Byron, why not soil? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Byron, why not soil?

Question, why do you recommend to not use soil in first time planted aquariums? What danger could this present? OldFishLady on bettafish recommended soil/sand substrate.

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post #2 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 06:19 PM
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I moved your post out of the article thread as this is a subject that others may wish to post on and we will get into a fairly lengthy discussion which is best in the general plant forum. You asked it of me, so I put my name in the subject.

Soil is very different from the more basic substrates of plain gravel, plain sand and even the enriched commercial substrates. You can set up a new tank with any of these, plant it, and put in fish all on day one and generally speaking it will be successful. This cannot be said of soil. There can be issues depending upon several factors such as the soil itself, the method, the plants... and most authors who advocate soil substrates do suggest either a dry start or not adding fish for up to 6 months.

I am of the view that an aquarist trying their first planted tank should make it easy, not more complicated. Many try plants once, the plants fail, and they give up. This is really unfortunate, because live plants provide benefits in an aquarium that cannot be equaled without them, both from the standpoint of appearance and more importantly water quality and fish health. I want first timers to try live plants and have them succeed. Having success from the start is much more rewarding.

This does not mean it is impossible, far from it. But it poses a different set of issues that must be recognized beforehand, and this takes some experience.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. So if i was to not use soil, is there any way i can have my use of ferts to a min? Id be using various plants including swords, steams and floaters.

Itd be best if i could completely not use ferts.

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post #4 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. So if i was to not use soil, is there any way i can have my use of ferts to a min? Id be using various plants including swords, steams and floaters.

Itd be best if i could completely not use ferts.
Not adding any fertilizers can work, but here again it depends on several things. The plant species, and the number of them; slow growing plants need less "food" that faster-growing, and fewer plants need less than more plants. Then there are the sources of nutrients. Hard minerals primarily occur in the source water (tap or well) so the GH of that can help or hinder plants. The number of fish affects things, as nutrients occur in fish waste if left alone in the substrate, plus the fish food contains the essential minerals and this makes its way to the plants in time. The light impacts this, as more light will mean more nutrients needed to balance, or the plants will slowly die due to algae increasing.

In most cases, using a comprehensive liquid fertilizer as the basic will cause better plant growth. This only need be added once or twice a week, depending upon plants and such as above.

Is there some issue with plant fertilizer that troubles you?

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I myself wouldnt mind using the ferts. My husband, however, is hitting the limit with the animals. He hates seeing so much spending going towards them, even when i try to stretch the spending to atleast once every 1-3 months.

So even if i plant swords or java ferns, they can feed off what the tank naturally produces? The tank im wanting to plant will have max 7 fancy goldies in a 75 gal.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
I myself wouldnt mind using the ferts. My husband, however, is hitting the limit with the animals. He hates seeing so much spending going towards them, even when i try to stretch the spending to atleast once every 1-3 months.

So even if i plant swords or java ferns, they can feed off what the tank naturally produces? The tank im wanting to plant will have max 7 fancy goldies in a 75 gal.
Goldfish are plant eaters, so the plants will need to be fairly resiliant. JAva Fern attached to rock or wood works here, and Anubias. These are also slow-growing to they may manage without any ferts. I will leave it to the goldfish experts to suggest more.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-31-2012, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ive already spoke with Olympia. She said all planted, no fake plants and feed the goldies their need of veggies and all will be fine.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
I myself wouldnt mind using the ferts. My husband, however, is hitting the limit with the animals. He hates seeing so much spending going towards them, even when i try to stretch the spending to atleast once every 1-3 months.

So even if i plant swords or java ferns, they can feed off what the tank naturally produces? The tank im wanting to plant will have max 7 fancy goldies in a 75 gal.
IMHO yes.

IME the main problem with actual soil or potting soil with added fertz is you tend to have rather major algae problems. Which is wny I use a 1" layer of plain old canadian sphagum peat moss in the 1'x1'x3' plastic "bales".


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 03:22 PM
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Ill be glad to post videos of my tanks, they have very little algae. (a normal amount, the same as any tank)

However, if you want to just go with anubias, ferns, and floaters, ferts aren't neccesary. (since the plants are epiphytes anyway)
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks
OldFishLady had recommended ORGANIC no add ferts soils. But if it is 1 less thing to buy, I'm all for it ;)

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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