The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am setting up my first dirted tank and I wanted to know if it would be okay to use something like stratum and BDBS as a cap. What I mean is this. Can I use my 1 inch layer of soil, followed by a half inch layer of stratum, then an inch of BDBS on top of that. Would something like stratum help keep the nutrients in the substrate or would it just be a waste?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,629 Posts
So I am setting up my first dirted tank and I wanted to know if it would be okay to use something like stratum and BDBS as a cap. What I mean is this. Can I use my 1 inch layer of soil, followed by a half inch layer of stratum, then an inch of BDBS on top of that. Would something like stratum help keep the nutrients in the substrate or would it just be a waste?
In my opinion if you are planning to put down an inch of stratum, there is zero reason to use dirt at all. The only advantage dirt has over aquasoil is price. But if you are already planning to buy enough aquasoil to cover the tank... you are duplicating the same efforts with no adantage. Plus you will not be able to reuse this aquasoil in future tanks because it will become hopelessly mixed with dirt. Whereas if you put down an inch of stratum (or less) and 1+ inches of BDBS you could easily scoop that out and reuse it in other tanks (it will mix, but so what, its aquasoil).

Anyway if you are 100% committed to using dirt and can't be desuaded from it, I would say use 1/8" to 1/4" at most. Anymore then that and its going to be a real mess. What you are describing by way of layers will work fine, but so would just straight BDBS as a cap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
I think if you're trying to up the life of fertilization and help with the saturation issue with aquasoils you can definitely use less than an inch of soil since nutrients will be fed into the Aquasoil to be distributed. The layering you're describing fits well for that purpose, but, a was mentioned, you can't reuse and I wouldn't rescape after you're planted. I'm probably the only person on here that will advocate for techniques like this, but I've had lots of success in past experiments with layered dirt substrates... And lots of massive failures, so be prepared, stay on top of monitoring parameters and plants and livestock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Or would a thin layer of pea sized gravel or lava rock be okay instead
I think if you're trying to up the life of fertilization and help with the saturation issue with aquasoils you can definitely use less than an inch of soil since nutrients will be fed into the Aquasoil to be distributed. The layering you're describing fits well for that purpose, but, a was mentioned, you can't reuse and I wouldn't rescape after you're planted. I'm probably the only person on here that will advocate for techniques like this, but I've had lots of success in past experiments with layered dirt substrates... And lots of massive failures, so be prepared, stay on top of monitoring parameters and plants and livestock.
Would it be better to just use a 50/50 mix of soil and say , safe T sorb as a 1/4-1/2 inch layer and then cap it with the 1 inch of BDBS? My main concern I guess , is to not add too many nutrients to start, so that algae isn’t able to take hold in the aquarium. I plan on planting very heavy with low light plants( hygrohlia,swords,crypts, ferns, anubias, and some rotala) and starting my lights out on the lower side and slowly increasing the intensity as the plants start to grow.

Or would a thin layer of pea sized gravel or lava rock be okay instead

Would it be better to just use a 50/50 mix of soil and say , safe T sorb as a 1/4-1/2 inch layer and then cap it with the 1 inch of BDBS? My main concern I guess , is to not add too many nutrients to start, so that algae isn’t able to take hold in the aquarium. I plan on planting very heavy with low light plants( hygrohlia,swords,crypts, ferns, anubias, and some rotala) and starting my lights out on the lower side and slowly increasing the intensity as the plants start to grow, along with the substrate being able to hold those nitrients from the soil. Like I said, I am new to this, so I am not sure if I am taking the correct approach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
I've used crushed lava rock with sand cap with success. The thing with dirt capped tanks is there is always a possibility (probability) that you're going to have issues with excess nutrients, it comes with the territory. It's all about frequent water changes and parameter monitoring.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top