Opinions Please? Aquatic Compost

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Lindsay83, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Lindsay83

    Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    Hi all.

    I'm currently leak testing my 110ltr tank, which I'm planning to set up as a tropical, planted tank. My current idea is to set it up as an Amazon/S American biotope with a larger shoal of small tetra (front-runner so far is Ember Tetras), and maybe an Apistogramma species, but right now, I'm looking at substrate, and I was wondering what people's opinions were on using aquatic compost, with a top layer of gravel?

    This is what I'm thinking of using, although I'm aware I can get it cheaper than this:


    I live in a software area, and while I'm waiting for my gH/kH (and, indeed, my Api Master) test kit, my water company's website indicates water hardness to be 17mg/l. PH, when I lived at home (about a mile away, and in the same area), was roughly 6.5-6.8.

    Would I need to add a phosphate test kit to my collection? That's another area which is new to me. :)

    Here's a pic of the tank .... looking a bit bare, I know (obviously things are going to be moved around, and/or upgraded over time)
    2017-04-09 11.49.11.jpg

    In the past, I've always used gravel, so any opinions/advice would be most welcome.
  2. allllien

    allllienWell Known MemberMember

    I don't have any experience with it sorry, I don't really know what it is but plants can grow well in most substrates, the best one I've had so far are just smooth rounded pebbles, a bit larger than normal aquarium gravel size. I think being a little bit larger and irregular sized, all the fish waste / sludge goes to bottom and fertilizes the plants, so that works well for me. Hopefully someone here has tried it though and can give you some advice :)
  3. OP

    Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    It seems more commonly used in ponds, and actually specifically says "ponds"on the packaging, but I'm not sure about aquaria.
  4. allllien

    allllienWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, ok, it might make the water murky/discolored in a tank then?
  5. OP

    Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    I've found lots information on other forums by reading old threads. It's been done with great success, and doesn't seem to affect the fish. The main cautionary notes seem to be that they can leach ammonia (not a problem, as I intend to fishless cycle anyway, and the ammonia levels should be adequate for that) and it could affect my water chemistry, but whether the one I linked to above does so or not, things seem quiet.

    Of course, I'm still open to opinions, though. :)