Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Flear 03-16-2014 10:10 AM

substrate ideas ?
i'm curious about substrates

beaslbob suggests pure peat moss (with a cap)

walstad has organic potting soil

there is remineralized top soil

(i've seen another from a different forum that started with humus & with a bunch of additional minerals added - greensand, azomite, laterite, being a few)

trying to go for simple, i'm sure walstad is hard to beat

i'm looking at my one tank at home and thinking "damn i hate nutrient deficiencies!"


what 'simple' ideas do people have that could pose a substrate that would be complete for plants ?

walstad is simple
MTS is ... almost simple
peat moss, makes sense, it's got all the nutrients that made the moss right there, where could any deficiency or toxicity be ...

any ideas others may have ?

jennesque 03-16-2014 06:29 PM

I don't like to bother with any nutrient rich substrates, mainly because eventually the nutrients will all be absorbed by the plants and you'll be left with inert (and sometimes very messy) substrate in the end.

I personally use sand and have been using Flourish root tabs under my swords that are heavy feeders. I just last week started trying out some oscomote + root tabs and those seem to work well too.

They even sell clay, soil filled balls as root tabs that can be added, and can be replenished easily by adding more in a few months.

beaslbob 03-17-2014 09:04 PM

don't forget I also cap the sand with pro choice select red.

In my experience the peat moss keeps kh and gh constant for at least two years.

the sand traps the peat moss so you don't get floaties and with planting the plants before filling the tank it is almost totally clear immediately.

the pc select looks good and probably has some good stuff. it is a baked clay almost like pottery chards.

Sometimes I also dose very low amounts of iron (ferris gluconate) and use untrated tap water and no water changes. So undoubtably there are some minerals in the tap water being added. At my current location that water does come from a limestone aquifier so calcium and magnesium is in the tap.

I did use potting soil with fertz once and had to kill the lights due to cloudiness.

my .02

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