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This is my first post here, sorry if this has been answered many times before. I tried to search around a little in here, but didn't have much luck. I am not new to aquariums, have had both salt water and freshwater / tropical in the past. Last tank I had was about 5 years ago.

Details:
20g tall
A layer of Organic garden soil 1-1.5"
A layer of Silica sand 1-1.5"
I have a decent LED made for "planted aquariums"
will NOT be running Co2

Question:
Do I need to add anything else to the soil?
I see people talking about clay balls, calcium and magnesium powders... diatomaceous earth.. etc.
Any tips for someone new to aquatic plants.

Thanks for any help. :grin2:
 

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This is my first post here, sorry if this has been answered many times before. I tried to search around a little in here, but didn't have much luck. I am not new to aquariums, have had both salt water and freshwater / tropical in the past. Last tank I had was about 5 years ago.

Details:
20g tall
A layer of Organic garden soil 1-1.5"
A layer of Silica sand 1-1.5"
I have a decent LED made for "planted aquariums"
will NOT be running Co2

Question:
Do I need to add anything else to the soil?
I see people talking about clay balls, calcium and magnesium powders... diatomaceous earth.. etc.
Any tips for someone new to aquatic plants.

Thanks for any help. :grin2:
Sound pretty good to me. I use peat moss capped with play sand then capped with pro choice select (red). I put in a layer, wet it then add the next. Then plant the plants and finally fill the tank with water poured over a plate.
But I think you'll be fine with your method.


my .02
 

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What is that? Is that like "Turaface"?
Not familiar with turaface.


Pro choice select is a red baked clay used in baseball infields. I contacted pro choice on line and they directed me to a local landscaping firm. Who ordered a pallet and sold me 4 40 pound bags for $8 each or so.
It's supposed to be relatively high in iron but that aside it gives the aquarium a red gravel looking substrate.
I guess about any aquarium gravel would do as well. It is the peat moss that helps prevent hardness (kh and gh) build up over time. The sand traps it so you don't get floaters and the initial cloudy dirty water look. That and planting before filling up the tank results in a tank that is almost totally clear right from the start.


I used to just use sand and peat moss and plant after filling up the tank. The result was a deep brown dirty water you couldn't initially see 1/2" into. But with no circulation it was clear in 2 days with floaters on the surface. Then after a few weeks the floaters sunk to the substrate.


my .02
 
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