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Well, I got a new 29 gallon (for free!), and I'm trying to set it up cheaply. Or at least relatively cheaply. I was wondering if, as a substrate, i could do just plain potting soil, topped with about two bags of eco complete I have from previous tanks. I've never used potting soil before, but I've read somewhere it can be done, and I was thinking the eco on top might help keep it from dirtying up everything all the time. Any advice, experience, or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Sure that will work fine I do that with my bigger tanks (55+) but make sure the top soil is a non-fertilized brand. You'll need to go to a orchard or lawn-care supply store instead of a big box store to get it but the upside is it will cost less.

- Brad
 

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Miracle-gro makes an "Organic Choice" that you can find anywhere and has no added ferts. 1" of that capped with 1" of your old substrate will get you where you want to be.

Plant the tank before adding water (spritz they plants to keep them wet). Then fill the tank slowly. After that, try to avoid moving plants around, as this will disturb the substrate and cause algae blooms.

-Dave
 

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i used ordinary aquatic compost from the garden centre in my new tank.
i gave it a good sieving to leave a fine powdery compost then topped it with a sheet of garden frost fleece and then a layer of gravel.

obviously i have to make a hole through the fleece to plant my plants but it acts as a very effective geotextile to seperate the gravel from the compost so i dont suck all the compost up when i syphon the the substrate.
 
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