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Old 03-30-2011, 03:21 PM   #1 
baylee767
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Question Which soil... How to prepare it

I might be redoing my tank today. If not, at least some time soon. But I want to use soil substrate, and I know absolutely nothing about it in aquariums. So what TYPE of soil do I choose? I have swords and I don't like adding fertalizer to the substrate because I'm not sure when I need to replace it, so I need a soil that'll fertalize the plants and look good (lol). Plus it'll be good for all of my plants.

And I was wondering how to prepare it for my tank? I just put gravel in a net and run it under the faucet for about 5 minutes when I add it to tanks... but I have a feeling you can't do that with soil (and by "a feeling" I mean I know you can't) I want it so to not cloud my tank ^.^ or have Betta killing problems

(Just adding this soil is also for pygmy cories.... I think they'll enjoy it, at least I hope they do...)
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:46 PM   #2 
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Anyone? )=

Would regular old potting soil be okay? I still have no clue as to how to prepare it.

(By the way, I'll cap it with white sand since I understand if you dont cap it with some other substrate it'll make the water muddy)

Last edited by baylee767; 03-30-2011 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:10 PM   #3 
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Since for some reason this soil stuff is confusing me when I read about it on the internet and I'm getting no responses I think I'll just do a pure white sand bed. My main worry is algae.... but I am getting a few zebra nerite snails. I wish I could do pure soil like substrate, but the water would get too muddy and the one soil like substrate I know of that'll do that costs $30 for a small 10 or 15 pound bag. I know to prepare the sand just dump it into a bucket with water and drain and fill the water over and over again until it's clear. So does anyone else have any more advice about the sand before I buy some?
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:14 PM   #4 
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Use an organic soil from a nursery store. Make sure it is organic and has no fertilizers, growth enhancers, or other chemicals mixed in.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:27 AM   #5 
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"Diana Walstad has recommended the garden soil 'Scotts Lawn Care - Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Soil' as sold in USA and UK."

And so that's what I used! :) Walmart had it for like $3.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:32 AM   #6 
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Oh! And to prepare it, you should lay it out on a tarp/sheet/whatever and let it air out for 24 hours to let the natural bacteria in it eat up some of the ammonia. I skipped this part, and it was a bad decision. Ammonia spiked like CRAZY and I wanted to add fish right away and couldn't. While it's laid out on the tarp, remove the big sticks. DO NOT rinse it.

ALSO, keep your soil layer shallow unless you have tons of rooted plants to prevent anaerobic pockets. I have had A LOT of issues with that and finally have settled it down by adding more rooted plants. My soil layer is about an inch and a quarter, with half an inch of sand on top. If I did it again, I'd keep it shallower. I've seen someone keep the soil shallow (like 3/4 inch) toward the front, and increase it to 1 - 1.5 inch towards the back where the tall, rooted plants will be. That seemed like a good idea to me.

Last edited by kfish; 03-31-2011 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:45 AM   #7 
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I decided on a soil-like substrate in the end. It's basically little balls of plant fertilizer covered in soil (designed for aquariums)

I wanted white sand but we couldn't find any >.< but yay, I get a natural look (=
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:49 AM   #8 
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I love the natural look. :)
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:51 PM   #9 
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I use azoo plant substrate. High dollar brand is ADA amazonia II. Don't rinse it, place where you want and fill. It won't cloud water much. A good filter will clear the cloud in a couple hours. If you top off with sand, sand will eventually sink in the bottom. Don't worry about siphoning the soil or you will mess up your plants, because these soil gets desturbed way easy. Maintain a strong cycle and get a clean up crew.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:17 AM   #10 
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I'm currently using azoo (=
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