Adding Nutrients to Dirt? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Adding Nutrients to Dirt?

I'm almost ready to begin putting together my 75g. I'm going to do a dirt substrate and cap it with eco complete. The dirt I'm using is an organic dirt. I added a picture of my dirt below. Any thoughts about adding organic iron or other organic nutrients to the dirt? Will it effect my water in any way or is it overkill or is it a good idea? Thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 09:14 PM
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Not a big dirted tank fan myself. However I can tell you that Eco Complete is not good for capping dirt. If black is what youíre looking for, go with Black Diamond blasting abrasive. It can be purchased from Tractor Supply and for the cost of one 20lb bag of Eco youíll have 100lbs of blasting abrasive. Another alternative is pool filter sand and itís actually cheaper but white in color.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Not a big dirted tank fan myself. However I can tell you that Eco Complete is not good for capping dirt. If black is what youíre looking for, go with Black Diamond blasting abrasive. It can be purchased from Tractor Supply and for the cost of one 20lb bag of Eco youíll have 100lbs of blasting abrasive. Another alternative is pool filter sand and itís actually cheaper but white in color.
I've thought about the sand but I like the eco complete. I have used it as a cap in other tanks and it has worked great. I one tank for 8 years running until I came home from work one day and found half my tank water on my floor because some how the tank developed a large crack in it. Anyway, I like the combo of the dirt with eco complete because of the mixture of the minerals that are in the eco complete and the nutrients in the dirt.

My main concern in this thread is about adding extra nutrients to the dirt as shown in my pictures ... iron, plant food, etc. My thoughts are about can the extra nutrients 1) extend the life of the dirt and 2) give my plants a healthier life.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 09:55 PM
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Donít believe the bag, itís lava rock.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Donít believe the bag, itís lava rock.
Well yes it is but that's why it's mineral rich
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 12:30 AM
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No need to add anything initially. You can get away with dosing potassium but that's about it. Maybe 2-3 years down the line you can use root tabs after the dirt has exhausted the initial nutrient load. Increasing the bioload will also help replenish the soil. You can think of your mature dirt layer as more of a nutrient sponge. But as for adding stuff to the dirt when first setting up? Nah, you don't need to add anything.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 12:45 AM
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Donít believe the bag, itís lava rock.
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Well yes it is but that's why it's mineral rich
It is inert, CEC rating is so low it doesn't count.
It may be mineral rich in content analysis but with it not dissolving or breaking down nothing is really beneficial for plants.

Sort of like saying put nails in your tank to provide iron.
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Growing is not that difficult.
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