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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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what kind of dirt is best to use . and how much and where is it easily bought
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 10:00 PM
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There is no magic answer to this question.... Dirt as a substrate varies considerably. You want an inert soil that doesnt change Ph, and doesnt have a lot of organic content (it will rot). It also cannot contain any fertilizers, Urea, or added chemicals.

You will need to do a LOT of research before going this route. Although it is cheaper, the effort in researching the products can easily outweigh the benefit.

I spent 3 months learning about how soil substrates work before I made my decision.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 10:06 PM
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So basically the short answer: There is no specific brand. Most of time Soil brands are specific to a geographic location (IE: Dirt I have here is going to be different then the dirt you have available there).

Also, plan on keeping your tank empty for at least 2 months before adding fish. Soil will generate an ammonia spike that you wouldnt believe possible in an aquarium. It lasts a long time too, as it is caused by any organic material in the soil "composting" in your tank.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2003, 01:31 AM
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You can avoid the ammonia spike by avoiding any soil that has humic materials in it. You want to pick out a mineralized soil that has already completed the composting phase that Gareth brings up. Basically stay away from all potting soils, and all lawn soils that have any peat or humis. Locally Home Depot sells a cheap ($1.09 for 40 pounds) top soil that looks almost like sand when it is dry. It has no additives and minimal humis. I like to mix a just a little red potters clay into it to increase it's adsorbtive capabilities and make it more closely resemble a hydric soil like you'd find in a real wetland. I seal it in with a layer of gravel, when I pull plants it makes a little mess, but it all works itself back down into the gravel.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2003, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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i just bought sand and flourite for my 5's instead... man my waters cloudy... hopefully it shoul dgo away
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2003, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyboy
i just bought sand and flourite for my 5's instead... man my waters cloudy... hopefully it shoul dgo away
Flourite will do that. It helps somewhat to rinse it first. It took my tank about 12 hours to filter out most of it. I ran for about 2 months with water that was slightly hazy that wouldn't clear. I could see pretty clearly front to back, but from one side to the other was hazy. Then I read a post here that said some clay particles were too fine for most filters and would never settle out and that you should use a flocculant.

I did one dose of it and the difference was stunning. Even my wife noticed the difference. Not only could you clearly side to side, but it improved front to back visibility too.

--- Dave ---
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2003, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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i don't have a filter in this tank.... Its a crown tail betta in a 5 gallon and he could deal with any current... so i just did water changes and it got a lot clearer but still hasy
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 12:30 AM
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You should have washed the substrate (flourite and or sand) before adding it into the tank, personally I would drain the tank, put the fish in a bucket and start over, or it will take a week or 2 maybe more for that cloudyness to go away. especially without a filter.
I put whatever substrate I use in a 5gal bucket and wash it with a water hose using my hand to dig and stir as bucket fills/pour/repete over and over till its clean, takes a bit of time and alot of water, but once you finish place it in tank fill tank carefully and water is crystal clear.

Craig
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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i did wash it ...serval times
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 05:51 AM
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check this out...okay, this might be nuts...but i was thinking how bout making your own substrate???

like taking some soil from your backyard...and say baking it at 300-350 degrees for 20 minutes.... and get all the moisture out and it will be hard...then break it into small pieces so it's the size of fluorite....

any objections,, warnings, comments????

Eheim Pimp Club Member #32
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 08:32 AM
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lol, my cats [censored][censored][censored][censored]s in every imaginable place in the backyard...

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubbahubbahehe
check this out...okay, this might be nuts...but i was thinking how bout making your own substrate???

like taking some soil from your backyard...and say baking it at 300-350 degrees for 20 minutes.... and get all the moisture out and it will be hard...then break it into small pieces so it's the size of fluorite....

any objections,, warnings, comments????
Well it will just turn to mud in minutes to start with. When they 'fire' something like Flourite it's done at around 1200 degrees. Baking dirt will just give you hot dirt.

Also you would need to make sure that the dirt contains almost no organic materials. So pretty much anything that has plants growing in it is out. What you would need to do is grab the idiot stick, aka shovel, and start digging. When you get past the top soil and get down to the hard pan that's probably the dirt you want to use.
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