Potting Mix - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Potting Mix

Hi,

Does anyone see a problem with using potting mix for a planted tank? Or is there something in them that might be harmful to fish?

-Cheers Merv-
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 01:16 AM
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Depends on the mix. If it has added fertilizers it's going to cause problems. If it is high in organics it will cause problems.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you,

The reason I asked was that I came across this website:

Planted tank - Fertilisation

It looks like he is usuing garden soil for his tank and successfully doing it. So basically get something that has no fertiliser and low in organics. I'm looking for a cheaper option than some of the stuff they sell at fish shops.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 03:33 AM
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Garden soil is usually a totally different animal than potting soil.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 01:18 PM
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Try a search on The Natural Aquarium by Diana Walstead.
She uses/made famous/endorses this technique.

Walter

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 01:50 PM
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Get plain topsoil, the cheapest you can find, and that should work. Make sure they haven't added ferts or peat like Rex said and then top the soil with a good layer of gravel.

One of my favorite talks from the AGA convention (Dorothy Reimer) covered a low-tech approach using soil substrate in pots. It might not be the look you're going for, but it does make it quick and easy to rearrange and remove plants without making a mess by stirring up all that soil. Use topsoil, lightly tamp it down, and cover with a layer of gravel. The 4" and 6" ceramic pots work best. Every year or so, repot the plant with new topsoil, unless you're growing Crinium (which need to sit for awhile before they can reproduce). Dorothy uses two 48" bulbs over her tanks, one cool white and one full spectrum. You should have seen the plants she had - they were huge and beautiful!


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Excellent!

That's exactly what I am going to do. Some top soil and a layer on gravel on top. I was also told to put some fertilizer tabs into the soil to help boost it up a little.

Are fluid fertilizers also necessary for plant growth. i have heard so many different opinions on this matter that i really don't know what to believe anymore!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 02:57 AM
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Short answer: yes. There are a few plants that get all the nutrients they need through their roots, but most plants also draw nutrients from the water column.

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