budget 75 gal. substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question budget 75 gal. substrate

OK I am thinking on using pond soil from the local garden landscaping store and top it with gravel or something. Now my question is this a good idea and can I use the pond soil as is instead of mineralizing it or should it be mineralized as well ? This is a low tech planted tank with one possibly two 2x48" T5NO fixtures for lighting .
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 03:06 AM
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What type of plants are you wanting? I had the same problem not having the cash to put substrate in my 75. I finally just went with pool filter sand, which I liked the look of best anyway. I just grow things that don't need to be planted or put root tabs under the stuff that need it.

Now under 4-32 watt t-8's I have lots of nice java fern, sword plants of different types, crypts, mosses, and dwarf sag. I had some hygro difformis for a while, sunset hygro, and a few others.

Just throwing that out there! Good luck!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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as to what kind of plants well I really don't know witch plants will work I want to grow or at least maintain as many as I can I really like lots of plants , they need to be hardy as this will be a community tank with Angles and other Dwarf Cichlids as well as the normal crew. should I go with two of the 2x48" T5NO fixtures? I am not going to add CO2 or ferts .
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 09:24 PM
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contact your LFS they got 2 15 lb. bags of eco complete for $27 running on sale through the end of the month right now. Im sure your LFS has the same distributor as mine and the rest of Chicago area.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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OK if I use the pond soil as is would Turface MVP be a choice for the cap ? Also is it a good idea to use the pond soil as is or should it be mineralized. Is there a better choice for the cap.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 04:20 PM
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OK if I use the pond soil as is would Turface MVP be a choice for the cap ? Also is it a good idea to use the pond soil as is or should it be mineralized. Is there a better choice for the cap.
i cap my organic potting soil (non mineralized) with turface with no ill affects. just be aware that the Turface will reduce the hardness of your water.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 04:26 PM
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i cap my organic potting soil (non mineralized) with turface with no ill affects. just be aware that the Turface will reduce the hardness of your water.
Turface only strips hardness temporarily. After a month or so, it should be fine. If you wanted, you could soak with frequent water changes in tubs and add some Bicarb and it would eliminate this.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks the hardness is not a problem it could stay on the softer side as for as that goes, I am going for the Americas look and for the most part soft water fish as well or at least somewhat anyway .
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