Guide to setting up a Soil substrate planted tank - Page 6 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #51 of 126 Old 10-05-2010, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
waiting for your updates has prompted me to buy diana walstad's book. I read the first two chapters. I'm already looking at my fishtank ecosystem in a whole new way. Theres so much chemistry involved >.< i had to go rest my head. science is not my forte.
Yes, and this is not something to jump into, as it is a powderkeg. Redchigh is going about it the right way. Many have not, and lost their fish as a result. Ms. Walstad is careful to point out that there are many detrimental issues that can occur, and some do no matter what, so it has to be fully understood and carefully worked out.

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 #52 of 126 Old 10-05-2010, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Definately not a process you can do on a whim overnight...

Even the potting soil-only 1 gallon, set it up in about 20 minutes, and planted it heavily, but waited 4 days before testing ammonia and adding fish to be on the safe side.

Topsoil should be better, but make sure it's well saturated... Takes a long time.

Right now my soil is done, but now I have to dry it out so I can crush it into a powder. (Using an oven would defeat the purpose.)


I'm trying to present this as a "beginner's guide"- A simple way to set up the first one.
Taking into account some of the things that can go wrong, and working on making the ideas less likely- like the potting soil... It doesn't compact at all.
I just think it's lacking some minerals, so I add the mineralised/leeched topsoil. The 1G hasn't had any problems, but it's also relatively low-light. (filtered sunlight only.)


There is a risk, I just think the benefits outweigh the risks.
Most of the problems can be identified and corrected before they get out of hand, as long as you notice them.
I would NOT reccomend someone setting up their primary 90G show tank with soil and several hundred dollars worth of discus until they had a bit of experiance with soil, and can recognize the symptoms of a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius
__________________

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

_____________________

Last edited by redchigh; 10-05-2010 at 02:20 PM.
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post #53 of 126 Old 10-05-2010, 04:18 PM
This is not something to jump ino for sure, I plan on reading the book and following this guide for my own set-up in the future.
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post #54 of 126 Old 10-06-2010, 11:15 AM
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Hate to say it but I did just jump right into it. Had a 50 gallon tank just sitting there. I wanted to buy the book, went to Books a Million and my local library but had no luck finding it. Anyways, I read all I could online for about 2 nights got a little help from Red on here and put the tank together. My feelings are that this works okay, I have not lost a single fish out of 12. The tank is about 6 wks old. It is not so far doing near as well as my original planted tank using rock and eco complete. In saying that though, I hardly spent any money on this method and this was sort of a experiment for me. I been adding plants as I go along, some have came from my show tank, some I found out were not true aquatics so I put them in this tank until they start to brown (ribbon plant and mongo grass). I have a large order coming today and will add many more. I also do not have the amount of light that it needs at this time but im working on that as well. I used just plain old dirt in a bag from lowes 40lbs then covered it with 40lbs pea gravel ( total less than $10). The total substrate is about 3 inches. My fish seem happy as can be, I have had a spawn of Jewel cichlids already on a log. My biggest concern right now is the fact that I still have bubbles coming up from the substrate from time to time. There is no smell however so im hoping everything is good.

Oh and I didn't mention that I put cichlids in this tank LOL! Yeah they uproot a plant from time to time, even bite them in two sometimes but I just replant and keep going. Really enjoying my cichlids they have some personality.

I wrote this not to encourage others to break the rules like I have done but to let you know that this is something you can pull off. This tank may turn into a total failure for me its to early to tell but I learn by doing things and I enjoyed the ride so far.
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post #55 of 126 Old 10-06-2010, 11:19 AM
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Thought I would show you how it looks. Its not planted heavily enough yet but its a healthy tank none the less.
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post #56 of 126 Old 10-06-2010, 11:23 AM
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spanwing jewel cichlid!
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post #57 of 126 Old 10-06-2010, 11:38 AM
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Looks good I am glad its working for you.

Kindest Regards,
Amanda

Keeping fish its not a hobby it is a passion!

55 gallon, 44 gallon, one 20 gallon tank, three 10 gallon tanks, and a 2.5 gallon all with real plants.

I have MTS and there is no cure.

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post #58 of 126 Old 10-06-2010, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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The small bubbles that pop up occasionally sometimes don't release enough sulfur to be noticable...

Poke it with something and try to get all the bubbles out...

I discovered the perfect tool-


lol... You can use anything though... I've used the handle on a plastic spoon before.


As long as you get some rooted plants, and poke the substrate I wouldn't worry... If you get all of the bubbles out and they start up again later, (assuming no smell), then it's probably CO2. :)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've decided on my plants list and placed an order...
Already had:
ludwigea repens (a few stems)
pennywort (a couple stems)
Dwarf Sag (lots, low growing)
driftwood (May or may not use...)
Riccia (May or may not use..)
Proserpinaca Palustris (a few stems, but I LOVE this plant!)

Ordered:
Bacopa Monnieri
Cabomba Caroliniana
Echinodorus Angustifolia var Vesuvius
Echinodorus Bleheri Compacta (If it grows too big I'll sell it... Figured I'd try it out.)
Echinodorus Tenellus (Hoping it's dark green will contrast with the lime green dwarf sag nicely)
Potamogeton Gayi

Sweetaquatics might give me replacements for the alternanthera and cabomba furcata that were destroyed in shipment in my last order... I decided to give them one more chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius
__________________

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

_____________________

Last edited by redchigh; 10-06-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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post #59 of 126 Old 10-06-2010, 12:24 PM
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Man that is one fancy looking tool. LOL

Kindest Regards,
Amanda

Keeping fish its not a hobby it is a passion!

55 gallon, 44 gallon, one 20 gallon tank, three 10 gallon tanks, and a 2.5 gallon all with real plants.

I have MTS and there is no cure.

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post #60 of 126 Old 10-06-2010, 02:49 PM
Or you could just get some MTS... then they will turn the substrate for you no?
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