Aquarium Decoration (Rocks, Plants and Substrates) • Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

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Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby ncm13579 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:45 am

I have 2 amazon swords that I will be planting into small glass bulbs/jars that I got from the dollar store. They cannot be planted in the substrate I have because I used pool filter sand and the tank will have a severum which will likely pull the plant out. I've opted to use the jars as it makes it harder to uproot. I don't know what type of soil or substrate I can use that can be placed in the tank that also provides the correct nutrients to the roots. Any recommended brands/types?

I will also be putting anubias in the tank, but I will be gluing them to a resin driftwood decor I have in the tank so they can root and attach to it.
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Re: Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby Auballagh » Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:28 am

My philosophy is not to over-complicate things. So, unless you are planning to go 'high-tech' with CO2 addition for the tank? I just use high-grade potting soil you can get at just about any garden supply store. Get the soil wet in a bucket or tub, work the plant down into it, then cover it all with a 1 1/2" to 2" layer of packed-in small diameter, natural colored gravel. You'll be in business.
This thread may help to refresh on the details,

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 0&t=453503

Oh, and that Severum of yours is gonna gnosh, nibble and actively chew on just about anything that even LOOKS green in that aquarium with it! You could try putting in live plants for this tank, but you might be just 'ringing the dinner bell' for that Severum at the all you can eat, plant buffet! :o
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Re: Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:34 am

One thing I have done with plants that may like more of a substrate than PFS is sew a pouch using polyester quilt batting and enclose flourite and the roots. Bury it in the substrate.
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Re: Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby ncm13579 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:21 pm

Auballagh wrote:My philosophy is not to over-complicate things. So, unless you are planning to go 'high-tech' with CO2 addition for the tank? I just use high-grade potting soil you can get at just about any garden supply store. Get the soil wet in a bucket or tub, work the plant down into it, then cover it all with a 1 1/2" to 2" layer of packed-in small diameter, natural colored gravel. You'll be in business.
This thread may help to refresh on the details,

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 0&t=453503

Oh, and that Severum of yours is gonna gnosh, nibble and actively chew on just about anything that even LOOKS green in that aquarium with it! You could try putting in live plants for this tank, but you might be just 'ringing the dinner bell' for that Severum at the all you can eat, plant buffet! :o


I am placing a mixture of live and fake plants in the tank. I am aware that severums will often eat plants, but I am ok with that. I just wanted to try out some live plants as I have heard that some severums won't touch plants like anubias, java fern, etc. I guess it depends on the fish lol. It will be trial and error with these plants, but I want to make sure I give them the best chance of survival. With the potting soil, I know some have chemicals and fertilizers in them. What should I be avoiding when looking for potting soil?
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Re: Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby ncm13579 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:22 pm

DJRansome wrote:One thing I have done with plants that may like more of a substrate than PFS is sew a pouch using polyester quilt batting and enclose flourite and the roots. Bury it in the substrate.

This sounds like a good idea. I also have a crypt but don't have an extra jar/container to plant it in. Maybe I'll experiment with this one and see what happens.
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Re: Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby DJRansome » Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:59 pm

My crypts liked it. They grow right through the batting.
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Re: Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby Auballagh » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:43 am

Oh My Goodness! Are there choices ahead? My aquatic plant choices were based on Diana Walstad's most excellent book, 'Ecology Of The Planted Aquarium'.
Reference material that is indeed, Highly Recommended.
And, unless you want to push CO2 in a 'High Tech' aquarium? You are gonna need to feed those plants, somehow. My choices based on Diana's book, was to provide REAL Nutrition to my potted plants.
That is using the stuff plants grow in naturally well, everywhere. REAL Earth. And, with the very good lighting I provided to grow those plants - it worked!
The potting soil grew roots in my aquatic plants that filled those glass goldfish bowls, really fast. It was seriously lush in that aquarium! And, the measured Nitrates in what was a pretty heavily stocked tank, never got above 5 ppm. In fact, it got to the point that I was down to only just doing a bi-weekly cleaning of the intake pre-filters, with a monthly cleaning of the media in my canister filters. That was it! And outside of Just supplying fresh add water weekly, to get the water level up and back under the black plastic again. There were,
NO WATER CHANGES.
-
- WHATIZIT? : Use High Grade potting soil, and just purchase it at a local garden center. There won't be weird chemicals in it. When I prepared it for use, I removed the larger pieces of bark or wood out of the medium (larger pieces that wouldn't break down efficiently for the plant to feed upon).

- SIMPLIFICATION: It makes sense really, so why over-complicate this? Those aquatic plants need really good lighting. And, they need real nutrition around their roots to sustain growth.
And that's pretty much it. :)
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Potting Soil/Plant Substrate for Potted Aquarium Plants

Postby ncm13579 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:24 pm

Auballagh wrote:Oh My Goodness! Are there choices ahead? My aquatic plant choices were based on Diana Walstad's most excellent book, 'Ecology Of The Planted Aquarium'.
Reference material that is indeed, Highly Recommended.
And, unless you want to push CO2 in a 'High Tech' aquarium? You are gonna need to feed those plants, somehow. My choices based on Diana's book, was to provide REAL Nutrition to my potted plants.
That is using the stuff plants grow in naturally well, everywhere. REAL Earth. And, with the very good lighting I provided to grow those plants - it worked!
The potting soil grew roots in my aquatic plants that filled those glass goldfish bowls, really fast. It was seriously lush in that aquarium! And, the measured Nitrates in what was a pretty heavily stocked tank, never got above 5 ppm. In fact, it got to the point that I was down to only just doing a bi-weekly cleaning of the intake pre-filters, with a monthly cleaning of the media in my canister filters. That was it! And outside of Just supplying fresh add water weekly, to get the water level up and back under the black plastic again. There were,
NO WATER CHANGES.
-
- WHATIZIT? : Use High Grade potting soil, and just purchase it at a local garden center. There won't be weird chemicals in it. When I prepared it for use, I removed the larger pieces of bark or wood out of the medium (larger pieces that wouldn't break down efficiently for the plant to feed upon).

- SIMPLIFICATION: It makes sense really, so why over-complicate this? Those aquatic plants need really good lighting. And, they need real nutrition around their roots to sustain growth.
And that's pretty much it. :)

Alright got it. I got little glass bowls from the dollar store and they are perfect for the plants. I may actually have some organic potting soil in my shed that I use for many of my plants. I'll have to check to make sure it is ok and will plant them with the soil and some gravel.
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