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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all. I'm working on making an NPT nano tank. I will get some Scott's Miracle-Grow, but I was wondering if I can use Eco-Complete (drained) on top of it as "gravel," essentially, to hold down the dirt. I'd like the color to stay all black rather than put river pebbles on top.
 

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Can't see why it wouldn't work, as EC is just "gravel" of sorts, though much more expensive. I assume you intend no substrate fish (EC is rough on these).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Byron! No, it's actually just for a betta. Out of curiosity, though, what type of cap would be good for substrate fish? Just sand?
 

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If you already got the Eco complete you can use it but if you plan to buy it then I would go for a black sand. Something that is cheaper. As for Miracle Grow the Organic Choice Potting Mix is what most ppl use.
 

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Thanks, Byron! No, it's actually just for a betta. Out of curiosity, though, what type of cap would be good for substrate fish? Just sand?
Yes, just sand. From what I understand of soil substrates you only need 1/2" of soil. If that is correct (I don't know for sure) then capping with anything won't give you a two tone effect if the bottom trim of the tank is deep enough to cover the dirt layer and only show the cap.

Jeff.
 

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ifyou want to hide the soil, lay the cap around the perimeter, then add the soil in the center. this will hide the soilfrom being seen through the glass
 

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ifyou want to hide the soil, lay the cap around the perimeter, then add the soil in the center. this will hide the soilfrom being seen through the glass
Not always. I have a tank now that I did that with and the two layers have blended together in some spots.

The best way to do it is to use eggcrate. You cut it to the lenght and width of the tank. Making several layers to get the depth you want. Then lay the sand over, front, and top of it. In the centre of the tank add the soil and then cap it sand. I had done this method before and the soil/sand stay exactly where you want it.
 

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Not always. I have a tank now that I did that with and the two layers have blended together in some spots.

The best way to do it is to use eggcrate. You cut it to the lenght and width of the tank. Making several layers to get the depth you want. Then lay the sand over, front, and top of it. In the centre of the tank add the soil and then cap it sand. I had done this method before and the soil/sand stay exactly where you want it.

difficult to plant inside eggcrate?
 

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What if you used black sand? Wouldn't it look similar enough to not be noticeable?
Maybe depends on how deep the sand 'wall' is infront of the dirt. I have used Black sand as a cap over dirt that I mentioned earlier in this thread along with the eggcrate once. When I disturbed the soil and it ended up on top of the sand it was pretty noticeable to me. This is just my experience through.
 

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if you haven't bought the potting soil yet, don't.

I have bad luck with soil rich in organics and peat. something more like dirt is much better.

also, look into "Estes Ultra Reef Sand". contrary to the name, its for freshwater too. It comes in black, is cheap, and much softer. looks better too.
 

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if you haven't bought the potting soil yet, don't.

I have bad luck with soil rich in organics and peat. something more like dirt is much better.
So just a question Redchigh. So since you have had a problem with Potting mixes that means everyone is going to have a problem with it??
Instead of saying,"Don't" wouldn't it have been better to say "You should be aware of some of the possible risks and that I general have problems with it." That generally sounds better then just saying "Don't" I say this cause I haven't had problems with MGOCPM before and have know others who have ran it in their tanks for awhile without any problems. Just saying...
 

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I used Eco-complete as a cap over soil in my 45long and it worked just fine. The Eco also had the benefit of soaking up the nutrients that the soil was leeching so over time it became just as useful as the soil itself. In my experience all the plants that I used that pulled their nutrients from roots thrived in the setup.
 
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