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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 05-20-2020, 03:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using less than 1" of soil

H2S is toxic but as long as there's O2, it'll oxidize to SO4.

Yes, I think that's the idea behind dirted tanks. The nutrients is in the substrate and little in the water column. It's good for root feeding plants. I see stem plants don't do too well though.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using less than 1" of soil

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Originally Posted by hoppycalif View Post
I set up a 10 gallon tank a few months ago, and experimented with about a one inch substrate, half soil and half a baked clay floor sweeping compound - Safe T Sorb. It didn't work at all well. The plants didn't grow well. Now I have about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the same substrate, and it is working very well. My guess is that we need more than an inch of substrate, but not necessarily more than 2 inches.
Well I was thinking 1/2" soil and 1" gravel as opposed to 1/2" soil and 1/2" gravel. A total of 1" is too shallow to plant anything.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Using less than 1" of soil

I don't think the depth of soil/gravel is critical. It can be too much and it can be too little, but the happy middle is pretty wide. I'm basing this on the lack of a lot of threads being started about problems which are caused by too much or too little substrate. I know I have had a wide variety of substrate depths, and only rarely had any plant problems with any of them. Also, when I tear down an aquarium I only get the HS smell when I mistakenly put a big rock or piece of wood on top of the substrate. But my experience doesn't include much of the El Natural method.
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