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  • setting up a planted tank...few questions.

    I'm currently setting up my first live planted tank. I had initially purchased Eco earth for substrate but after some research realized that may not be best for the plants. I can't return the Eco earth so my first question is, can I mix it with a more plant friendly substrate? And my second question is, does anyone have brand suggestions for safe soils sold at stores like Walmart, Lowes etc? Thanks Also, not sure if it matters but the plants I'm getting are sanseviera, pothos and potentially hoya to start.
    1.2.1 Cresties Guinness Bacardi Kahlua & Amaretto
    1.0.0 leopard gecko Ares
    0.2.0 Gargoyle Belladonna TBD
    ...and rats, cats, dogs, chinchillas, a parakeet, 2 Amazon parrots, and a Blue & gold macaw
    http://mbcreaturechronicles.weebly.com/

  • #2
    get ABG or something similar, NEHERP makes a great substrate for plants! you could go with an organic soil of some sort, but be very very careful and make sure it doesnt contain fertilizers/pesticides/perlite. mixing it isn't really the best, but i guess you could put it in small amounts. are you making the substrate bio-active?

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    • #3
      The problem with neherps stuff is that it is pretty expensive with shipping and everything, was hoping to find something locally. Eventually I would want to make it bio-active, yeah.
      1.2.1 Cresties Guinness Bacardi Kahlua & Amaretto
      1.0.0 leopard gecko Ares
      0.2.0 Gargoyle Belladonna TBD
      ...and rats, cats, dogs, chinchillas, a parakeet, 2 Amazon parrots, and a Blue & gold macaw
      http://mbcreaturechronicles.weebly.com/

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      • #4
        expensive? welcome to the world of vivariums you could look up the ABG mix, and buy the ingredients locally and mix it yourself if shipping is an issue. i've never heard of someone using a store bought potting soil as the base substrate though. did you exhaust the search bar?

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        • #5
          Yeah I tried looking up a bunch of different terms, found references to potting soil but no specifics. I might just get the ABG, was just trying to find a less expensive way to do it.
          1.2.1 Cresties Guinness Bacardi Kahlua & Amaretto
          1.0.0 leopard gecko Ares
          0.2.0 Gargoyle Belladonna TBD
          ...and rats, cats, dogs, chinchillas, a parakeet, 2 Amazon parrots, and a Blue & gold macaw
          http://mbcreaturechronicles.weebly.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Isn't eco-earth just coco-fiber?
            If so, you're right - you shouldn't plant in 100% coco-fiber. However, you can have a mixture that is about 50% coco-fiber. Go to the store and buy black earth - whatever is 100% earth, no fertilizers or perlite/vermiculite (little white rocks), or any other additive that looks suspicious. I prefer a mix of about equal parts coco-fiber and black earth, plus added coco-husk chips.

            Having the coco-husk chips will break up the density of the mixture, won't let it get packed down and will allow air circulation (playing the roll of perlite/vermiculite without running the risk of the cresties ever swallowing the small white balls, if they go for something crawling on the forest floor... You can get the coco-husk chips from a reptile store (don't get the coco-husk mulch found at garden centers, that stuff is too course).

            Don't forget to add moss around the enclosure for authenticity and moisture holding capacity - you don't want to rely solely on the substrate for moisture holding since most plants that typically get potted into vivariums (pothos especially) don't like to be over watered, and you can avoid rotting and bad smells developing in the substrate. Also you should have a drainage barrier (1-2 inches of rocks or clay hydro balls at the bottom of the tank, with a porous material on top to keep the substrate from mixing in).

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