What to use? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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What to use?

I am about to set up a 30 gallon breeder tank. I purchased two bags of the schaultz aquatic plant soil, which looks to just be a cheaper brand of flourite. I am going to be using a c02 tank once I get it shipped to me but that wont be for a few months. I use to have a 55gallon tank with peat moss under gravel and it seemed to do fine growing plants. I was wondering if I should get a bag of peat and a bag of sand and do a 50/50 mix and put the schualtz aquatic soil over that or what would be the best?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 06:05 AM
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i would just do the schaultz soil. i am not a fan of mixing substrate since i am always getting in and out of my tank.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by xndrxw View Post
I am about to set up a 30 gallon breeder tank. I purchased two bags of the schaultz aquatic plant soil, which looks to just be a cheaper brand of flourite. I am going to be using a c02 tank once I get it shipped to me but that wont be for a few months. I use to have a 55gallon tank with peat moss under gravel and it seemed to do fine growing plants. I was wondering if I should get a bag of peat and a bag of sand and do a 50/50 mix and put the schualtz aquatic soil over that or what would be the best?
Based on my experience of using Schultz Aquatic Soil in a 40 gallon and 10 gallon tank, I would suggest that using a dusting of peat, covered by 1" of pool filter sand and capped with about 2" Schultz Aquatic Soil. If I could do things over again this is what I would have done. Why? In my experience I found Schultz Aqautic soil too light to permanently hold down deep rooting plants. Many of those plants, including stem plants uprooted on me as the roots grew longer. This resulted in permanent floaters. With the long roots, once uprooted, I could not replant them as they would not stay put and this is despite having a 4" layer in my 40 gallon and despite using anchors/weights to try and hold the plants down. Mixing Schultz with gravel did not seem to add enough weight. I have other tanks where I have used plain pool filter sand and found that the same plants rooted just as well and remained anchored. If you mix Schultz with sand than the sand will settle to the bottom anyway as the smaller substrate grains will tend to travel to the bottom, so it makes to do the dusting of peat, lay down the roots the way you would with house plants, bury with sand, then cap with Schultz Aquatic Soil. This way you get the benefits of the greater root anchoring abilities of the pool filter sand and the high CEC of Schultz when used as a cap.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 12:35 PM
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X2 Homer
I wish I had put sand in my 54...same floater problems


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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X2 Homer
I wish I had put sand in my 54...same floater problems
Good to know I am not the only one that had those issues. That is the biggest lesson I have learned in this hobby. Doing things wrong from the start can prove a real PITA later on.

By the way, I love the way your mineralized topsoil tank is coming along. That is really impressive and it has motivated me to try mineralized toposil on a smaller scale. And as soon as I get the flooring redone in my home, I will be setting up a 10 gallon mineralized topsoil, but I am going to start it emersed, with mostly low growing carpeting plants(glosso, dwarf hairgrass,etc.,) just to see how it does. I will use floaters initially for cycling and algae prevention until the tank is fully established. It will have pressurized c02 when submersed.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Coltonorr View Post
X2 Homer
I wish I had put sand in my 54...same floater problems
X3

I'm moving in a few weeks, so I going redo the substrate of my 55g just like Homer recommended.
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