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Advice/Suggestions on my rescaping project

This is a discussion on Advice/Suggestions on my rescaping project within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> If you plan on switching to soil, not much is needed. A soil/sand mixture for the bottom does just as well as pure soil, ...

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Advice/Suggestions on my rescaping project
Old 02-21-2013, 12:13 PM   #11
 
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If you plan on switching to soil, not much is needed. A soil/sand mixture for the bottom does just as well as pure soil, and has fewer risks. Mineralising the soil also helps a lot.
(mineralise means let bacteria have a go at the soil before its submerged. This is done by placing it in a shallow container or on a plastic sheet outside, wet it well, let it air dry, stir it up, then repeat the wet-dry-stir cycle several times. It takes a while, but it really helps limit the risks.)

Don't throw any plants away quite yet, they might thrive in soil. Ill do another guide when my diy background is done if you'd like to wait and start mineralising some soil.

Soil substrates are sort of an art..my methods have changed from when I wrote the guides in my signature, but you might want to give them a read anyways. Just don't use purchased potting soil. Super cheap clay-sand based topsoil can work, but subsoil from a hardwood forest or a natural waterway is ideal. (if its from a waterway, bake it for 6 hours at 400F to sterilise it)

I keep adding to this.. LOL

As for the Ph, soil substrates will lower the Ph by adding co2, but the organic acids should be countered by calcium and magnesium in the soil. If not present, then small amounts of crushed dolomite/limestone or aragonite sand should be mixed in the soil.
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Last edited by redchigh; 02-21-2013 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:18 PM   #12
 
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Thanks for the input redchigh!

I have looked into the soil and sand substrate NPT style tanks for quite a few months now, but love hearing about other's experiences! I am definitely going to take a look at your links tonight.

I was originally looking into getting miracle grow organic potting mix, I live in town so it's not easy for me to go out and get soil out of my yard or somewhere.

Is there another brand that is more highly suggested?

I also am going to be ordering some MTS to help with stirring the sand/soil this weekend
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:21 PM   #13
 
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hmm, maybe raid a park? jk..

Walmart sells cheap toptoil that might work... Just get the cheapest bagged soil you can, submerge it, stir it a bit, and throw away everything that's still floating after a couple days. might have to try a couple brands...
If you can just grab a handful of subsoil from a part, it will help get the good bacteria and stuff you need.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:30 PM   #14
 
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Yeah, let me go raid a park right now!

Sounds good though
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:50 AM   #15
 
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So, I wasn't able to get to the store this weekend, but I did have a bit of free time and decided to play a little with the existing plants and what-not.

Does this look any better?
(sorry for the ugly water, just did a water change so some stuff got kicked up)


I have someone sending me some rocks Monday, so my plan is to hopefully build up a slope in the back-right corner, not sure what I will plant it with.

Also have some more plants on order. Wanting to get some anubias bartieri, crypt petchii, hygrophilia corymbosa, and some pygmy chain swords. I think I'll probably add some sort of stem plants to the order as well, but not sure what to get.
Any other suggestions with plants?



Edit:: Does anyone know if there is a water additive that makes water clearer? I've seen some people talking about something that is used inside of a filter that helps with clarity?
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:18 AM   #16
 
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Good luck, and i hope the best for you! :D
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:45 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
Does anyone know if there is a water additive that makes water clearer? I've seen some people talking about something that is used inside of a filter that helps with clarity?
This is not advisable with live plants. Chemical filtration, which is what we term any type of filtration that alters the water chemistry chemically such as with carbon, etc, should be avoided in tanks with live plants. Many of the essential plant nutrients will be removed.

The water "clarifiers" are dangerous because they work by binding particulate matter but they also do this to the fishes' gills.

Cloudiness can occur from several sources. It is usually advisable to allow it to settled naturally, especially when it is a bacterial bloom which is common in new setups.

Byron.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:00 PM   #18
 
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Thanks Byron!
I guess I should go remove the carbon in my filters then.
I never have a problem with cloudiness unless its the kind of cloudiness from the sink, where the water is almost a milky white, on occasion I add it to my tank because its hard to see the color inside of my big blue bucket.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #19
 
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My water does the same where it looks whitish or full of air coming out of the faucet. Generally after I turn my filters back on the water clears up with in mins. So I never worry about it. I just assume its air in the water from the lines or something. The fish never seem to mind either.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #20
 
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Yeah, my fish don't mind it, but it just looks hideous! Mine takes about a day to clear up when it happens, so it gets pretty frustrating. But I guess if it isn't recommend to add any chemical filtration then I will deal with it :)
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