The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting up a 20 gallon high tank and redoing a 10 gallon tank. I'm wanting to put amazon swords, pearlweed, aponogetons, and other root feeders. I like the look of sand but I dont want to use root tabs since you have to replace them every 3 months and I'd need quite a bit. That's just something I'm not really looking forward to, so, I was wondering, could I do a layer of fluval stratum and then cap it with sand? If I cant, is there any other kind of nutrient rich substrate that I can do that with?

Thanks
-Hania
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,673 Posts
Dirt / Soil capped with sand might be a better option for you.


Personally, I would use 100% sand and fertilize.... you do not have to have a nutrient rich substrate for a successful planted tank.

"Root feeders" is a bit of an out dated term and more of a myth than anything. Properly fertilize the water column and use root tabs as supplemental fertilizer and you should have success.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,912 Posts
All 3 of my tanks now are aquasoil capped with sand. One is using fluval stratum currently (though 2 did in the past). It works pretty well. Either way you will definitely need to add liquid fertilizer on a regular basis as aquasoil by itself is not medium or long term solution (nutrients run out). This is true in my opinion even if you also use root tabs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
alright, I was going to add plenty of nutrients into the water because I will have a lot of anubias, java fern, java moss, african water fern, etc in the tanks also.
Thanks for your responses!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
I've been in this hobby for about 10 years now, so I'll give some advice from what I've learned. Don't cap Aquasoil or Fluval Stratum with sand or gravel. If you pull plants frequently, you will eventually mix the layers and then it looks terrible. If you want to have the look of sand, get some organic potting soil and cap that with sand, but remember you limit yourself on how often you can move things around. You can also just use sand only, and really focus on keeping nutrients in the water in check. There are some people here with some of the best aquascapes I've ever seen and they use gravel or sand only.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been in this hobby for about 10 years now, so I'll give some advice from what I've learned. Don't cap Aquasoil or Fluval Stratum with sand or gravel. If you pull plants frequently, you will eventually mix the layers and then it looks terrible. If you want to have the look of sand, get some organic potting soil and cap that with sand, but remember you limit yourself on how often you can move things around. You can also just use sand only, and really focus on keeping nutrients in the water in check. There are some people here with some of the best aquascapes I've ever seen and they use gravel or sand only.
Thanks for your response :). I think I'm gonna look into the potting soil idea. Is there any specific brands that you think are good or any that you think I should avoid?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
Thanks for your response :). I think I'm gonna look into the potting soil idea. Is there any specific brands that you think are good or any that you think I should avoid?
Sorry for the late response. Avoid any soil that has perlite mixed in. Looks like small white rocks that are very buoyant in water. Nature's Care Miracle Grow soil is what I use, comes in a lime green bag. They have 2 types of potting soil in the same type of bag, and one has perlite so make sure to check.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry for the late response. Avoid any soil that has perlite mixed in. Looks like small white rocks that are very buoyant in water. Nature's Care Miracle Grow soil is what I use, comes in a lime green bag. They have 2 types of potting soil in the same type of bag, and one has perlite so make sure to check.
Yes, I know what perlite is, my mom bought a giant block of it last summer and i accidentally spilled most of it 😅.

I have a potting soil my mother mixed and has a lot of extra of. I believe it is just regular potting soil + coconut coir. It has no perlite or added fertilizers (that I know of) do you think it would be okay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
You'd want to check the potting soil to make sure there isn't anything added to that. Most organic soils are going to be okay. I used to make my own by using my own compost, adding some worm casings or guano and baking it. Then I'd turn it into mud by adding water and mixing. Just make sure cap any dirt well and don't use dirt tanks if you like to rescape constantly. Happy scaping!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You'd want to check the potting soil to make sure there isn't anything added to that. Most organic soils are going to be okay. I used to make my own by using my own compost, adding some worm casings or guano and baking it. Then I'd turn it into mud by adding water and mixing. Just make sure cap any dirt well and don't use dirt tanks if you like to rescape constantly. Happy scaping!!
alright, i'll keep that in mind. Thank you so much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
Yes, I know what perlite is, my mom bought a giant block of it last summer and i accidentally spilled most of it 😅.

I have a potting soil my mother mixed and has a lot of extra of. I believe it is just regular potting soil + coconut coir. It has no perlite or added fertilizers (that I know of) do you think it would be okay?
If you are sure there are no pesticides or harmful chemicals in the soil, it will be fine. I wouldn't bake the soil as you may benefit from current microbial communities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
If you are sure there are no pesticides or harmful chemicals in the soil, it will be fine. I wouldn't bake the soil as you may benefit from current microbial communities.
100% agree, normal organic potting soils and bagged soils don't need baking, but if you're going to go totally cheapo and make your own from normal dirt from your yard it definitely needs to be baked first.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top