New Planted Tank Preparations - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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New Planted Tank Preparations

Hello Everybody,
I am new hear. I just lost my 5 year old tiger oscar and am now looking towards the future (RIP T-Rex). Unfortunatley now, i am left with a 135 Gallon acrylic aquarium to use for a planted tank.

I have been watching a lot of videos and reading a lot about what type of substrates will work the best for me. I am looking to grow some carpeting plants, amazon swords, bananna plants, marimo moss balls, monte carlo, possibly S.Repens, and some other plants. I have a big tank so I know I will need a lot of substrate, im hoping its lighter than the 100lbs of sand I used for the oscar setup.

I have been leaning towards soil and then a top layer? Yay or nay

I am plannning on having a co2 injection system and good lighting.


What substrate layers do you use in your tank? Pros vs Cons?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 01:01 AM
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I have been leaning towards soil and then a top layer? Yay or nay

I am plannning on having a co2 injection system and good lighting.

What substrate layers do you use in your tank? Pros vs Cons?
I use Miracle-Gro all purpose and Scott's Premium Topsoil mixed @ 1 bag to one bag.
About a 1 inch layer of this capped with 1-1/4"BDBS.
Pool filter sand if you want a white look.

Pro's = Excellent plant growth but ferts are still needed but dry compounds are cheap.

Con's = Other than snails the first 3 months is best without shrimp and or fish.

Using soil a must have IMHO is to sift all bark, rocks, debris etc from the soil.
Second is to soak it in small portions and remove anything that floats.
This allows for plant uprooting without clouding the water column.
Plant root removal must be slow and not just yanked out.
Maybe a little soil is left on the sand that a quick vacuum can remedy.
These steps can make or brake a capped soil tank.
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 01:17 AM
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There are plenty of posts on substrates and their respective cons and pros. The short of it is that you can grow plants in anything "reasonable" and that the choice comes down to your money vs your labor.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 02:30 AM
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There are plenty of posts on substrates and their respective cons and pros. The short of it is that you can grow plants in anything "reasonable" and that the choice comes down to your money vs your labor.
Agreed.

To me biggest difference is inert vs. active.

Have seen spectacular tanks with both.

But they are worlds apart in many, many ways.

Choose one then read up carefully. Quite different approaches for each.

But keep in mind that choice is a small sliver of a much bigger pie. Many, many things will be important in the long run.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 08:35 PM
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Yay for MGOPS soil, I used this and the results were amazing with no co2 however it only lasted about 1.5 years, I just posted for help on ferts as I'm now forced to used them. Here's a link to my thread, you can see 3 pictures of the tank, start, peak and today.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...l#post11095111


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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New Planted Tank Preparations

I was looking at home depot, what is a good soil mix that will have longevity? I figure I would do a soil base with a flourite cap?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 10:02 PM
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I do not know about Home Depot mixes, but I do know Seachem. I have used their Onyx Sand and Fluorite Black Sand for years. There has been no problem with it and it is as good on Year 5 as on Day 1. As it is a sand, it helps grow plants with tiny/small roots. It is also safe for sand sifting fish such as Dojo and Kuhli loaches, and other bottom dwellers like clams, snails, and shrimp. I do not know how safe Miracle Gro is for those types, or even if you want any of them.

In my 75g tank with that substrate and no additives, if have to trim my plants once every 1-1.5 months. In that time frame, they grow half the height of the tank. I have Telanthera, Moneywort, Weeping Moss, and Dwarf Hairgrass in my tank.
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