Pond soil instead of garden soil? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Pond soil instead of garden soil?

So I am deciding to use soil on the bottom topped with Petco black aquarium sand for my 5 gallon planted shrimp tank. I chose the black because it would make seeing the shrimp easier and the dirt is to have better plant growth and less CO2 injection. I'm currently having hair algae problems in my old tank and so wanted to try CO2 injection in this tank with dirt. I'm basically going with the Walstad method since I'm a student and don't want to maintain the tank too much. Had anyone tried taking soil or muck at the bottom from a pond and using that instead of garden soil? Would it be better since it is already in or closer to a decomposing state? My only concern is foreign parasites and other harmful things that may be in that pond. It's a school pond that has gold fish and turtles in it. Any thoughts? Thanks

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 09:06 PM
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Are you talking about using actual soil from an outdoor natural pond, or commercial "pond soil"? Whats at the bottom of an actual pond could be filled with all sorts of crap that I would never want in my aquarium, particularly with shrimp. Shrimp are very sensitive to water conditions and any ammonia that leeches from soil.

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Would it be better since it is already in or closer to a decomposing state?
No, that would make it worse

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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I was talking about a real man-made pond exposed to the weather. So if that real stuff was bad, should I just go with soil that I can get from under grass it should I buy garden soil from somewhere like Home Depot?

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 11:40 PM
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Given that it has currently Goldfish and turtles I would avoid this material from the point of view of possible pathogens.

If you dug up some garden soil that would be a better choice (if your garden soil would work in an aquarium) because it will not be exposed to water based organisms. If it comes from an active growing area dig deep enough that it does not have too much organic matter in it, or sift it so the larger particles are removed. Soil from under a lawn is suspect because of all the chemicals that may have been used on the lawn. If you have been in charge of it and you know for sure it is clean, then OK. A better choice might be some back corner of the garden under some bushes where nobody ever sprays anything, and any fertilizer has long been used by the plants.

Soil from a bag is usually good, if you get the right one.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 12:42 AM
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For a 5 gallon tank I don't see a good reason not to use a commercial substrate. The cost would be low, and something like ADA Aquasoil is very fertile and well proven. It is for big tanks that using dirt makes economic good sense.

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