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Old 07-14-2003, 07:53 AM   #1
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Small Planted Tank Question.

This is for a 1G or a 2G tank. The idea is to add about 0.5 to 1" of
soil, on top of this soil layer add 0.25" - 0.5" of gravel and keep
some plants in this tank. Is it Ok to skip gravel cleaning for this
tank altogether ? The Betta waste will be food for the plants. Has anyone tried this ? Have there been any problems ?

Also can an air stone/pump be added just for decoration ? Perhaps the
Betta can play in the bubbles ?

Thanks.

Vijay
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:58 AM   #2
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Moving to planted tanks forum.
Quote:
This is for a 1G or a 2G tank. The idea is to add about 0.5 to 1" of
soil, on top of this soil layer add 0.25" - 0.5" of gravel and keep
some plants in this tank. Is it Ok to skip gravel cleaning for this
tank altogether ?
Yes, it is ideal not to clean the gravel in a tank like this, the plants will use the fish waste as fertilizer. Still do water changes, just dont vacuum the gravel.
Quote:
Also can an air stone/pump be added just for decoration ? Perhaps the
Betta can play in the bubbles ?

2 reasons I would say no:
1. The airstone will drive off co2, and plants won't thrive.
2. Bettas like calm water, I don't think they are much for airstones or playing in the current.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:26 AM   #3
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If your tank was bigger the airstone might be okay. My Betta lives in a 5 gallon with a box bubble filter thing in the corner. Everyso often I see him playing in the bubbles. Chasing them, getting caught in the stream and such. But then he spends 90% of his day on the calmer side of the tank. In a 1 or 2 gallon there isn't a lot of room to go and hide in.

Do these small tanks have UGFs. I thought you said in another thread they did. You can't use soil and plants with UGFs.
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Old 07-15-2003, 08:59 PM   #4
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you umm, take the ugf out...yeah...amazing isn't it?

What kind of soil do you use? Just, normal dirt or something? lol
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:32 PM   #5
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don't use dirt or potting soil

it quickly goes bad, and becomes very very stinky (been there, done that)

if you're looking to experiement, I highly recommend Special Kitty litter ... for about $2 you get 40 lbs to play with, and it works well, but is a bit on the ugly side (pale gray)

cover about an inch of it with another half inch of gravel of your choosing and you'll have a good medium to grow in!

oh, did I mention, the dirt goes bad, very bad ... stinky ... you get nasty gas bubbles, it's like a sewer or a swamp
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Old 07-16-2003, 08:35 AM   #6
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Ok, here's My exp. with soil. I use soil in one of my tanks, with very different results than glmcell.

To use soil, it must be aged in water first, 6 WEEKS minimum. It undergoes massive chemical changes when under water. (reference: Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, Diana Walstad). she explains what happens to soil, I cannot summarize, because it is complicated, sorry.

I lucked out, because I had a couple buckets of dirt left outside for over a year when I decided to use soil, they had been filled with dirt and water the whole time. Again, my laziness comes in handy! My soil is also very high in clay content, which I believe is to my advantage.

When getting this soil out of the buckets, it did smell a bit, but not too bad. I removed as much twigs and leaves as i could (these are organics, which lead to the stinky problem mentioned by glm).
I then mixed it with loose peat, 3 parts soil to 1 part peat. put it in the tank 1-1.5 inches deep, covered with ordinary pea gravel. Smaller gravel would be better, but I was using supplies at hand, it was an experiment.

This tank has been up just over a year now. the only problem I have with it is if I wish to remove/move plants. It clouds up badly for several hours if I do so. The tank does not stink, the fish and plants are happy.

Disclaimer: I am NOT recomending anyone use soil, just relating my experience. If you wish to do so, I would highly suggest reading the Walstad book mentioned above before doing anything else.
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
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cool ... I figured I must have missed a step using soil - I tried very hard to get all the organics out of it ... spent hours sifting it with a colendar to only get dirt, and not rocks or twigs / roots / bugs

I even baked it for a few hours at maxium oven heat to make sure anything in it was killed

if I try the experiement again, I'll be sure to read Diana's book first

show's how impatient I am - sorry if I conveyed an indication of 'bad idea' using soil - I know it works, I've seen tanks that use it, and CC made it work too ... just shows that my inexperience lead to the bad experience for me .. YMMV
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Old 07-25-2003, 12:39 PM   #8
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I use soil that has been soaked in water for a day. Used this in large potted plants before with no problems. Presently, I am using 1.5" of soil and about 0.25" of gravel on top of this. There were very little bubbles.

Put excess plants in this tank, just to be safe.

Vijay
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:25 PM   #9
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I've had a planted 29g set up for over a year using garden dirt, peat, osmocote, and vermiculite or equivalent covered by about 1" of sand. I've never had any smell and the plants did extremely well for about the first 9 months. Now they are growing more and more sparse even with nutrient feedings. I think the substrate has been compacted over time so that the roots can't breathe. If I tried to break up the compaction through stirring, I think the soil would come up and cloud the water and create a real mess. It would be great if someone has a solution for that.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:52 PM   #10
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Man at the thread resurrection. This thread is from 2003!
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:52 PM   #11
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Yeap, that takes some searching to find such an old thread. (or maybe the new search can pick out the threads requested better then the last one?)

itafx, I would look into getting some MTS's to stir the bed for you.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JustOneMore20 View Post
Man at the thread resurrection. This thread is from 2003!
Yup

It's an area I'm interested in. If folks have good knowledge on the subject, I'd like to hear it. If there are other threads that answer these issues more thoroughly, I'd be interested in knowing that too.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:48 PM   #13
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P.S.
What is an MTS? I've noticed that the new hosting application has some issues to be worked out on acronyms. For some acronyms I've seen in people's threads, when they use an acronym, there is code about it instead of an underline clickable acronym that tells you what it is if you click/hover over it.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:03 PM   #14
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MTS is Malaysian Trumpet Snails or Multiple Tank Syndrom, depending on the context. I'd bet he was referring to the former. They are spiral shaped snails that reproduce like crazy and can be found at many lfs. They do a great job at stirring the sand.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:35 PM   #15
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Thx!!!
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