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Old 09-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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As the tank mature you have natural decomp from organics that add nutrient back to the soil-along with all the poop/byproducts produced by the livestock...All food for the plants and to help maintain nutrients in the soil itself.

This is why you don't want to over clean a soil based tank.

Sometimes, if you have a lot of root feeder plants-like swords-they might need some extra food after about 4-5 years. I make clay balls from my native clay-allow them to dry in the sun-then cram them under/around the base of the sword plant a couple of times a year or when the plant looks tired.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:16 PM   #12 
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If using dirt soil for an NPT, wouldn't that make it mud once you added the water after you added the dirt soil? Wouldn't the water be hard to look at? How would you make it look good without making it mud? Sorry for all the questions.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:46 PM   #13 
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That is what I thought too.....dirt+water=mud....But it isn't like that if you set a dirt based tank up correctly. The sand or small diameter gravel you cap the dirt with will help keep the dirt in place until it become water logged. Once the dirt is water logged and starts its life under water-it stays in place......

When I dig up plants or replant-I will get dirt up in the water column-but within 10 min or less the water is crystal clear and you would never know that I had a mass amount of dirt floating around.

All my tanks are dirt based and all my tanks water is crystal clear all the time.

Go to my album and you can see some pic of all my dirt based tanks

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 09-19-2012 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #14 
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Good to know. Thanks OFL! I have a lot to learn and it is nice to know that I can come here to do so.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:54 PM   #15 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
That is what I thought too.....dirt+water=mud....But it isn't like that if you set a dirt based tank up correctly. The sand or small diameter gravel you cap the dirt with will help keep the dirt in place until it become water logged. Once the dirt is water logged and starts its life under water-it stays in place......

When I dig up plants or replant-I will get dirt up in the water column-but within 10 min or less the water is crystal clear and you would never know that I had a mass amount of dirt floating around.

All my tanks are dirt based and all my tanks water is crystal clear all the time.
So, in my gravel only planted tank should I add something to it? It is on week three and doing very well, plants growing, rooting etc. Should I use some sort of ferts besides the fish poo and extra food?
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:14 PM   #16 
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When using inert substrate-you will need to add ferts of some type. If you have root feeders-root tab and if water column feeders you need water column food. Seachem has a pretty good line of plant food products, however, I have limited personal experience since I don't need them.

You also should schedule water changes so that you add the water column food after a water change-This way you will remove any unneeded/unused food so the algae can't use it....

I would really like to try and keep this thread on the topic of soil based tanks.....
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:20 PM   #17 
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Does the sand cap and soil end up being all mixed together when the snails burrow into the substrate?
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:27 PM   #18 
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Does the sand cap and soil end up being all mixed together when the snails burrow into the substrate?
It hasn't in any of mine and I have one going into the 7th year...and I have massive amount of MTS.....I remove at least 100 or more weekly....
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:29 PM   #19 
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Oh my goodness - that's a lot of snails!

Thank you for the answer :)
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:58 PM   #20 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
When using inert substrate-you will need to add ferts of some type. If you have root feeders-root tab and if water column feeders you need water column food. Seachem has a pretty good line of plant food products, however, I have limited personal experience since I don't need them.

You also should schedule water changes so that you add the water column food after a water change-This way you will remove any unneeded/unused food so the algae can't use it....

I would really like to try and keep this thread on the topic of soil based tanks.....
K...sorry..thanks
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