Organic Substrate vs. CO2: Another Debacle?
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:35 PM   #1
AirstoND
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Organic Substrate vs. CO2: Another Debacle?


I'm looking to add a partial (50/50) gravel/organic substrate(Miracle grow potting mix?). No fish but possibly some worms, snails, crustaceans?

Is it possible to have a healthy 5 and 10 gallon planted without CO2 but with an organic substrate? Tank will have HOB and heater.

What will I encounter vs going with CO2 only route?
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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Dirt tanks tint the water pretty much continuously but provide great nutrients. Nitrates will be needed after about 6 months in my experience.

Hob worked great for me. Use a sponge for mechanical filtration as its gonna get clogged a lot.

Overall it worked great when i used it
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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The trick is not having too much light. No matter what substrate you use, if you have too much light and not enough co2 then you will surely have an alage problem. I can speak first hand to a dirt tank with too much light and no co2. If you go dirt with no co2, make sure you have low light. And no matter what light you go with, when you use dirt, you must do weekly water changes.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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Default Is this any better?

Anyone using this?
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatersalad View Post
when you use dirt, you must do weekly water changes.
This I a noob question, but why do you have to do weekly water changes with dirt?
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phivtoosyx View Post
This I a noob question, but why do you have to do weekly water changes with dirt?
+ 1 why? Only because I run them and don't do them weekly on low/medium tech... Only on the high tech tanks... Tannis leeching happened for about two months on my dirt tanks and then it became hard to notice unless in a white bucket. Am I missing something because I understood that the weekly water changes on the high tech heavily fertilized tanks were for resetting nutrients in the water column?

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Old 04-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phivtoosyx View Post
This I a noob question, but why do you have to do weekly water changes with dirt?

you dont, its counter productive.
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