I'm new, and need substrate help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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I'm new, and need substrate help

I have done a reef in the past, but never a planted tank. I'm setting up a 110g acrylic and am not sure wether i am going to go hi or low tech, but either way it seems I will benefit from choosing a good substrate. My pre concieved idea was that i was going to cap it with white sand, but wether or not that is a good idea, I don't know. I was hoping for some recomendations for some good, nutrient rich substrate and how deep I should make it.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 04:04 PM
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I am not too familiar with substrates, but I think an organic soil is a good start for ideas. I have read that people use that, a clay/sand mix, just sand(like me)... there are a lot to choose from. With sand you will have to use root tabs and fertilizers more than with other types of substrate. And lots of people do sand caps, so I don't think it would be too much of a problem. Good luck!

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Can you really get away with just sand, it seems significantly less messy, but can root tabs and such, really compensate for some sort of nutritious soil?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 10:25 PM
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http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html

i use this in my 29 gallon capped with pool filter sand. i highly recommend it.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 12:22 AM
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I have a 5 gallon tank with a 9 watt florescent bulb, and currently I don't have a filter. So all my plants are low light. I also have 2(soon to be 3) fish. So I don't even use root tabs or other fertilizers. They do just fine in sand only.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mineralized topsoil sounds like a good idea, I would like to cap it with white sand, but not if the sand will soon take on a salt-and-pepper look because of it getting mixed with soil, if that is the case I would rather do black, so I suppose my question is, How long will it take for the soil to get mixed with the sand?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, I'm done with substrate questions..for now at anyway
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I guess im not out of questions, on the making of mineralized top soil, I couldn't find any bagged top soil, my family owns a farm so couldn't i just go to one of the richer fields and get top soil there?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSlug182 View Post
Thanks, Mineralized topsoil sounds like a good idea, I would like to cap it with white sand, but not if the sand will soon take on a salt-and-pepper look because of it getting mixed with soil, if that is the case I would rather do black, so I suppose my question is, How long will it take for the soil to get mixed with the sand?
If you have the money you can get things like eco-complete or just buy some laterite which is really cheap and mix it with you bottom layer. I used laterite laced gravel for a couple inches on the bottom and then topped it with play sand from home depot. The layers have stayed perfect for over 3 months now. As long as you only gravel vac the surface of the sand, then the layers should stay for a long time. Other then that, pulling up plants could also bring up a little gravel but pretty inconsequential.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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well ive already bought the potash and the clay... and it sounds like fun to make
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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oh and about the salt and pepper problem i saw a friends tank who mixed white and black sand and it looked better than i thought
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2011, 03:06 AM
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I'm using miracle grow organic top soil with a cap, no need for mineralization if you go low tech, just dosing once things get settled in!

pic here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...-low-tech.html
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2011, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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well im deffinitely going with MTS and im going out tomorrow to gather some soil from one of our richer fields (we own a farm) i dont feel like buying dirt unless i must.
Though if there is something magical in bagged soil, that can't be found on a farm, let me know by tomorrrow morning.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2011, 03:41 AM
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No, there's nothing magical in bagged soil, but you should stay away from topsoil that might have fertilizers in it.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2011, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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the partictular field i have my eye on hasnt been fertilized in a couple years
thank you for your imput
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