got a question about substrate

Hungtran10

Junior Poster
Jun 26, 2008
10
0
1
I am starting a 55 gallon planted tank with the excel dosing method. I have also been reading Diana Waldstad's book. I was originally planning on using Eco complete for my substrate. My question is do I also have to put in a layer of potting soil underneath or will the Eco complete fullfil my substrate needs. If you think I need to have potting soil, which brand do you guys suggest. I live in the USA and will be looking for it either at Armstrong Nursery, Lowes or Home depot. All suggestions and thoughts welcome.

best regards,

- Hung
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
In my opinion it is best to pick one method and use it with virtually no variations. Once you really understand why each method has certain requirements you can make the decisions about changes to those methods, but when first learning a method it is too easy to miss something important by trying to customize the method.

So, I recommend that if you want to follow the Walstad method, follow it as closely as you can. And, that method does not include a Eco Complete substrate. Or, if you want to follow Tom's no CO2, with Excel, method, follow it as closely as you can. And, that method doesn't use potting soil.
 

Hungtran10

Junior Poster
Jun 26, 2008
10
0
1
With Tom's Excel Method, which substrate would be best? Eco-complete or Seachem Flourite? What is the difference by the way between those 2. I plan on ordering the bulk of my equipment through the Dr. Foster and Smith site and those were the 2 planted freshwater substrates that they offer. I am open to other suggestions if you can recommend another online vender that I can order from.

thanks again

- Hung
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
113
You can do a hybrid method, one that uses a specific AQUARIUM SOIL.

ADA aqua soil can work nicely in a non CO2 tank.
I'm not sure why amano does not promote non CO2 aquariums.
For all the marketing hype and talk about "nature".....

Adding CO2 is not particularly "natural".

But if you can buy the ADA AS, cost about the same as Flourite, less than EC, I'd go with that. If you move plants around a lot, flourite is good.

Regards,
Tom Barr