Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
You are in Maine and have amazing native soil better than any potting mix for an aquarium and its free for the taking. I have always used native soil by digging down one foot to the sub clay layer than putting it in a rubbermaid box and mixing in river sand about 60 sand 40 soil or until it becomes crumbly. I add a thin layer of eco complete, flourite, or small decorative gravel or even silica sand to the bottom. I than add a layer about 1/4 inch of the soil sand mix and cover that with 1/2 inch or so of your decorative substrate of choice. This soil will hold nutrients very well as a reservoir (i use osmocote plus). As an easy alternative you can also make 1" balls and freeze them and place them around the heavy root feeders like crypts, swords, vals and such and this works great and you can also add some prills of osmocote to the center of the soil balls before freezing for a 2 in one deal. I grow everything from hard to grow stems and heavy root feeders and if you grow swords you will get flowers in a hurry with this they love it. Ponds have natural sandy clay silt on the bottom and pond edge and plants grow well in it and in my opinion there is nothing better as it will not break down and you just have to add ferts to it when it is depleted just like in the garden. Easy, Cheap and grows fantastic healthy plants "cant ask for much more in my opinion". It is safe for fish and inverts as well I have all the above. I also add like MTS in my tank and other snails as they do have a purpose in an ecosystem but that is just an option and my Mexican Dwarf crayfish keep their numbers in check.