Considering soil as a substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Considering soil as a substrate

Now that my 5 gallon tank is basically done, I'm thinking about pulling out my 10 gallon and setting it up. I have plenty of flourite left over that I could use as a substrate, but I think soil would look more natural. I have some organic potting soil on hand already, but I wasn't sure if that would be the best thing to use. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly what's in it, but I do know that it has no fertilizers and no vermiculite.

So here's what I'd like to know (for now, at least! haha):

Would organic potting soil make a safe aquarium substrate?

Would it be ok to mix flourite in with that?

What should I do to prepare the soil before adding to the tank? Just mineralize it? (From what I understand, I could do this by putting the soil in a bucket, filling with water, and pouring off the junk that floats to the top. Is that correct?)

If there are any resources out there for dirt-tank newbs like me, please share them! Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 06:53 PM
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Just put it in and cap it with your flourite. You'll need something to keep the potting soil from floating away.

You could mineralize it if you have the time you want to spend on it, or you could just throw the soil in and call it good.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 06:50 PM
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Potting soils are very nutrient rich so you better change your water often or you will have massive algae problems down the line.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 09:01 PM
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Soil is the bomb. It will allow your plants to grow healthy... the key to remember is that the soil will compact so make sure you do 2 inches of soil and 1 inch of cap (sand is great; i'm no trying black diamond - silica based sand-blasting sold at tractor supply).

Also, I like mixing my dirt with clay-based unscented kitty litter. I forgot the science behind that, but it helps.
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