Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
I have used plain unscented kitty litter or safe-t-sorb mixed with plain top soil in a few tanks.
Clay products are said to help hold nutrients a bit longer than soils alone.
I have never soaked the dirt, but rather screened it through hardware cloth to remove any wood.rocks,or other unwanted stuff.
Then I placed the dirt /clay mix70% soil,30 % clay product on bottom of tank about three or four inches deep,and covered it with sand , or fine gravel. Maybe two inches for cap.
Have also used Green sand soil supplement, and or Azomite mixed with the soil with no ill effects to shrimp and fishes ,and plants seemed to do well.10% green sand or azomite with these last two experiments 80 % soil clay mix.(at ones own risk)
Tanks were planted heavily from the outset and once weekly additional dry fertz Nitrogen,phosphorous,potassium added after weekly 50 % water change.
My two cents.