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Old 11-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #16
Shangrila
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Miracle gro capped with Safe T Sorb. Excellent results, looks great, and I don't think you can find anything cheaper.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
And speaking of, I had a vision...more like a nightmare..that I would go to my cousins farm, collect some horse poop, dry it
and mix it with plain fine gravel as a substrate to simulate the decaying plant matter in/on the bottom of a pond.
Has anyone ever tried this successfully ? Bet I'm asking for mega algae at the least.....
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:03 PM   #18
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Thanks for saving me some time and dead whatever.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:05 AM   #19
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I am in love with ADA aquasoil and Seachem flourite! They are by far my favorite.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:30 PM   #20
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Default Always something new to try...

That sounds very reasonable. Next year I may give the Eco a try. I mentioned this to my wife (breaking down the tank maybe next summer and trying a new scape) and it almost caused a divorce I think. I never used to understand why people messed around with their scapes so much, but I get it now. While the dirt isn't too dirty for me, this is also my first planted tank and I really just wanted to learn how to do it. Once I've had the tank running for about 8-12 months I may break it down and try something new. There are so many things I have learned this time around (and will continue to learn over the next several months). But there are also things I would do very differently. I think that's what makes it fun (and frustrating).

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I haven't tried the Stratum. I have done Eco with MTS and I have done Aquasoil with Eco. I have used Flourite in the past and don't like the overall texture, it is a lot more flat and it is super dirty. You can see that for me I can't handle mess and the reason isn't OCD it is because I am constantly rescaping little section here and there to get it just right. And slow release pellets are going to provide way more balanced nutrients than even MTS. I know you are using it right now which is fine. It is always nice to find your own method. But I am done with all that jazz. The more you get into it the easier you want it to be. That's why people turn to Neptune Apex controllers and what not. For me Eco with Osmocote+ and Aquavitro grows plants amazingly well and I don't have to work as hard and I do very little water changes. Now Aquasoil works just as good I just don't think plants root very well in it. I know everyone would probably disagree, but my plants do way better in Eco than in Aquasoil. And with shipping it IS more expensive.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:38 PM   #21
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Yeah, I've seen that too-- definitely an interesting experiment. Though not one I will be trying myself.

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Old 11-14-2013, 04:24 PM   #22
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Plain old top soil, or miracle grow organic choice mixed with a bit of plain unscented cat litter and peat.
Why? cause it produces desired result's much more cheaply than specialty substrates I have tried.
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:23 AM   #23
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What does the cat litter do?
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #24
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What does the cat litter do?

It's just a cheap, readily available, inert clay-based substrate, and it has a high CEC (cation exchange capacity), this enables the substrate to temporarily 'hold' nutrients and such, and the plants can then 'take' the nutrients from the substrate.

Just make sure you get a basic, natural type, with no scents/colors/etc. Some types hold up okay, others turn to mush after being wet for a bit. Still good for plants, but can make a mess when disturbed.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
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It's just a cheap, readily available, inert clay-based substrate, and it has a high CEC (cation exchange capacity), this enables the substrate to temporarily 'hold' nutrients and such, and the plants can then 'take' the nutrients from the substrate.

Just make sure you get a basic, natural type, with no scents/colors/etc. Some types hold up okay, others turn to mush after being wet for a bit. Still good for plants, but can make a mess when disturbed.
I have not used this but do use API First Layer Pure Laterite which, if you read the label is the same basic material.
But at $13 for a 55oz box. But I mentioned it because some plants prefer clay to other soils. I have one such plant in my
tank and it's actually a "bog" plant which I "collected" from the wild and it was growing in clay where I found it.
Of course you would need to Google the plant to see if you wanted to.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:20 AM   #26
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Dirt capped with sand, preferably black blasting sand. Currently working with rabbit poop and worm castings. Partially decomposed peat moss is good too. As for the retail substrates, I go with Eco-Complete.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:31 AM   #27
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My favorite substrate so far is Quickrete all purpose sand washed thoroughly.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:13 PM   #28
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Howdy Dave. I like my Turface. It can be a bit light for planting, especially small stemmed plants, but once established they grow well. I've been toying around with the idea of crushing the granules up slightly to make planting easier and keep the high CEC properties.
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