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English is my second language so I get confused with this. "Top soil" refers to the bottom one, the first you add, right? Then we put a cap so it doesn't leak into tank? For the cap, I wanted something dark. I found black gravel but it is black cuz it's coated with acrylic paint. I didn't want to use sand for the cap cuz it is too bright for my taste.
Top soil refers to soil you find in your garden or yard.
The acrylic coated gravel should work. You can get natural black substrate too, mostly volcanic soil.
 

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Is Kitchen compost (made of kitchen scraps) or leaf mould mixed with sand or gravel (50:50 ratio) a good aquarium substrate? So we know exactly what's in the soil and where it came from. My neighbour is making his own compost out of leaves, kitchen scraps. It's well decomposed by bacteria, and earthworms. Is it worth giving a try when I setup my next tank? Thanks!
Go for 15% compost, 15% peat, and the rest sand & gravel. You can put in clay too.
 

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to the aquarium keeping hobby and i would like to start my first Walstad tank

Here in Greece we don't get miracle grow or any other of the suggested mixes and most packed soils do not list ingredients.
So after much searching and asking around i found this soil.
I would like to ask if it is suitable for the Walstad method
It has bat guano in it. I would not use it straight out of the bag.

If you can find regular top soil, it would be better, not soil for the garden.
 

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If you have little anubias, it's good to glue them to something so they don't float away. In nature, you find them attached to the side of rocks by streams and such.
 

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Dear aquatic lovers, could you please advise if the following soil is suitable for a Walstad tank: Terra Aquatica Organic soil light-mix 50L.

The description of the soil is following: T.A Organic soil light-mix - Terra Aquatica


Terra Aquatica Organic Soil Light-Mix 50 l, organic substrate
Light soil mixture for indoor and outdoor cultivation with low EC. Organic Soil Light-Mix with perlite from Terra Aquatica (ex GHE) does not contain any peat, but a mixture of organic compost and wood and coconut fiber of premium quality. It promotes mutual symbiosis between roots and beneficial fungi (Trichoderma Harzianum).

It is known that peat extraction releases carbon into the atmosphere, in addition to devastating rare communities of various organisms. That's why Terra Aquatica has taken a more natural path.

View attachment 75195

Advantages of the organic substrate Terra Aquatica Soil Light-Mix
  • suitable for beginners and commercial growers
  • ideal combination with a range of Terra Aquatica Organic fertilizers
  • perfectly airy thanks to the added perlite
  • with a minimum carbon content
  • without a negative impact on the environment in the form of peat extraction
  • ideally retains water and oxygen
  • minimum shrinkage between waterings
My concern is that the soil contains coconut fiber, perlite, and other wood particles. Is it an issue? Thank you in advance.
This might work better as a cap substrate with regular garden soil on the bottom.
 

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I'd like to report another use for Safe-T-Sorb (STS). I was faced with the task of cleaning up a year and a half's build-up of mulm and decayed vegetation at the bottom of my bowl. It was so bad that the slightest movement of the water sent up a blanket of thick, smokey, soup. The problem was that I just couldn't figure out a practical way of suctioning it up. Moreover, I had the feeling that I would be throwing out a lot of nutrients that might be useful for future plantings. Well, 24 hours after adding a "cap" of STS to the bottom of the bowl which itself turned the bowl into a soupy mess, the mulm has more or less disappeared. The water has remained crystal clear even after poking around the substrate with new plants.
Makes sense. STS is used to clean up oil and chemical spills.
 
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