New Substrate for Beginner - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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New Substrate for Beginner

Hey, i am just starting to take it a little more serious with my 55 gal freshwater. I am building a canopy with two 4' 54W T5HO 6400k and i will be introducing Co2 into the system. My question is, what is a good planting substrate to use? The tank is biologically active, has fish, but nothing in it except some old Eco Complete substrate and gravel topping that off. I am willing to dig up all old substrate and start over from scratch but i am trying to figure out the best solution.

Plants will include

Dwarf Baby tears
Anubias Nana
Amazon Sword
Java Fern (Narrow leaf)(Microsorium pteropus)

And ANY suggestions, i really am a complete beginner at the plants and substrate thing.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 10:47 PM
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Dirt is a great and cheap substrate. There are plenty of threads in the forum which can tell you how its done. You can go with a mineralized top soil (MTS takes some work to prepare, but IMO is the best) or you can use Miracle Grow Organic Potting mix (MGOPM). Both options require a capping of sand or gravel or flourite or whatever. You could easily cap it with what you have already. You can have great success with either.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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So, miracle grow really wont annihilate the chemistry in my tank? i know it has to be the organic potting mix not the planting mix and should i soak it for a few days, i was thinking of soaking for a week, and changing the water half way through the week. Would that be useless? I cant make some MTS because of the weather here, too moist at the moment. Any suggestions are welcomed.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevyg View Post
So, miracle grow really wont annihilate the chemistry in my tank? i know it has to be the organic potting mix not the planting mix and should i soak it for a few days, i was thinking of soaking for a week, and changing the water half way through the week. Would that be useless ? IM A NOOBIE!!!!
Well, if you redo, or start a new tank your going to have to start the chemistry (nitrogen cycle) all over again anyways...but no, it will not annihilate the chemistry in your tank. The key is to plant lots of plants and I recommend 25% water changes daily (or so) for the first week.

I did a dirt tank in this fashion, added fish 24 hours after setup, they all lived.


Oh, and check out this thread...https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...pros-cons.html
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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So with that being said, should i do anything TO the miracle grow before i put it into my tank? I was thinking it wouldnt be a bad idea to soak it for a week or so.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 02:32 PM
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I don't think potting soil is the perfect beginners substrate. Just saying that because you mentioned "Beginner". I think old EcoComplete is very good for that.

That said, if you feel adventurous, you could take out your existing substrate, put in the potting soil, and then use the old substrate as a cap.

However, from your list of plants, only the Sword plants would really benefit from this undertaking, and if the overall substrate height is good, it might be just as content with a few extra root tabs.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I don't think potting soil is the perfect beginners substrate. Just saying that because you mentioned "Beginner". I think old EcoComplete is very good for that.

That said, if you feel adventurous, you could take out your existing substrate, put in the potting soil, and then use the old substrate as a cap.

However, from your list of plants, only the Sword plants would really benefit from this undertaking, and if the overall substrate height is good, it might be just as content with a few extra root tabs.
Alright, so what i am gathering, i could dig up tank, make soil border with old substrate, fill with Miracle gro, then cap the miracle gro with my old Eco Complete? That way, i introduce the soil into the tank as well as keep my biology rocking. I will be putting in WAY more plant than this, i am just listing the ones i will be obtaining on saturday.

just on a side note, i work at a nursery, so i am very knowledgeable about plants in general, i have had a fish tank for a few years, just new to aquatic plants.

Last edited by Kevyg; 01-27-2012 at 08:17 PM.
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