Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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CoryWM 01-17-2011 10:34 PM

El Natural Planted Tanks
 
An article here on my on how to setup a soil based aquarium. I've done this with as large as a 55 gallon now. I simply love these setups.

http://www.tankgeek.com/2011/01/17/s...alstad-vessel/

Enjoy,
Cory

Kazzy 01-17-2011 10:41 PM

That's gorgeous! Would you mind explaining exactly what you did? I've been looking into doing soil based and getting all the info/opinions I can before I start the process. Thanks for sharing!

CoryWM 01-17-2011 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kazzy (Post 562894)
That's gorgeous! Would you mind explaining exactly what you did? I've been looking into doing soil based and getting all the info/opinions I can before I start the process. Thanks for sharing!

Well I'll give a semi brief description. As you should do some more research on it before going forward. Basically the principle is a layer of 1 inch soil, capped with 1 inch of gravel.

The soil provides our co2 source from rotting debris in it, also a nice healthy root bed for the plants. You then just supply light.

No filtration system is needed because the plants act as a filter. You do on larger setups need something to move water, barely anything at all though, even just 50 gph will do the trick.

Kazzy 01-17-2011 11:00 PM

Thanks! Have you ever tried a thicker layer of soil/gravel? I've read about some people doing this and getting good results since, obviously, there is more nutrients and such. Also, have you had issues with anaerobic bacteria forming? If so, how did you take care of it? I'm considering using blackworms and snails to keep the soil aerated to avoid bacteria, and to 'poke' it every so often to be sure there are no bubbles.

CoryWM 01-17-2011 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kazzy (Post 562916)
Thanks! Have you ever tried a thicker layer of soil/gravel? I've read about some people doing this and getting good results since, obviously, there is more nutrients and such. Also, have you had issues with anaerobic bacteria forming? If so, how did you take care of it? I'm considering using blackworms and snails to keep the soil aerated to avoid bacteria, and to 'poke' it every so often to be sure there are no bubbles.

Thats part of the reason you limit it to a 2-3 inch max substrate bed. Any thicker and you have too many anerobic gas problems. The first week or so I had some gas pockets, after that no more problems.

Kazzy 01-17-2011 11:13 PM

Yes, that's what I've read. But have seen people successfully do it. Seems that with enough heavily rooted plants, and critters to stir up the soil, it would be possible. I'm thinking about testing it out in my 10g when I set it up. Maybe with the mix of plants and critters it'll work out.


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