using it in a few other planted tanks.

It is inert and not imbued with iron as is Flourite, but after reading 
product literature and speaking with a representative from Aimcor, all 
indications are that it possesses a relatively high CEC.

Photos of two tanks using Profile may be found at:


Take care,

Erik Toshiro Leung ~ San Francisco |
Get Your Private, Free Email at


by Elliot Williams <ewilliams/>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000

I don't know if this counts, since everyone with exactly two tanks seems
to have a "good" tank and a "bad" tank, but my Profile tank happens to be
my good one.  

Contrary to what someone said, I find root plants do well in it.  
Although I do agree that it's hard to plant small plants (eg, lillaeopsis)  
because of the light texture, once it's in it spreads better than in my
sand/gravel tank.

I didn't use anything else in the substrate--just pure Profile, although I
have needed to fertilize (PMDD plus Jobes) for the past 6 months or so.  
No algae at all now, though I did have outbreaks in the very beginning.  
It's been up for 9 months, and I would encourage anyone else to look
into the stuff.  Cheap, non-messy when moving plants, fairly good-looking,
and basically foolproof for the beginner.  

Oh yeah, I didn't rinse mine before putting it in the tank, but it's got a
lot of dust and that's something you might consider if you move plants an
awful lot or have burrowers.  Once the dust settles down (hours), it's no
problem.  And I imagine you'll have the same problems with mulm later on
anyway.  Your choice.

In sum, very positive Profile experience.

					San Diego, CA


by Kean Huat Yeap <keanhuat/>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000

Hi! I just want to let you guys know that Profile
Aquatic Plant Soil and Profile Clay Soil Conditioner
are the same product but in different package and
price. I posted this in APD several months ago when I
found this out. 

I was looking desperately for Profile Aquatic Plant
Soil in my area when I started my 40 g planted tank 7
months ago. I only found Profile Clay Soil Conditioner
in my local Frank's Nursery. But I wasn't sure if
that's the stuff that everybody is using. I searched
everywhere for the answer for more than 3 weeks. Then
I decided to call up AIMCOR, Profile's manufacturer. I
wanted to order the aquatic plant soil straight from
them. To my surprise, the lady in charge told me that
both of them are the same product. So, I bought 40 lbs
of Profile Clay Soil Conditioner for 11 bucks(if I
still remember correctly).

I use 100% of Profile in my tank and I'm very happy
with it. My plants grow very well in Profile. I have
photos to prove it if you guys are interested. I don't
think Profile has iron like in Fluorite but I can say
that Profile is good for growing lots of plants.
Moreover, Profile is much cheaper compared to

So, no more guessing or debating, they are the same

Kean Huat
Oak Park, IL

Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

RE: Profile/Turface

by "James Purchase" <jpurch/>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000

> From: Kean Huat Yeap <>
> Subject: Profile
> Hi! I just want to let you guys know that Profile
> Aquatic Plant Soil and Profile Clay Soil Conditioner
> are the same product but in different package and
> price. I posted this in APD several months ago when I
> found this out.

Mmmm..... I did a little digging on the Profile Products LLC page
(, and compared what I read there with
Kean's statement. It would appear that there are a number of products
marketed under the Profile and Turface name.

Turface: Turface MVP, Turface Pro Line, Turface Quick Dry. The main
difference between these individual products, at least according to the web
site, is particle size, with Turface MVP being the coarsest, Turface Pro
Line being smaller, and Turface Quick Dry being even finer. The primary use
for all three products is as a surface conditioner for playing fileds
(baseball fields). But just becuase this is the intended use for these
products is no reason for us to not consider using at least either Turface
MVP or Turface Pro Line as a substrate additive in an aquarium. Turface
Quick Dry is probably a little fine for our purposes (at least for optimum

Profile: "PROFILE is a true porous ceramic product engineered to solve and
prevent soil problems. The base mineral is illite clay and amorphous silica.
The mineral is processed using a computer controlled kiln, which permanently
changes the base minerals to a stable porous ceramic particle. The PROFILE
Porous Ceramic particle has 74% pore space with 1/2 capillary (water
holding) and 1/2 non capillary (air and drainage) pores. The base mineral is
what provides PROFILE with a CEC of 33 meq/100g and excellent porosity."

There are a number of prducts within the "Profile" family - Profile Clay
Soil Conditioner, Profile Soil Conditioner, Profile Aquatic Plant Soil,
Profile Seed Aide. Of these, the last one (Profile Seed Aide) would most
likely not be suitable for our purposes as aquatic gardeners due to the
presence of "cellulose and wood fiber mulch, organic tackifier and
bio-stimulant". It might be great for your lawn, but not for your aquarium.

The other three Profile products appear to hold more promise for aquarists.

The web site does give a chemical and physical analysis of Profile but does
NOT say exactly what the differences are between Profile Clay Soil
Conditioner, Profile Soil Conditioner, and Profile Aquatic Plant Soil. The
main difference _may_ just be particle size (as is the claimed difference
among the Turface products).

The web site does NOT claim that Turface and Profile are the same thing
(same originating mineral clay) and I presume because of the intended market
for Turface, they don't give a breakdown of the physical and chemical
properties of Turface like they do for Profile.

So any claims that they are the same thing in different packages is a bit of
a stretch on our part. In a soon to be published review of substrates and
substrate additives (to appear in Dave Gomberg's new Aquatic Plant
Magazine), concrete numbers will be given which will tell the tale, so to
speak. Since I'm not the author of the article, I'm not at liberty to say
what those numbers are at this point in time - subscribe to the magazine and
find out for yourselves.

What I can say is that, despite any differences, either in particle size or
in chemical composition, these products ALL appear to hold a lot of promise
as alternatives to aquarium industry specific substrate additives and it
might be both interesting and useful to explore their use further. I don't
claim that they are _better_ or _worse_ than things like Flourite, Kitty
Litter, etc. - just that they _are_ different, and variety has been
described as the "spice of life"...

James Purchase

Profile / Turface /Profile Aquatic Plantn Soil

by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000

On Fri, 17 Mar 2000, Dwight wrote:

> Why should I buy the Shutz product derivatives of kitty litter for 3-5
> times the price of  unsorted Hartz kitty litter (Hartz brand only; I
> understand its the least dusty) and get only 1/2 as much?  I'll take
> cheaper and extremly effective over cheap and effective anyday.

I have no problem understanding why someone would buy Profile and pay
much more than they they would for kitty litter.

I think someone else has already pointed out that kitty litter softens up
and gets sticky under water -- just the sort of thing that you would
expect clay to do.  In my tanks I've had it go all the way to dispersing
into the water.  Profile is supposed to be a fired product that doesn't
soften, get sticky or disperse under water.

Roger Miller

Aquatic Plant Soil *IS* Clay Soil Conditioner

by "John & Denise Haydt" <haydt/>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000

I contacted Schultz to find out where to get the 'Aquatic Plant Soil' as the
local 'Franks' only had the 'Clay Soil Conditioner'.  They instructed me
(last week) to ask the manager of the department at my local Wal-Mart to
order it for me, providing me with the Wal-Mart stock number to use.

After seeing this thread the past few days, I e-mailed the company again
asking if I could use the two products interchangeably, as I had received
information that they were similar.  Thought you might be interested in an
e-mail I received today from Schultz customer service:

"...In fact, it is now the same thing. It used to be the same type material
(arcillite) screened to a finer granular size, but experience showed
that the larger granules actually performed better.
So you can use the Clay Soil Conditioner in lieu of Aquatic Plant Soil
with the same successful results. Good gardening!..."

You know the old saying: 'same stuff, different label'.

John Haydt
Lansdale, PA


by "Robert H" <robertpaulh/>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000

>>I just wanted to add that the clay soil conditioner
and the aquatic plant soil products are almost
identical.  Supposedly, the aquatic plant soil has a
smaller grain size, but I recently purchased both
products, and I can't tell the difference other than
the fact that the aquatic plant soil is 3 times more

And to make things even more confusing...until sometime last year, Profile
was put out by a company called AIMCOR until they either sold it or licensed
it to Schultz. Originally Profile Aquatic Plant Soil had the same granular
size as sand...then they changed it to be about the same size as Flourite.
Then it became Schultz...and then the conditioner product came out. One of
these companies, (its gotten so confusing I dont know which one) makes
Turface, a clay conditioner for golf courses which is also exactly the same
product, but REALLY cheap! A month ago I went into Home Depot and they had
the old sand Profile, the larger granular profile, and Schultz Profile
Aquatic Plant Soil, all on the same shelf! I guess they dont sell much of
it..  The old sand Profile is REALLY light until it becomes compacted
together..then you need a chisel.

Robert Paul H

RE: Profile / Turface

by "James Purchase" <jpurch/>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000

A number of recent post have indicated some confusion about Profile /
Turface - who makes it, who distributes it, which variety is which...

I've done a bit of digging, and it appears that one company makes the
product(s) and numerous companies distribute it (them) through a number of

The company which is responsible for both Profile and for Turface is Profile
Products LLC. They have a web site, Profile Products Online, at

There are two product "families" - Turface and Profile, and various products
within each family - Truface MVP and Turface Pro League - which differ in
granular size, with MVP being composed of larger particles than Pro League;
Profile Professional Soil Conditioner, Profile Clay Soil Conditioner,
Profile Aquatic Plant Soil. The web site has lots of information about all
of these products. Turface is a calcined clay (as is Seachem Flourite - only
made from a different clay) and Profile is made from Fullers Earth (a type
of clay mineral). The web site doesn't say if Profile is calcined (baked)
during processing or not.

According to the Profile Products Online web site, Turface is actually
manufactured by a company called Applied Industrial Materials Corporation,
i.e. AIMCOR If the Profile line of products is
made by AIMCOR or not is unclear from the web site - they just don't say.
But a visit to AIMCOR reveals it to be more of a holding company - they own
other companies, in a wide range of locations and engaged in a variety of
bussinesses, one of which is involved with clacining (baking) clay for
industrial purposes.

To further confuse (or is it confound?) the issue, Profile is further
distributed to other companies for eventual distribution/sale to the
marketplace (consumer). I suspect, but cannot say for certain, that the
Schultz branded products are merely repackaged materials from Profile
Products LLC.

Turface and Profile (at least the Profile sold by Shultz) are NOT the same
thing sold in different bags. The base clay minerals are different. If you
want to know more, subscribe to Planted Aquaria magazine.... an article will
be appeaing in an upcoming issue which will give a metals analysis of both

Profile seems to be sold by a few other companies as well. Whether or not
these other companies are merely repackaging from bulk or not I don't know,
nor do I know if all products with "Profile" in their name are made from the
same clay mineral. The metals analysis which I have seen was done on the
Shultz product.

Regardless of who makes it, or who sells it, the choice for us as aquatic
gardeners would probably best be made by "form factor" - choose and use the
one which has the proper and appropriate granular size and color to look
good in an aquarium. From the numbers in the metals analysis that I have
seen, I would venture to guess that either Turface (Aimcor) and Profile
(Shultz) would probably make good choices as aquarium substrates. They will
certainly set the "high CEC" crowd spinning...

James Purchase

Profile hardens water

by "Jeff" <ljeff20/>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001

According to the folks at Schultz (, it depends on
which product you are using.

Clay Soil Conditioner ( may harden your
water, because it is designed to be added to soil (plant beds and such). It
is not manufactured under the exacting standards of Aquatic Plant Soil
(, which is designed to be used in ponds
and such. Aquatic Plant Soil should not have any effect on your water unless
it is contaminated with other substances.

I don't know how true this is, but it seems possible. I use 100% Aquatic
Plant Soil in all of my tanks and none of them seem to have problems with
hardening of the water. In fact, my 110 gallon tank was set up with just
Aquatic Plant Soil and water for over a week while I waited for plants to
arrive. I tested the water a few times and the water never changed from what
came out of the tap. Go figure.

Jeff Legitt

> >It looks as though Profile does indeed leach substances into the water
> >column.  Maybe with more washings of the Profile prior to using it this
> >effect will be minimized or removed.
> >
> >Many people have grown beautiful plant tanks using Profile, but if you
> >are keeping soft water loving fish in the tank Profile may not be the
> >substrate for you.

Profile hardens water

by Lobos <lobos0331/>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001

Well I wanted to see if rinsing the Profile further
would remove the pH, KH and GH changes I observed.

I used the Profile (in a 50mL tube) used in the
previous experiment.  I filled the tube to the 50mL
mark with DI/RO water and shook the tube.  I then
poured off the water.  I repeated this 8 times.  I
then filled the tube to the 50mL mark and let the
water+Profile sit for 24hrs.  I then tested the water
pH, KH and GH.

pH: ~7.0
KH: 0 dKH
GH: 2 dGH (20 ppm)

So it looks as though rinsing removes any affect
Profile has on water chemistry.  So Profile can be
used in both soft and hard water tanks without worry.


Ivo Busko you inspired me to test Profile myself as
I'll be using it in
a tank soon.

I decided to test if Profile was leaching substances
into the water
column.  I used laboratory grade RO/DI water to
conduct the tests.  The
Profile was 3-4mm  sized grains of uniformly beige
material.  The test
protocol was conducted as follows:
1) Placed 1 tablespoon of Clay Soil Conditioner
(Profile) into a
polypropylene 50mL tube
2) Added RO/DI water to the 50mL mark
3) Shook the tube and poured off the water
4) Refilled the tube to the 50mL mark with RO/DI water
and let the
Profile settle
5) Measured pH, GH and KH of the water above the
Profile immediately and
24hrs after start of the test

For the pH test the pH probe was inserted into the
water above the
For the GH and KH tests 5mL of water was used

I used the Tetra KH and the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
GH test kits.  The
lowest GH you can determine with this kit is 10 ppm
(0.56 dGH).  The pH
meter is a Corning portable pH meter accurate to

The pH of the RO/DI water was hard to determine due to
the fact it lacks
ions, therefore the pH 7.0 valve actually had a range
of 6.6-7.2.

                        pH        KH(dKH)        GH
RO/DI water    7.0         0.0                   
Profile              6.70       0.0                   

After 24hrs:
                        pH        KH(dKH)      
Profile              7.35        1.0                  

It looks as though Profile does indeed leach
substances into the water
column.  Maybe with more washings of the Profile prior
to using it this
effect will be minimized or removed.

Many people have grown beautiful plant tanks using
Profile, but if you
are keeping soft water loving fish in the tank Profile
may not be the
substrate for you.


<<I got ahold of a bag of Profile (Soil Conditioner)
at Wal Mart and did

run a quick test. After rinsing  several times, mixed
a handful with
about twice the volume of distilled water and let it
settle for 24 hs in

a glass jar. As a control, did the same with silica
sand and Flourite.
Then measured pH, kH and gH (Tetra kit). Results:

              pH      kH      gH
sand        < 6.0*   < 0.5   < 0.5
Flourite      6.5    < 0.5   < 0.5
Profile     > 7.6*     4.5     8.0

* these are actually off-scale readings, the test kit
won't go beyond
that. The acidic pH from the sand sample is, I think,
due to dissolved
CO2 from air.

The conclusion is that Profile leaches a lot of hard
stuff into the
water. Thus it is unsuitable for soft water tanks.
Does anyone have
problems with Profile hardening water ?

Btw, the Profile I got does not match the physical
description of
Profile nor Turface in Jamie Johnson's article. It has
3-4 mm particles
with a beige, uniform color. I guess there is a lot of
variation in
their batches. Maybe not important for use in flower
beds or turf, but
can wreak havoc in the aquarium.

- - Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD


Profile hardens water

by Lobos <lobos0331/>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001


The numbers should have read:

pH: ~7.0
KH: 0 dKH
GH: 1.12 dGH (20ppm), not 2 dGH

Sorry for the mistake.  Conclusion is the same.


Profile hardens water

by Dave Gomberg <gomberg/>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001

At 03:48 AM 3/15/01 -0500, Jeff wrote:

>According to the folks at Schultz (, it depends on
>which product you are using.  Clay Soil Conditioner 
>( may harden your
>water, because it is designed to be added to soil (plant beds and such). It
>is not manufactured under the exacting standards of Aquatic Plant Soil
>(, which is designed to be used in ponds
>and such. Aquatic Plant Soil should not have any effect on your water unless
>it is contaminated with other substances.

I find this very hard to believe.   I have it on a very good authority 
(promotion manager for Aimcor, the maker of all these products) that they 
are identical.

- --
Dave Gomberg, San Francisco  
NEW Planted Aquaria Magazine:
- -----------------------------------------------------------------

Turface in Seattle

by John Caddy <jtcaddy/>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000

<Hi. Does anyone know of a source of turface in the greater Seattle
area?  I'd order it online but the shipping charges are nuts.
Thanks, Laurel>

Call the number below and they will be glad to tell you.

                 Profile Products LLC
                 750 Lake Cook Road, Suite 440
                 Buffalo Grove, IL 60089


"Shared pain shrinks, shared joy grows"- J. Caddy

John Caddy
Self Expressing Earth (SEE)
Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University
St. Paul, MN

Up to Fertilizer <- Plants <- The Krib This page was last updated 18 February 2002