Dirt, mud, and caps. . . - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 25 Old 02-24-2013, 06:13 PM
funkman262's Avatar
I forgot to mention that you should use malaysian trumpet snails to help keep the soil aerated. I still need to get some for my current setup. All I have in there right now is ramshorns.
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post #22 of 25 Old 02-24-2013, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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PERFECT! That was one of the questions I had, too! I have MTS in all of my tanks, just never have used them with dirt before, lol. Glad to know that they'll be fine in a soil tank, and will help with any issues that could arise. . . the thank button has vanished, I suppose I've thanked too many people on this thread today - but thanks, anyway!
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post #23 of 25 Old 02-25-2013, 06:00 PM
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I would add either sand or vermiculite to keep water flowing. Sand being the better option.

I wrote a long post, but it got lost...

You don't want a lot of organics. I typically use soil from spots where rainwater collects and sits. Soil from a waterway only works if its fishless. If there are fish, there might be infectious organisms. You could bake itbefore you mineralise, then add soil from somewhere else during the mineralisation to introduce beneficial microorganisms... Its just a lot of work.

MTS won't prevent h2so4 buildup, since they stay out of the anaerobic areas. They can help keep the aerobic areas healthy, but I don't use them.

I'm scared to type out more... my last advice is to use rooted plants at startup, make sure there's enough oxygen (from a filter), and keep the total substrate 2 inches or less in small tanks. Stem plants will keep the tank stable enough for stocking on day 1 (when the water is clear enough for good plant growth)

A capless tank would be great for raising live fish foods... Perhaps gammarus, scuds, blackworms, daphnia and colorful snails?
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post #24 of 25 Old 02-25-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Awwww! I want the LONG post! *sulks*

Thanks for your input, once again! Lots of good information to go on.
Raising live foods is another area of interest to me. . . hmmmmm. Daphna in particular might be fun to look into.

Though the MTS would naturally stay out of anaerobic spots, wouldn't their presence help keep these patches from forming in the first place?

Root plants I can do - my Crypts have been very generous to me! And I'm not worried about stocking fish right now, anyway.

As for gathering natural soil - what about from just a generic area of the woods not near waterways at all? Would this be too nutrient-rich because of composting of dead leaves? *scratches head*

I have no issues with baking soil. Oddly enough . . . I just cooked and sifted some backyard dirt this afternoon for a fairy garden project my daughter is working on. Got that part covered *giggle* Yes. We are an odd family ;)

Also. . . people seem to add Dolomite and potassium to the base of the tank before the soil. Is this ONLY to aid in plant growth - is it really necessary, or can I skip this step altogether? Finding a lot of info on it being added and how much, but nothing seems to really be telling me WHY, lol!

I think. . . with this last bit answered, I've got enough to go on for now. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as I continue my own research and get through my books. Thanks again - all of you - for your patience in answering my millions of questions!
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post #25 of 25 Old 03-01-2013, 12:52 PM
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Mineralised forest soil is good, just dig below the humus layer.

Mts stay in the top inch mostly. Still gopd to add though.
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