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Small capped soil cube?

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So I ordered some plants that come in today, and want to combine them with a few I have...
Ultimately I want to st up my 1 gallon cube with some organic miracle grow capped with small gravel, and planted with my (somehow still alive) Argentinian sword plant (the leaves are just starting to re-grow they're still very small), anubias nanas, a marimo ball/blob on a log and either hornwort, or more likely, anacharis as the fast grower. This tank will have no heater, air stone, or filter/water movement at all (water temperature stays around 72F, little warmer with light on)... Sometime in the future I might get a heater if I can find one small enough that doesn't have terribly reviews of cooking fish O.O

I've heard mention about not getting enough oxygen to the soil will cause problems for capped soil tanks that can kill fish/shrimp? And with no water movement this is my only real concern, but I'm not sure if its anything to really be worried about?
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Plant Whisperer
2,547 Posts
You don't want to use a fine grained sand as a cap. This prevents water from working its way into the soil. You also don't want to let a lot of detritus build up at the surface of the cap because this also blocks water flow. You can also buy Malaysian trumpet snails, which burrow in the day and come out when it is dark. They act like earthworms and help aerate the soil.

Other than that your plan sounds good. I use regular old "Scott's top soil."

Also, soil will discolor your water for a few weeks while the tannins leach out.
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