The Soil Substrate or Dirted Planted Tank - A How to Guide

Tim Harrison

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Is it OK to cap with Tropica Soil? I can't find a gravel / sand I'm happy with and I like the look of the tropica stuff? This would be for a cap over 1" of aquatic compost and moss peat mix.
I think @Sarpijk is right, you may as well use 1:1 mix of moss peat and Westlands aquatic compost.
I have the same question - could anyone assist by giving a link to a soil retainer that would be fish safe? I'm concerned that it may leak chemicals etc. over time...
Try this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gardman-Gr...ding+gardmans&qid=1565549090&s=gateway&sr=8-1. It's what I use.
Also is this a suitable <<soil retainer>>? What I'm not sure about is "Sturdy extruded mesh made from PP and treated with UV additives for longer life.".
Looks like the same product as the above...
61y9-xkizRL.jpg
 

GlenD

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Tim Harrison

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That really depends on your plant biomass, how densely you plant, and whether you're going to use LC, and the photoperiod and light intensity. All things being even, the general rule is 1/5 - 1/10 EI. For instance, my 60l high energy gets around 30mls a week, any less and I get deficiencies. So based on that premise I'd stick to the recommended dose to start with and see how you go. It is possible to tweak it and watch how your plants respond, but better to tweak it down than to add too little to start and suffer plant deficiencies.

Try Darrel's Duck Weed Index as a guide to fertz dosing and take a look at Tom Barr's Non CO2 Methods.
 

Phantom_ws

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Nice article.

Can you please post a detailed picture or give some details about the "Soil retainer sheet"
 

Sarpijk

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Nice article.

Can you please post a detailed picture or give some details about the "Soil retainer sheet"
Hi, I used common window screen. I wouldn't say it is essential provided you cap it with enough gravel or sand and of course if you are careful when uprooting plants.
 

Onoma1

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Hi, I used common window screen. I wouldn't say it is essential provided you cap it with enough gravel or sand and of course if you are careful when uprooting plants.

Greenhouse shade netting also works well. You can pick it up quite cheaply on ebay
 
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I used material from JoAnnes fabric store that’s similar to mosquito mesh netting. Anytime I pull up anything nothing comes up except maybe some detritus. It’s totally worth the little extra effort.
 
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