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I am hoping to greatly improve my planted aquaria, and realise that to do this I will have to change the substrate in my tank. I currently have fine sand, and although my plants don't seem to do too badly with this I am really looking to start growing Glosso and Riccia. I have been reading up on various substrates and have had thoughts on trying aqua soil, as it seems a very nutrient rich substrate and I read that it can also produce levels of CO2. I am able to get hold of Pond aquatic soil, and wondered whether this type would contain any chemicals or treatments, or if I should be buying specific soil for aquariums. I also wondered how it may affect water parameters, and how you go about putting soil in the aquarium, how long it takes to settle / stop colouring the water etc. I had thought to mix the soil with a layer of sand, as a combination of substrates seems to be recommended. Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated as I think changing the substrate is the first step to improving my aquarium!

My tank is 47"x22"x20"
4x Flourescent tubes
No CO2 as yet
Fish- Community, several Discus and a number of fancy plecos.
 

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I would suggest Flourite or something like Turface for the first tank. Real soils can be tricky and usually must be capped with gravel.
 
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not all aquatic soil is "dirt". schultz aquatic soil is like little gravel and is working well in my 20 long capped with pool filter sand as it has a tendency to float from being so light. the schultz can be bought at wal-mart in the pond section. works real well at producing root structure IME.
 
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