Converting 100 gallon planted to Topsoil from garden shop journal - Page 2
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:57 PM   #16
Mmdiscus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjm20 View Post
One comment - I have read that you shouldn't use more than an inch or 1.5 inches of soil below your cap. It may not be true but the logic is that a more thick layer would trap some of the stuff that normally leaches itself out, creating gaseous pockets and anaerobic conditions. Fearing this, I did a little bit over an inch. Not sure what others think.
Thanks for noting that, i read about it too. Spposedly after 1.5 inches MTS/topsoil/earthworm castings/ become unaerobic.

After reading tombarreport thread above, i decided i will go 1:1 earthworm castings(WC):soil(MTS), this layer is going to be about 1 inch, will also add crushed clay (see my phoo above) in between this mix. On top of it will add half inch layer crushed clay, and top that all with about 1 inch my current stone substrate.

My vermicompost/WC i am going to rinse, boil for about twenty mins, and rinse slightly again, and then add to tabk mixing with washed plain topsoil.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #17
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I am still confused with the ratios
They saydont use MTS or WC for over 1.5 inch? But then what if people want have deep substrate? I saw aquariums with over 3 inch soil substrate, and plants we growing crazy.

We need experienced users help us here.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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common belief is 1 inch of soil is what is needed. i would also like to hear pros/cons from someone who actually have used lot more than that
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:25 PM   #19
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I see some are using nets over clay, so that it doesnt move up the substrtate.. Doesnt look attractive to me.

I am confused with allthe different responses, and some questions still not answered

1) where do i put peat in all these? Or maybe no peat at all? Pros/cons?
2) would this be ok, from top to bottom:


1. Gravel - 1inch
2. clay small fractions or powder(i will crush up large piece expanded clay that i got) - 1"
3. MIneralized topsoil+ boiled earthworm castings (vermicompost) + crushed clay-- 1.2 inch
4. Crushed clay - 1/2 inch
Total substrate height- 3 inches.
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:48 AM   #20
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Anyone, noone?
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:19 AM   #21
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if i were you and wanted deep substrate, this is what i would do:

1 inch cap material of choice(gravel grain max size ~2mm)
1 inch soil of choice (potting mix wich says on bag contains peat+biocompost+minerals)
1 inch random sand mixed with clay just to make it deep
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzega View Post
if i were you and wanted deep substrate, this is what i would do:

1 inch cap material of choice(gravel grain max size ~2mm)
1 inch soil of choice (potting mix wich says on bag contains peat+biocompost+minerals)
1 inch random sand mixed with clay just to make it deep
U mean three different layers right?
One more thing- in your second layer , with mix of soil + vermicompost, should i add clay particles, powder? Or should i leave clay as a seperate layer ?
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #23
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i included 3rd layer only for deph of substrate. if you dont want it to be that deep, use 2 layers. just add bit of clay to the soil layer
i think you are overthinking this way too much.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzega View Post
i included 3rd layer only for deph of substrate. if you dont want it to be that deep, use 2 layers. just add bit of clay to the soil layer
i think you are overthinking this way too much.
I might be, but just becauseits my first time doing it, and i read all these horror stories with algae. Wantto do it right, tats why read and ask alot of q. Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #25
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initial algae outbreaks can be avoided by planting as much as possible and using excel from day one.
i got that tip on this forum from someone and am doing so since.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:34 AM   #26
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Default clay soil peat

You are going for a low light tank. Lay your soil, sprinkle a small amount of peat on top, remember you can use more peat if you do not intend on using co2. I use sand to weight the peat and soil. Kitty litter, MVP, clay is next but it is light in weight. Using cleated iron in clay will cause algae issues. I personally don't feel you need iron in clay with soil. Powdered clay has issues, it compacts, so this should only be used as a sprinkle. Potters clay may also contain metals. Adding more nutrients to substrate is not an issue unless you add fish. High nitrates will kill fish.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:30 AM   #27
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So my update- i teared tank down, fish and plants andcanister are placed in a seperate container, all seems doing fine.

I took all gravel out from my tank, now its bare bottom. Today planing to start mineralizing pure topsoil inside tank, going to lay it down inside tank and water over it, wait a day, and do again.. Then i will removethis soil and mixwith earthworm castings,, then lay it all down in tank over clay pieces.. On top of soil will put thin layer of peat, clay again, and cap with gravel. Sounds good?
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:19 PM   #28
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I put topsoil directly in tank, and now pouring water over it, mineralizingbinside tank. I already cleaned it in my garden swifted through a narrow sized net, its clean of any wood or small particles other than soil.

Doesl it look good so far? Clixk link below to see the picture

Attachment 246697
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #29
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Today i mixed worm castings with mts soil( what a terrible smell poop has, grrr) and clay, capped with small rock substrate. Filled couple inches of water.

What should i do next? Should i drain water-and the refill again- from the tank couple times? (To clear maybe odor and soil that is left on the substrate, as i was mineralizing soil inside tank, tank itself inside is a bit messy with soil all over it.)

Right now its just soil and inch water, no filter as i have it in my other temprorary tank where i transfered fish and plants.

Or should i just plant plants right away, without filling tank all the way? and let it sit like that a week or so? For cycling, i am planning to have instant cycle since i have external canister that i transfered to a temp tank.

This is what i have now:
Click image for larger version

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Old 12-21-2013, 10:29 PM   #30
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Sorry I kinda dropped out on this thread. You could use up to about a 1/2" of peat in the mix somewhere.

You don't want more than 1.5 - 2 inches of substrate or it will go anaerobic. I have about 3+" of peat in one of my tanks and it rotted all the stems out of the tank a few months back (after about 7 months of being in the tank). Apparently it went through a cycle and the anaerobic levels are gone as the plants are flourishing quite well now.

Plant your plants now. It makes it much easier to plant. That cloudiness will go away in time. Its natural for newly setup dirt tanks.
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