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pfs + nutrients

841 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Hoppy
hello everyone i'm planning to redo my 55 gallon soon. at the moment it has gravel but i plan on taking all the gravel out and replacing it with pfs. i'm looking for ways for adding nutrients into the substrate. do people use just peat and laterite? and also the mts caught my eye here. how expensive would it be for a 55 gallon if i supplemented it with the pfs?
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My last tank I set up just a few weeks ago I used mineralized topsoil under pool filter sand. I've done this before and it does work well. The MTS costs virtually nothing if you have access to someplace where you can dig up some topsoil that you are reasonably sure hasn't been contaminated with toxic chemicals. The cost of pool filter sand depends on where you live, so you need to look around at the pool supply places to see what it costs.
i already know how much the pfs is i used a bag for my 10 gallon shrimp tank but that has mosses so i didn't really worry too much about nutrients in the substrate for that tank. but i can't really think of anyplace locally that would have good top soil that's legal to take from. florida = sand haha
what about doing mts but not the clay and dolomite and using osmocote plus? so just mineralized dirt with time release ferts?
well i bought 2 bags of earth gro topsoil today sifted it through some window screen and have it soaking. anyone know about the osmocote plus idea?
The clay makes the substrate have a better ability to hold nutrient cations where plant roots can get to them easily. Osmocote will not duplicate that effect. But, you can use lots of different clays to get that effect, then rely on the Osmocote for nutrients including iron. It is easy to find alternatives to dolomite, as far as providing calcium is concerned, but most will be calcium carbonate, which dissolves much faster than dolomite. For a 10 gallon tank I once used a cuttlebone sold for parakeets, and scraped it to get particles of calcium carbonate.
I've see people take carbon for a canister filter and lay it on the bottom of there tank, then put there substrate on top of it and i've seen that work for carbon.
Well I think I found dolomite. I have a picture in my other thread in this section if you could check it out for me I would appreciate it. But I found muriate of potash so if i can find the clay and dolomite I'll be set.
I've see people take carbon for a canister filter and lay it on the bottom of there tank, then put there substrate on top of it and i've seen that work for carbon.
i'll be injecting co2 so i'm not too worried for a carbon source.
Carbon granules from a filter may be acceptable under a substrate, but they don't supply carbon for the plants. Plants use CO2, or, in some cases, CO3--, for their supply of carbon. Excel is unique in providing another plant usable form of carbon, but I don't know of any other source of carbon for plants.

Iron is another plant nutrient that isn't supplied by granules of iron. The iron has to be in a plant usable form also.
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