How long does dirt last? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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How long does dirt last?

I've had a few leaves with yellow/clear spots on them but I have a Bristlenose pleco and pond snails. The plant seems to be growing fine with 2 leaves popping up at a time and sending off a runner. I'm just curious how long the nutrients will hold up?

The substrate is made up of dirt and clay chunks from the garden.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 08:38 PM
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It depends on a lot of factors - how long was the dirt in your garden?

Also you can always dose dry ferts if you're concerned with the nutrient content. This'll also help bring nutrients back into the soil. Another thing to do is to cap your dirt with a CEC material (like flourite) so the nutrients get trapped and released constantly around the roots.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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I guess the dirt has been there for a long time since it's in the back yard. I used a post hole digger for the clay about 3-4 feet under that. The dirt is capped with pea gravel so any liquid ferts or waste from fish get down to the dirt. I recently been making some DIY root tabs with my liquid fertilizer and soaking it into clay and letting it dry.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 05:10 PM
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The dirt, as a medium for holding fertilizers, will hold up a very long time.
You will need to keep adding fertilizers.

Low tech: Fish food and some root tablets will probably be enough. Fish food seems to have less K and Fe than the plants need. If the tank is lightly stocked you might not be adding very much fish food, so the root tablets are a good way to add more. Home made clay balls of fertilizer are just fine, I would emphasize K and Fe, but not skip the other minerals.
High tech: I would go the full EI method, or something similar.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank's for the info. I'm mostly just doing 1 cap of seachem iron/comp once a week sometimes skipping a week. This is a low-tech 40 breeder with mostly root feeding plants. I keep cutting the rotala all the way down to gravel but seems to always come back.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dusted View Post
Thank's for the info. I'm mostly just doing 1 cap of seachem iron/comp once a week sometimes skipping a week. This is a low-tech 40 breeder with mostly root feeding plants. I keep cutting the rotala all the way down to gravel but seems to always come back.
Very nice looking low tech tank! If you're satisfied with your dirt and it's giving you results then there's no reason to stress. If you decide your plants are not getting everything they need because your soil may be weathered - go ahead and place some root tabs in there and forget about it.
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