Advise: mixing aquasoil + diy substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Advise: mixing aquasoil + diy substrate

Hello! My name is nathalia and im from uruguay. Here it is very hard to find commercial substrates for planted tanks thats why I brought a 9L ADA Amazonia Aquasoil bag from brasil in my bag 🤣. The thing is that im setting a tank with this base dimentions: 40cmx80cm (16inx32in). For that size i would need 20 Liters of soil or more. And i only have 9. I was thinking in using the ADA aquasoil as a top layer and under it doing a homemade substrate for planted tanks. This mix would be something like red clay + worms hummus + vermiculite + perlite + inert gravel/sand. Would this be ok? I read somewhere that i shouldnt mix basic and acidic substrates (vermiculite and aquasoil perhaps) but i dont know. Please help me. Thank youu! And sorry for my english 😃.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 07:33 AM
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I have used a basic (organic) potting compost with a soil retainer then aqua soil with good results. The soil retainer is just a piece of flexible plastic / nylon mesh that is normally used for shading plants. The roots of the plants can get through but the potting soil cannot get out.

When you come to rescape you can lift the mesh out and reuse your aqua soil. There are detailed instructions on the UKAPS site.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 01:27 PM
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9 liters is plenty. You just need to use the aquasoil as the base layer and put something else ontop. I used sand in a recent tank on top of aquasoil and its working fine. You could use a very fine gravel if you prefer rather then sand. I would not mix dirt and aquasoil simply because its not needed. You could use dirt instead of aqusoil but theres no reason to go there when you already have the aquasoil on hand. Another reason not to use your aquasoil as a capp for dirt is that you might not have enough for that. The dirt really needs to be contained under a cap, and while aquasoil can be used as a cap you will likely need more then 2cm of aquasoil in places to cap it effectively. And that is assuming you don't have any areas of uneven aquasoil thickness or places where your aquasoil gets disturbed plants, fish, or water changes.

No you should definitely use the aquasoil as the base layer and cap it with something else.

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