Originally Posted by slb
Tom (or someone familiar with his non-soil method)
I read the link and some of your other forums. Thanks for pointing me to it. Being a newbie, I'm still a little confused. Tom mentions onyx sand, leonardite, and peat. How thick of layer do I need of each and in what order? And, can I put my decorative gravel on top or will that disrupt the system?
Also, wouldn't peat have the same issues with NH4 as soil?
No, it's just one method adds ferts to the sediment, the other to the water column.
I took the assumption that water column ferts do not lead to algae.
This was shown to be correct for CO2 and non CO2 enriched aquariums.
Now.........this does not imply you should not use both of these locations for ferts either
You can use either or, or you might use both, we all use both to some degree, but in general........we often go with one or the other.
Hopefully that attitude will change and more will use BOTH locations.
Peat has little nutrients in and of itself.
I would opt for ADA AS or a good clay top soil that's been washed, or Worm compost that's been boiled about 10 minutes in water, then dried and worked into some sand, say 2-3mm size with a 2-3" cap.
Those are 3 options, some use a thin layer, say 5-8 grams per square ft of osmocoat.
They all add similar things.
Some floating plants are a good idea, since they can mop up any excess and block intense light and do not require added CO2. But say 10-20% coverage only.