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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi i am currently setting up a 30G paludarium 60/40 water/land

I have done lots of research and like most things have found conflicting reports. Right now i am planning my substrate, I have various materials that i would like to use in some combination.

MATERIALS
Pondcare aquatic planting media - Brown contains
zeolite and acrilite
Flourite - black
Laterlite - red
Gravel - Black and Grey
Sand - Horticultural Traction Sand

PLAN
Plan A - Layer zeolite and acrilite then flourite then gravel

Plan B - Mix sand - zeolite - acrilite - laterlite - flourite - Top with Gravel

Plan C - Mix everything together top with layer of sand

Plan D - Go Soil - El Natural style - Diana Walstad's

I would prefer a uniform top layer. Also it would be nice to use the items i have already purchased.

The zeolite is a concern -
Pros http://www.aqua-mart.com/p187b.html
The zeolite acts as a reservoir for nutrients which are slowly released as needed by the plant
Cons http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/substrate/31287-zeolite-substrate.html
"zeolite interrupt with the Nitrogen Cycle as it constantly removes ammonia,NO2 & NO3. I have a pale color leaves and algae in the end. "



Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated
 

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I've been using ZeoSand mixed with wormcastings 2.5:1 and topped with a 1" layer of Zeosand for over 9 months now without any of the problems (cons) you've listed. Its far to easy to blame one variable without any specific testing to isolate your conclusion, so that should be taken with a grain of salt.

I have a 225 gallon paludarium project in the design phase right now that I will be using the same soil for the water area, I would have used AS but I already have the materials prept and left over. Haven't completely decided on the land area yet.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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IMO there's no benefit to using both Laterite and Flourite, the composition of both is pretty similar.

If you're wanting to mix substrates to cut down on costs, personally I'd just go with Flourite cut with whichever of the others you like the look of but is nice and cheap.

If cost isn't an issue, out of the substrates you listed I'd just go with straight up Flourite and call it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really want to go soil
then Top with a mix of other substrates

The soil - Is Scotts Miracle gro - organic soil for bed not containers
http://www.scotts.com/smg/catalog/pr...4&id=prod70308

"Benefits

Contains an exclusive mix of 100% organic ingredients: compost, sphagnum peat moss and manure. Natural fertilizers provide both quick- and slow-release feeding to get plants off to a fast start and keep them growing. Delivers nearly double the yields of topsoil naturally. "

I Think this will be unsuitable...Since doing some research on this product..some people claim to have found garbage debris. I have found none
although it does seem to contain a lot of bark.
BUT
"Diana Walstad has recommended the garden UK - Miracle-Gro - Organic Choice Premium Garden Soil "
http://theaquariumwiki.com/Walstad_method
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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I've never been brave enough to set up a soil tank, I've read too many horror stories, and I know I like to rearrange my tanks too much...

Have you checked into Mineralized Soil methods? There's a great sticky at the top of this forum...
 
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