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Old 01-26-2014, 10:01 PM   #451 
Araielle
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@Tree - As I understand it...you'd use both the organic soil (making sure it doesn't have any type of fertilizers) & the sand on top of that. Seems like folks have used play sand successfully on top of organic soils.


I do have a question. I'm trying to find things for my hardscape, but so far all I have is some cholla catus wood. Are there any recommendations as for the types of rock & other items? I don't have any streams nearby or I'd just go grab some stuff. I'd love some advice for this. So far I'll have one male beta, some MTS and assassin snails & a few shrimp in case there is something special for them that might be nice. :) Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:02 PM   #452 
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so Play sand will be ok for a Natural Planted Tank? I was thinking about Organic soil, would they work both just the same?
It's obviously working fine for my tank. Tho I do give an entire root tab to the lotus plant and smash 2 other tabs/spread them around in my substrate.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:13 PM   #453 
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@Tree - As I understand it...you'd use both the organic soil (making sure it doesn't have any type of fertilizers) & the sand on top of that. Seems like folks have used play sand successfully on top of organic soils.

what about gravel on top of organic Soil? would that work? right now I have white gravel.

I do have a question. I'm trying to find things for my hardscape, but so far all I have is some cholla catus wood. Are there any recommendations as for the types of rock & other items? I don't have any streams nearby or I'd just go grab some stuff. I'd love some advice for this. So far I'll have one male beta, some MTS and assassin snails & a few shrimp in case there is something special for them that might be nice. :) Thanks in advance for your help!
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It's obviously working fine for my tank. Tho I do give an entire root tab to the lotus plant and smash 2 other tabs/spread them around in my substrate.
yeah I wanna add less Ferts to my tanks. Not sure what would be easier. ferts or no ferts using soil.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:02 AM   #454 
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Then I think going soil would be the best option for you.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:06 PM   #455 
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Then I think going soil would be the best option for you.
I think I will do that in the spring. Some of the plants were just put in. =)
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:49 AM   #456 
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Sand is fine, but needs root tabs. Same with gravel. You pretty much need root tabs and ferts with anything other than soil (or expensive formulated aquarium soil substitutes like ADA Aquasoil), which brings it's own built-in fertilizer and nutrients.

The down side to soil is its a bit of a pain to get set up and cycled, plus if anything gets uprooted its a mess of cloudy water, but it's amazing for plant growth.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:37 AM   #457 
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you said to use normal soil, then.. pool filter sand, could i add a sprinkling off gravel on top as a decorative layer
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:56 AM   #458 
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I place my dry soil-then add water-just enough to cover the dirt-then I add my dry sand-then I fill with water-drain-repeat until clear-Then with about 3-4inches of water-I plant. Then fill, drain if needed-refill...etc...until clear-usually only take 2-3 water changes-if done correctly.

I use my free hand to divert the water flow so not to kick up the dirt/sand or depending on the hard scape item-I might direct the water flow on it.

I let the water settle for at least 5 min between changes to allow the sand to settle.

I already have my hard scape in place before I add the sand cap

I also might add more sand if needed after I am done and sometimes I will use a small handful of gravel or larger rock at the roots of stem plants to help keep them in place.

I like to plant my rosette plants (swords, crypts, sags, vals..etc...) after the cap-you want their crown to be slightly above the substrate-
Stem plants can be planted before or after the cap-I have found it easier to plant after the cap.

When I make the water changes for setup-I don't drain 100% of the water-I may only remove 50-75%-then refill-this will help avoid too much disturbance of the soil/sand or up-rooting plants.


I'm just going by what I read, but from what OFL says above, she's used gravel around the base of plants.

In reading about certain species that like to dig or nudge the sand, you'll want to have room for them to do that, but I don't see what a few pebbles would hurt. Anyone else have any input on this?
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:27 PM   #459 
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There's no problem to use gravel around the base of the plants, if that's what you want to do. Any inert media (gravel, eco complete, fluorite, sand, whatever) you want can go on top of the dirt... it's all the same.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:22 PM   #460 
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Has anyone used this kind of soil for tanks? Promix?

at Manards they have some in stock and it's organic. I could not find anything saying added Ferts or chemicals.

here is a site that talks about it: http://jetta17.hubpages.com/hub/The-...ial-Soil-Mixes

Ingredients: Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Sea-based Compost, Limestone, Perlite, and Mycorise.

I think this is the picture of the bag:

Last edited by Tree; 02-02-2014 at 02:32 PM.
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