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Reseeding substrate


I have a small 13 gallon tank that I set up 4 years ago. This tank was an experiment into soil substrates. It is 2 inches potting soil covered with a thin layer of gravel. In the four years I have had phenomenal growth that rivalled my high tech tank. Lately though I have noticed a definite slowing in growth especially among my rooted plants. I was thinking that perhaps the substrate had been exhausted.

I have been growing all kinds of root feeders in there for years. I grow them out a bit and then put them in my show tank in which I use laterite. This has resulted in tremendous turnover for this little tank. I even grow out plants for other fish keepers and then take them back when they are looking scraggly and 'fix' them up. At last my question, as this was my first soil tank, how long does it take before the soil is no longer fertile enough to handle the heavy demands of root feeders? I thought that I would have to reseed the substrate at some point but did not really know when that would be.

Any and all information would be appreciated.

Paul Gray