Help with soil substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Help with soil substrate

Hi everyone, I am in the process of setting up a 75g tank. I just sifted my nature’s care organic soil. The plan is to use that capped with sand or small gravel. I had a few questions though.

1. Who soaks there soil before putting it in the tank? I have read mixed things about soaking before and not soaking. What would the benefits be? How long do you soak for?

2. If I wanted a Slope in the tank. Can I add sand in the back of the tank before I add my soil? Then cap it with sand? I know you’re not suppose to have to thick of a soil layer.

3. To anyone that does a dirted tank, did you add clay in your soil section? If so did you just go to a craft store and buy potting clay?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennfisherman View Post
Hi everyone, I am in the process of setting up a 75g tank. I just sifted my nature’s care organic soil. The plan is to use that capped with sand or small gravel. I had a few questions though.

1. Who soaks there soil before putting it in the tank? I have read mixed things about soaking before and not soaking. What would the benefits be? How long do you soak for?

I soaked mine (exact same soil as you) and it released a nasty, very strong ammonia odor. I would highly recommend removing all the pumice and large debris and mineralizing the soil before use. I would also mix in some sand to add a bit of structure to the soil.

2. If I wanted a Slope in the tank. Can I add sand in the back of the tank before I add my soil? Then cap it with sand? I know you’re not suppose to have to thick of a soil layer.

You can just use soil on the bottom, and build up with sand. The root will reach the soil in no time.

3. To anyone that does a dirted tank, did you add clay in your soil section? If so did you just go to a craft store and buy potting clay?

I would not bother with clay. It won't serve any purpose. What is it supposed to do anyway??

Thanks!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 02:14 PM
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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.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 11:38 PM
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Roadmaster I just wondered if you use C02 when you dose with those ferts? Or for a dirt tank you don't really need it?
Thanks!
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