soil topped with substrate. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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soil topped with substrate.

I was wondering. Soil can cloud the water. So if Ill setup a dirt tank. What gravel should I use and what type of soil? If I will gravel cleaner it, it might disturb the substrate and cloud the water. Reply pls. Im jealous on low tech tanks with lush green growth.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 01:18 AM
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Soil, either mineralized top soil, or Miracle Gro can be capped with coarse sand or fine gravel.
Do not deep vacuum, whichever you use. You do not want to dig deep enough to disturb the soil.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Does the soil wont turn black and smell foul in the tank?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 02:05 AM
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It can, so you do not use very much. Read through the thread about mineralized top soil or look around at posts about Miracle Gro. Miracle Gro is a company that packages soil mixes for containers. There is one that is highly thought of as aquarium soil. Whether it is available to you or not, the shallow depth is right.

You may end up making your own soil, or looking into whatever packaged materials are available locally. Find out what is in those packages, let us know.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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It says, SOILESS POTTING MIXES FOR INDOOR PLANTS>
Will it be fine?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 03:57 PM
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It may not be. You want soil. Soil is the mineral component, sand, silt and clay.
'Soilless' usually means it is organic matter such as sawdust, peat moss, compost and similar materials. These can work, but keep on researching here.
I found peat moss is so light that it will fly around the tank with the least bit of disturbance, then settle out on top of the leaves. When I shake the plants to get the peat moss off it drifts around the tank again. Perhaps other organic matter might be a bit heavier, may settle better. I do not know. Other people here have done tanks with organic matter based soils, and I know that some highly respected people in the field have used something like what you are describing for years, so it is possible.
You also want to watch out for additives. Fertilizers, perlite (not toxic, but annoying), and there is a gel-like polymer that is added to some soils to hold water.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 04:10 PM
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Go to a nursery and find some soil. On the ingredients it will barley have any. Check out my 55g tank build in my sig. It worked great for 2 years for fert hungry plants. But now it can only support normal plants


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 04:22 PM
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Organic miracle gro potting mix or garden soil is what you would want.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 07:32 PM
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I only recommend the potting mix.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soujirou View Post
I only recommend the potting mix.
I've been using the garden soil with no issues and plants are fine

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Okay guys this is what I've got. sterelized potting soil. Its not enriched.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 02:17 PM
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Does it look like it has bits of bark or little sticks or chips of wood?

If it is dry, then soil that is more sand-silt-clay will be quite heavy, approaching 100 lbs per cubic foot.
Organic material, compost and so on will be a lot lighter.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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its dark in color. quite heavy cause when i drop in a jar of water it sinks down
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 06:30 PM
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It all depends on your definition of soil and the context it is used in. What we typically think of as "soil" is top soil/garden soil. This contains organic material: compost, (decayed leaf and plant matter), humus, (concentrated organic material), manure, (animal fecal matter), peat moss, and a small amount of non organic material such as mineral rock, sand, or clay. It is the organic material that will break down and cause some problems under the right circumstances.

People in this forum use garden/potting soil such as Miracle Grow in various ways. "Mineralized soil" is a method created by a hobbyist where they take any type of garden/top/potting soil and enrich it further by adding various things to it.

There are some commercial "potting soils" that are not really what we would call soil at all. They are usually a type of gravel or pellets. These are sold for potted plants, hydroponics, and pond plants. They usually do not contain any organic material that will decay or cloud the water. If what you have has the consistencey of dirt rather than gravel, and its not sand or clay, then it contains organic material.

Quote:
SOILESS POTTING MIXES FOR INDOOR PLANTS
That is not soil. It is some kind of clay, mineral, or man made, ceramic gravel, bead, or pellet

Quote:
Organic miracle gro potting mix or garden soil
All top soil, garden soil is "organic". Anything that was once living tissue is organic.

Robert Paul Hudson

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Last edited by Robert H; 09-02-2012 at 06:41 PM. Reason: a
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