05-19-2020, 07:06 PM
Join Date: May 2020
| | Re: Using less than 1" of soil
Originally Posted by hoppycalif
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.
I saw a popular youtube aquarium guy who did a few no filter tanks. He seems to have a lot of experience with aquariums in general.
In his no filter tank videos he does everything a little different each time. The first time he did the Walstad method with 1" of potting soil and a 1" gravel cap. Another time he used what looked like a bit aquasoil from an old tank so that it was full of bacteria, and then capped it with more aquasoil. Another time he used a bit of tropica powdered soil and then on top of that tropica substrate that looks like aquasoil (but it might be inert like fluval stratum I don't know), and then added old tank water. Another time he took clay from his backyard and baked it, capped it with sand, then added water from an established tank.
In this video he is using the sterilized clay from his backyard with a 1" sand cap and old tank water in lieu of organic potting mix with bacteria in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-TABrnd8aw&t=318s
he specifically states to not add that much soil because it will cause algae and it won't help plant growth more than just a little bit. He is also using a 1" sand cap which is more than Walstad recommends...perhaps unknowingly he is stifling ammonia from leaching into the tank...but then there is the also the anaerobic problem.
He also mentions squeezing air bubbles out of the soil to prevent problems later, but I don't see how that relates to anaerobic bacteria...because isn't he producing an anaerobic environment?