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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium
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DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium

 
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Nimishhome
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:33 pm Post subject: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Hi  All,
 
 I  want  to  setup  new  mid  tech  planted  tank  (20G)  in  Dutch  style,  but  using  Diana  Walstad  method  (dirt  type).  So  pls  give  advice  for  prepare  rich  nutrient  DIY  soil  which  gave  same  result,  as  obtain  with  ADA  amazoina,  Eco-complete,  Contro  soil  and  etc.  If  anybody  have  secret  recipe  for  make  branded  type  of  soil  or  equal  nutrient  rich  soil  using  bio  organic  substance  (composted  manure,  vermicompost)  and  chemicals  (potasium  sulphate,  potasium  nitrate,  phosphet  etc)  and  gardening  soil.     
 
 Pls  advice,
 
 Regards  
 Nimish
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josyjames
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:21 pm Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 @  Nimish,
 
 If  you  say  as  secret  recipe,  nobody  is  going  to  help  you...   Very Happy   Very Happy   Very Happy  
 
 This  is  the  best  link  that  I  have  found  in  my  search  very  long  time  back  when  I  wanted  to  make  DIY  substrate.
 
 DIY  Substrate
 
 What  you  will  have  to  do  is  that  you  need  to  find  the  suitable  raw  materials  available  in  your  city  in  place  of  what  is  been  used  in  the  above  mentioned  link.
 
 Major  disadvantage  with  DIY  substrate  is  that  you  cannot  disturb  the  soil,  cannot  have  heavily  rooted  plants  (since  if  you  plan  to  pull  out  the  plant,  it  would  disturb  the  soil  making  the  tank  look  like  a  dirt  tank),  algae  issues,  etc.
 
 So  first  you  will  have  to  decide  on  what  kind  of  plants  that  you  are  planning  to  plant.  Based  on  that,  you  can  decide  the  DIY  substrate  raw  materials.  Mainly  the  top  soil  used.
 
 There  are  other  lots  of  posts  in  IAH  related  to  the  same  subject.  May  be  you  will  have  to  search  for  the  threads  and  keep  reading  to  understand  what  our  hobbyist  have  used  to  create  their  DIY  substrate.
 
 Best  wishes..  Keep  us  posted...   Thumb Up
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ShankarB
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:15 pm Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Nimish,  I  use  a  DIY  substrate  -  its  a  mixture  of  very  good  laterite  (red  soil),  vermi  compost  and  dried  &  crushed  gobar  (cow  dung).   You  can  mix  some  portion  of  sand  so  that  the  soil  remains  porous  enough.   Its  no  great  secret  recipe  -  perhaps  this  is  exactly  how  you  will  create  a  potting  mix.   I  have  not  added  any  fertilizer  to  the  soil  (not  sure  if  the  strength  of  fertilizers  will  stay  intact  if  added  and  mixed  with  soil).
 
 In  some  websites,  I  have  seen  people  advocating  to  add  leaf  mulch/  litter  which  can  decompose  over  a  period  of  time  and  provide  continued  nutrition.   
 
 After  spreading  this  in  your  tank,  you  can  spread  a  layer  of  sand  so  that  the  soil  doesn't  get  disturbed  when  fishes  forage.
 
 Your  plant  growth  (and  hence  your  choice  of  substrate)  might  also  depend  on  the  following:
 
 a.  What  kind  of  plants  do  you  intend  to  keep?
 b.   Do  you  plant  to  have  additional  CO2  supplement?   (If  so,  the  potting  mix  explained  above  +  CO2  +  ample  lighting  should  mostly  work  well  for  a  wide  variety  of  plants).
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Nimishhome
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:33 am Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Hi
 
 Thanks  Shelly,  Thanks  ShankarB  for  useful  information.
 
 Can  i  use  Humic  acid  powder  /  granuals  in  mixture  to  improve  fertility  of  soil?
 
      
 Regards  
 Nimish
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ShankarB
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:40 pm Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Depends  on  what  fish  you  want  to  keep.   
 
 Be  careful  about  adding  substances  that  could  alter  the  PH  of  your  water.   
 
 If  you're  going  to  keep  tetras,  then  I  would  think,  perhaps  adding  peat  or  even  straw  or  coconut  fiber  will  not  be  a  bad  idea  at  all  (I  had  mentioned  leaf  mulch/  litter  etc.  which  are  also  humic).   Again  you  wouldn't  want  to  do  too  much  of  such  stuff.   The  humic  content  will  go  down  with  water  changes  etc.  -  so  you  wouldn't  want  drastic  changes  in  your  PH  over  time.
 
 So  use  any  'extra'  substance  with  moderation.
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josyjames
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:11 pm Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 @  Shankar,
 
 Could  you  please  let  us  know  the  quantity  of  each  raw  materials  that  had  been  used  in  preparing  the  substrate  and  also  what  all  raw  materials  that  you  have  used.
 
 Bottom  layer:  ?
 Middle  layer:   ?
 Top  layer:         ?
 
 I  mean  for  every  1  sq  foot,  if  we  have  the  proportion  of  each  raw  material  to  be  used,  then  it  would  be  easy  to  decide  for  any  size  tank.
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ShankarB
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:39 pm Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Shelly,  You  know  I'm  not  as  meticulous  as  you  :)
 
 I  go  by  hand  measures  and  as  I  said,  I  do  this  as  I  would  do  for  my  pots.
 
 I  have  only  2  layers,  or  at  the  max.  3.   This  what  I  did:
 
 1.  Bottom  layer:   Soft  Laterite  60%,  vermi  compost  20%,  dried  gobar  10%  (since  I  used  vermi  compost,  I  reduced  the  amount),  construction  sand  10%.   2-3  cms.   (Note  vermi  compost  is  also  humic  in  nature.)
 
 
 2.  Middle  layer:   This  is  more  of  strewing:   I  picked  up  dried  leaf  litter  around  my  home  (jack  fruit,  mango,  Indian  almond  leaves)   and  laid  them  out.
 
 3.   Repeat  bottom  layer:  2-3  cms
 
 4.  Top  layer:  Construction  sand  -  2  cms  or  so.
 
 I  have  used  rocks,  thermcol  and  and  plastic  pots  to  create  height  when  required.   But  essentially  that's  the  "mix".
 
 Wow,  Shelly,  you  forced  me  to  sound  like  an  expert  Smile
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Nimishhome
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:22 am Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Thanks  Shelly,  Thanks  ShankarB  for  very  very  very  very  useful  information.  
 
 I  am  going  to  collect  and  prepare  it.   Smile  
 
 
 Regards,
 Nimish
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josyjames
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:09 am Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Thanks  much  Shankar...  You  said  everything...  Now  it  will  be  pretty  easy  for  Nimish  to  start  his  DIY  substrate.
 
 Nimish,  keep  us  updated  with  your  progress  on  the  DIY  substrate.
 
 May  be  you  can  mention  on  the  raw  materials  that  you  collect  for  the  DIY  substrate  and  how  you  lay  the  same  in  the  tank.  
 
 Decide  the  scape  for  the  tank  before  laying  the  substrate.  If  you  are  planning  for  elevation,  you  can  just  use  plain  laterite  soil  to  make  an  elevation  and  the  follow  rest  of  the  process.  Make  sure  that  there  are  no  changes  to  the  scape  once  you  lay  the  substrate.  Re-doing  the  substrate  would  be  a  real  pain  and  tiresome  job.  So  plan  it  properly  before  you  start  the  work.
 
 Best  wishes...   Thumb Up
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ShankarB
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:56 pm Post subject: Re: DIY nutrient rich soil for Dutch planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Nimish,  if  you're  planning  for  slopes  or  'heights'  in  your  tank  then  you  need  to  plan  even  better.   I  have  seen  that  without  proper  barricades,  slopes,  even  if  made  of  laterite,  lose  the  height  over  time.  
 
 (And  Btw,  I'm  a  big  fan  of  Daiana  Walstad  method  and  that's  what  I  practice.   So  all  the  best!)
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