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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever used soil from their area as part of their substrate or as a whole? I live in cetral Alabama which infamously known for its red clay. The red come from its high iron content. I have almost convinced myself to give it a try. The soil I'll be using would be about the same size as pool sand. Yes, i will sterilize it first. Any first hand knowledge? Pro's and con's.
 

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Hi,

Here in Argentina we usually use soil from north east part of our country. Is it a red lateritic soil. It is a clay with high contents of iron, manganese, insoluble aluminum silicate and almost nothing of organic matter.

I don´t know if you can see the red coloration of the my sustrate:



Bye !

Juan
 

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I don't think there is any need to sterilize the soil. I never do, and have never had any problems.
 

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I used soil from my yard (clay loam) in a test once and it worked well. I currently have 1/4" of that same soil under my substrate (another test of sorts) in my new set-up and have no complaints. I did not sterilize, rinse, or otherwise treat it. Just tossed it in, threw the SMS on top, planted, and filled it up.

-Dave
 

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Yes! But I have always sterilized. High clay content here, sandwiched between something. River sand in the the early days, Flourite in the "new age". Why not?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your effort in responding. Thanks for the picture Juan. Beautiful tank by the way.:clap2::yo: I'm thinking of redoing my tank this weekend and will give it a try. One reason is the cost savings. I work for a Tier 1 automotive supplier and things aren't good as you all may know.
 

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bump....

Have you done the redo yet and if so, how did it turn out? I am always curious to know how people's experiments turn out because I too enjoy experimenting with my tanks. Thanks.

stu
 

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An update on my original comment. That small amount of soil I used has turned out to be quite a source of nutrients. I've been dosing dry ferts (EI methos) and the algae was going BONKERS! I cut that EI to 1/3, and finally things are settling down.

Long-and-short-of-it: Don't use soil if you want to do your own fert dosing.
 
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