Substrate/plant Questions

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by HamSnacks, May 1, 2019.

  1. HamSnacks

    HamSnacksValued MemberMember

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    1) I plan on starting the aquascaping on 225 Gallon this weekend, just wondering if anyone has had success using specific dirt brands or products sold at their local Home Depot or Lowes instead of the Popular brands like Eco-Complete, Tropica, Seachem...
    I would go with those but the cost to fill the tank would be just too great.
    I was thinking of finding a safe to use soil that contained a lot of nutrients and then to prevent it from going everywhere top it off with sand.

    2) I think I want some rolling hills going on in the tank, would it be better to make the hills completely out of substrate or build them using plastics or other material underneath? Can clarify more if that didn't make sense.

    3) Due to the size, are wavemakers going to be necessary? Never used them on the 125 but should I look into them?

    4) While doing the Nitrogen Cycle, can I still plant plants or will they affect the whole cycle?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. EvanG

    EvanGValued MemberMember

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    I know I've seen someone mention getting 2 different brands of soil and that one contained far more twigs and undesirable organic materials. IIRC, they liked whatever they got from Home Depot more than Lowes. Pretty vague, I know. Maybe searching for dirt tank will get you some useful info.
     
  3. EvanG

    EvanGValued MemberMember

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    I found positive references to Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix here, so that sounds like something specific to research.
     
  4. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

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    If you can find Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil, which is now discontinued but some left over supplies. Otherwise, most of the other soils I have seen are mostly mulch which doesn't work as well. I saw a brand new organic potting soil at Lowes earlier this week in a black bag but was in a rush so wasn't able to look to see if it was good for this purpose. The MG organic raised bed soil is also just mulch. The tractor supply soil has Burpee organic soil which should work for you. The key is no moisture control or chemical fertilizers added to the soil.

    You can do some hills but if you have significant mounding you are going to have it slowly level out over time unless you have something preventing it like a barrier

    I favor powerheads to promote water movement

    Plants help process the ammonia and nitrates in the tank reducing the footprint of bacteria required to reach balance, they do not interfere but become part of the process. It takes about a week before the plants begin processing and melted leaves should be removed
     
  5. OP
    OP
    HamSnacks

    HamSnacksValued MemberMember

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  6. EvanG

    EvanGValued MemberMember

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    If you happen to have hydroponic supply stores in your area, you can check with them too. I don't know much about hydroponics, but I worked as a programmer for a retail hydro chain and they had several organic soil choices and the staff were way more knowledgeable about the products than the typical big box store employee.
     
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