starter seed mix, used under gravel? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2007, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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starter seed mix, used under gravel?

Hello... I'm new to this exciting world of planted tanks, and I have way to many questions to ask all at once. However, I did hear from someone here in town that they used "starter seed mix" from a local gardening supply store, and have had success with it. It is the basic bag, nitrogen fortified with vermiculite added, and the base is peat. So please anyone that could give me any advice as to use it or not... and what are the potential problems with using peat.
The way it was done, was that they put it on the bottom about half an inch to an inch thick and then covered the whole thing with gravel. 2 weeks of the water being a bit yellowish and then it all cleared up and plants grew like crazy.
So it sounds good, I would just like to hear some other opinions before I do so myself, (in a 2 gallon for starters) and then maybe in the 20 gallon.
Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 12:57 AM
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I haven't heard of using the seed starter mix, but a lot of people use a very light dusting of peat under their substrate. On my first planted tank, I used a lot more than a dusting of peat, probably 1/4" to 1/2", and every time I pulled up a plant, had pieces of peat floating all over the tank--pretty messy. And I would be concerned if there is fertilizer in the mix; that may be dumping a lot more than you want to start with. I'd be interested to see if anyone else has tried this.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 01:58 AM
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No. No. No.

Any added ferts will cause problems. Nitrogen ferts are almost always Urea which is not good. Vermiculite will make a huge mess if it gets into the water column.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:12 AM
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I can't recommend soil substrates for newbies. It's just too much to deal with. Read up on Walstad style on APC.

In no aquariums for a while.....
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:32 AM
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Mr Belvedere is referring to a style of aquarium keeping popularized by Diana Walstad. She has written the book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. I have not personally read the book, but many people find it extremely helpful if they are considering using soil substrates in a low-tech set-up.

APC is the forum There is a forum there titled 'El Natural' devoted to these types of tanks. The 'low tech forum here at Planted Tank also contains many useful posts.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your imput.... I'm glad I'm only trying this with a 2 gallon and not the 20 right off the bat...
I'm going to see what happens, and then go from there, but I will for sure take a look at the APC forum, thank you.
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