What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step? - Page 11 - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

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El Natural Diana Walstad's low-maintenance, soil-based 'El Natural' method for keeping plants and fish.

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Old 08-07-2011, 11:24 AM   #101 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

Well put Michael. That inert substrate is exactly what I have, it makes a lot of sense when you put it as you did. So really if I stop vacuuming, which I don't like doing anyway cos it always disturbs and uncovers the roots, the plants will take care of the rest. I'll keep an eye on my parameters to make sure everything is going well.

I might make some of those frozen soil sticks/cubes too assist in the changeover process.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:55 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

this is interesting....i have a planted 10g betta tank with play sand, and my dwarf sags and narrow leaf chain swords are really growing like crazy. i was intending on adding a root tab....but haven't at this point. i use liquid ferts occasionally. i wonder if i added a root tab (seachem), if i would see even crazier growth.

but for being such an inert substrate, those plants are doing rather well....and have been for about 6 months. they were slow to get going...especially the chain sword, but now, both are spreading all over. which is good, because i'll take some of them to start my 10g NPT.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:30 AM   #103 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

I have a question..i have ran high tech tanks in the past. With this method will the substrate produce enough co2 to sustain high tech plants like HC , riccia without co2 supplement if the tank is planted heavly.

Rick
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:15 AM   #104 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

That is a really good question, and I don't think we know the answer. The other big factor in CO2 levels in Walstad tanks is stocking rates; more fish equals more CO2. I find that I get better plant growth in Walstad tanks (over a year old) if I stock rather heavily. I don't know if this is due to more nutrients, more CO2, or both.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:23 AM   #105 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

well i guess i will be trying it soon..im kinda curious..hopefully curiousity dont kill the cat this time..just need to get some supplies and plants.. anyone want to chime in with their opinions please feel free..

Rick
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:53 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

Hi there! where I live there is no commercial potting soil stuff is available for sale, most of the gardener using River Sand for gardening, it is Gray in colour and it is cheaply available here clay is also available but it is Gray in colour beside red potting clay, If I use Gray top soil with clay and cover it with Golden sand for making an "EL Planted Tank" will it work, I am totally new to hobby please advice.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:02 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

Hi Naveed, and welcome to APC!

Most natural top soils will work in aquaria. Try to find one that does not have a lot of clay, and not a lot of coarse organic matter, like leaves and sticks.

For a cap, use a coarse sand with particle size of about 2 mm.

Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:42 AM   #108 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

Thanks for reply, I need some advice more about cycling after filling the tank how many week I should perform fish less cycle in my tank, will you please recommend some stuff to me to the source of ammonia/NH3, I don't want to put House Hold ammonia in my tank, should I do soaking and drying process for soil and clay few times? I have tons of coco husk available in my area so if i use dry coco husk with my soil and clay mixture would it be a good additive to my tank? because many planted tank keeper use peat moss below substrate. My current tap water Ph is 7.8. advice would be appreciated.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:28 AM   #109 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

Anyone know how to prevent Ph drop in a NPT?
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #110 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is "el Natural?" A Step by Step?

paulg,

check your kh
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