I used generic peat & compost soil under gravel. I believe you want soil with no vermiculite or perlite. Look up Diana Walstad method.
Another thing you need to understand is you need to do certain things correctly in this hobby or you will regret it in the long run. This hobby of ours isn't cheap and if its too expensive to do things correctly you probably should wonder why you're doing a planted 91 gallon:icon_roll (Granted I understand wanting to go cheaper on the substrate, and have made this mistake twice before, regretting it thoroughly both times...)
You could do a couple things to save some on substrate though, with the above being said.
Inert non-specialized substrates are cheaper, but will require good fertilization to keep plants nice and healthy. Some common ones are sand, and pea sized grave. Soilmaster select is a newer option people have tried with good results as you can get a 50lb bag for around $20-$30.
But if you want to go with a "natural planted aquarium" You need to get Diana Walstand's book. I got it for Christmas and so far its great. I would recommend reading that a few times before playing with dirt in the aquarium
Lastly, If you want to go with a planted substrate they are worth it. The initial price is hefty in the beginning but you won't regret it overall. If you're going to want to try and stretch them with mixing In my opinion you should just go with another option because they're best used by themselves.
For my 55g I mixed gravel and Florabase, needless to say I'll be ordering some ADA AS in the coming months to replace the substrate in my tank:icon_roll .
Edit: Get it now, on sale!:thumbsup:
I live in WInnipeg, Manitoba Canada and the prices are indeed outrageous for some of these substrates.Tabatha,
Soilmaster select is a product of oil-dri. Here is a link: http://www.oildri.com/proschoice/products.html
Not sure who\if they have distributors in Canada, but I hope that helps you get a start.
But just a quick note: I'm not a fan of mixed substrates. if you move things around, they mix and don't always look good. (sorry I know it hurts to pay that much for "aquarium dirt").
Well I know its harsh sorry but I don't want people like you making the same mistakes and regretting them like I did for two years now:icon_rollFish Newb: Harsh man. We live in Canada where almost everything is more expensive. One 20lb bag of Eco-Complete is CAD$34.99! At bigalsonline.com, it's only US$17.99. Even if I were to purchase it from bigalsonline, there would be the shipping costs, taxes and huge handling fees from Fedex of over CAD$50.00.
At least we have health care
These may wreak havoc with your ammonia levels which could endanger fish health and contribute to algae blooms. If you really want to mess with something like top soil in a tank, as another poster suggested, look into Diana Walstead's Natural Planted tank concept. You can read more about this here and get a good idea of how to do such a setup and what people's experiences are. This saves you from having to buy the book, although the book is an excellent resource to have.What would be your opinion of these products?
1) Seaweed compost: http://www.premierhort.com/eProMix/...diaTM/Biomax/ShrimpCompost/fShrimpCompost.htm
2 )Shrimp compost:
Unfortunately, both contain limestone.
3 )Black Earth:
No limestone! Contains decomposed black peat humus and ash -- sound promising???
If you ever need my comments just let me know lol I'll keep them somewhat updated for you, lack of pictures is never good but with a lack of good photography equipment... :frown:Thanks Andrew, I appreciate your comment I have been following your adventures and look forward to updates!
The Canadian dollar is pretty much on par with the American dollar so offering to pay in US dollars wouldn't make much difference. It's the shipping that really kills and the added fees. Fair trade ain't so fair but I digress...
My husband picked up the Osaka with his buddy yesterday, YIPEEE!
After much research, we've decided to use vermiculite and peat under the Eco-complete, it should work very well according to the numerous articles I've read.