Natural planted tank: Contro soil experience, anyone?

adive

I would like to understand how to use Contro aquarium soil in a planted tank. Anyone have experience with that? This is their website: www.controsoil.com . I would have expected their website to tell what are the different ways to use their soil for the best results along with instructions but such info is not available.

I really want to make a Walstad tank but I am in India and don't know what soil to use. Walstad recommended Miracle Grow isn't available here. I don't want to just use soil from the garden as I don't know what it will contain and I can't keep endlessly experimenting until I hit the right soil. That's why I am thinking of buying contro as it seems like it would stand a better chance than garden soil at me getting a good hit the 1st time. I have read about El Natural systems extensively and I am not saying that contro is a replacement for topsoil - you see what I am saying? Want to use the Walstad principles as much as possible.

I want to avoid CO2 injection and am fine with a slow growth, low tech tank.

1. Can I use contro as the only substrate layer in my planted tank?
2. Can I mix contro with aquarium gravel for my planted tank? Whats the percentage of gravel and contro?
3. Can I mix contro with aquarium sand for my planted tank? Whats the percentage of sand and contro?
4. In 1, 2, 3 above, which is the best recommended method?
5. Does the contro soil need to be exposed to the water in my tank , in other words, does it need to be the topmost layer in my substrate?
6. I hear that contro soil is not "heavy enough" to hold down plants. Do I need to hold them down by tying to something heavy?
7. Can I expect ammonia spikes in the initial weeks after I start a new tank with it? How many weeks shall I give the tank to stand before adding fish?
8. Can contro be used in an already established tank? Can I just gradually add the soil to the gravel & sand that's there in an established tank?

Thanks!
 

Aquarist

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Ken
 

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