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fishman01
07-07-2010, 10:54 PM
Would it be possible to use pond mud as a substrate for plants and then just cover it with sand or gravel?

Cermet
07-07-2010, 11:06 PM
Sure if you want the possible introduction of parasites and bad insects and illness and every time you add a plant or it get's moved, clounds of mud. Bad idea in my opinon.

smaug
07-07-2010, 11:08 PM
Nope,not a good idea at all.

fishman01
07-07-2010, 11:15 PM
is there any type of substrate that is cheap and perhaps diy

Cermet
07-07-2010, 11:29 PM
Home Depot pool sand or white play sand (no color) - just wash a lot. Works well and plants root into it. Cheap.

little hawaii
07-07-2010, 11:32 PM
Yrs. ago I used reg. road gravel. I just sifted out the size i wanted. Lot of work thow

fishman01
07-08-2010, 12:04 AM
Home Depot pool sand or white play sand (no color) - just wash a lot. Works well and plants root into it. Cheap.

i didn't know plants would grow in just regular sand would i need any extra fertilizer

Scrup
07-08-2010, 12:12 AM
It really depends on what you are shooting for. If you just want something for the roots to grab, sand and small gravel works just fine. If you want the "fancy" bottom tanks, they tend to be a little more work setting up(its usually some soft substrate capped with sand or some other hard/heavy media), are a little more....fragile.... but have amazing results. By fragile I mean if you move a plant, dig in the dirt, or have any fish that do, you will get a big cloudy mess that can coat everything in dust.

Aside from the inert substrates there are quite a few options. I know of a good deal of people that use yard dirt, but you risk chemicals and parasites, and I personally would not take that risk.

Commercial potting soil that is additive free would work without the risk of parasites.

Laterite/zeolite/XXXlite(there are a few different ones) are known to work really well.

Peat is another option, but you will end up with softer acidic water, which is fine if the plants and fish enjoy that type of water.

I've read that there are certain brands of kitty litter that work great. Not sure of the specifics, but I believe one of the big ones was the wal-mart "special kitty" brand litter. Its just clay cat litter.

Another interesting one I read was Turface, the red clay they use on baseball fields. if you can get some, that would work as well.

HTH!

Don't be afraid to ask!

Wild Turkey
07-08-2010, 12:12 AM
i didn't know plants would grow in just regular sand would i need any extra fertilizer

Typically not unless you have powerful lighting. Otherwise your weekly water changes should provide plenty of ferts for beginner plants.

If you introduce heavy root feeding plants, root tabs may be useful.

troy
07-08-2010, 12:14 AM
i didn't know plants would grow in just regular sand would i need any extra fertilizer
It depends on what plants you have. Some don't need fertilizer.