ahh, crazy n00b substrate question... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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ahh, crazy n00b substrate question...

what would happen if you dusted the bottom of a tank with peat, then put plain top soil on it then covered it all with pool filter sand?

ive read the MTS over a few times and while i would love to do it, i just dont have the time (working 70+ hrs a week) nor the place to do all the rinse, dry (living in an apartment) however i am desparately looking for a really cheap way to fill my 75g for a planted tank.

I went down to my local nursery and told the ppl there what i wanted to do and they said, hey, its plants underwater right? i said, duh! yeah! they said, put you some soil in there and put some sand over it and ferterlize it once and a while...

so i thought, hrmm, could they really be right? so thats why im asking, peat, top soil and pool sand would yield?

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current tanks: 20L reef, 10g shrimp
wife's tanks: 40g Free-for-all planted community
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 03:18 AM
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Sounds like an el natural tank. It works, but may be messy when you have to uproot plants.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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so you mean to tell me it works, but if you dont rinse, dry, rinse, etc the TS its gonna be a bomb of cloudy water if you uproot plants to move them, etc or if your fish dig through the sand and into the TS?

is that the only problem youre telling me, cuz im weighing the option of spending $20 here for more substrate than i can shake a stick at or...........dum dum dum dummmm $90 worth of EC or other ready made brands

the only reason i didnt fully consider MTS is i just dont have the time and area to do all those steps.......uggg lol, i just want to grow some plants and not spend a ton of cash on substrate

lets put it this way, this is my 20g long the substrate is pure laterite (2oz) covered with caribsea super naturals sand (which is $20 a bag)


this is an older picture of this tank, its been rescaped etc to get rid of some plants that grew out of control and that nasty alge on the floor in the middle, but my point is this tank grows like mad, but i dont want to spend the $20 per bag (20lbs) cause that would cost me nearly $100!

you guys get the idea right? lol im trying to get good growth on a low budget this time so my wife doesnt kill me again!

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current tanks: 20L reef, 10g shrimp
wife's tanks: 40g Free-for-all planted community
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 03:41 AM
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The purpose of the soaking, drying, etc to make MTS is to try to reduce the initial algae bloom that many people using topsoil experience. Regular topsoil should work fine but it might be a month before you get everything stable. I'm sure some people stabilize it much faster. Just make sure that you don't get topsoil with chemical additives or pesticide contamination. That's why many people get organic, but not necessary if you get the right stuff. I'd be wary about putting peat under all that since it's going to start to degrade and at the bottom of the tank there won't be much oxygen. The peat I put under my gravel was fine though and I don't have any experience with it under soil. Good luck.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 02:38 PM
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For small amounts of soil you can also boil/bake it if you don't have room, time (or climate) to do the wet/dry cycle. See this thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...t-dry-any.html.

A large pot about half full of a top soil slurry was enough to give me 1.5" of depth in my 30g.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otofish View Post
The purpose of the soaking, drying, etc to make MTS is to try to reduce the initial algae bloom that many people using topsoil experience. Regular topsoil should work fine but it might be a month before you get everything stable. I'm sure some people stabilize it much faster. Just make sure that you don't get topsoil with chemical additives or pesticide contamination. That's why many people get organic, but not necessary if you get the right stuff. I'd be wary about putting peat under all that since it's going to start to degrade and at the bottom of the tank there won't be much oxygen. The peat I put under my gravel was fine though and I don't have any experience with it under soil. Good luck.
So why does this not occur with ADA AS?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 08:26 PM
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Why does what not occur? Algae bloom? Stabilization? Anaerobic bacteria? Not sure which you mean.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laotin View Post
what would happen if you dusted the bottom of a tank with peat, then put plain top soil on it then covered it all with pool filter sand?

ive read the MTS over a few times and while i would love to do it, i just dont have the time (working 70+ hrs a week) nor the place to do all the rinse, dry (living in an apartment) however i am desparately looking for a really cheap way to fill my 75g for a planted tank.

I went down to my local nursery and told the ppl there what i wanted to do and they said, hey, its plants underwater right? i said, duh! yeah! they said, put you some soil in there and put some sand over it and ferterlize it once and a while...

so i thought, hrmm, could they really be right? so thats why im asking, peat, top soil and pool sand would yield?
probably a little late here, but better late than never, right?

here's a link on how to set up your tank without mineralizing the soil first.

http://thegab.org/Plants/setting-up-...nted-tank.html

you should also check out the "el natural" forum on apc.

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