New substrate

>From: RTalukdar at mail_utexas.edu (Roni Talukdar)
>Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 17:56:11 -0600
>Subject: Soils & Lights
>Hi everyone,
>        I'm setting up my 100 gallon for plants in the near future and with
>the recent posts on soils as a substrate, I was wondering what you think
>about my proposed substrate
>        Small (1/2 inch) layer of gravel
>        1-1 1/2 inch layer of laterite mixed with vermiculite
>        1 1/2 inch layer of earthworm castings
>        1 1/2 inch layer of gravel

        I just replanted my 29 gallon which had been going on the same
substrate for two years and I was getting very slow growth on my rooted
plants. My old substrate was chunky aquarium-store style gravel and
laterite. My rooted plants came up with nice long roots but they just don't
send out very many runners or plantlets. This is what I did for the new
substrate: 1" 2mm gravel mixed with laterite, 2" topsoil which supposedly
comes from some Oregon bottomland, 1/2" of vermculite and then more gravel
to slope from 4-6". I let you know how it goes. I have a lifetime supply of
Deleware Aquatic plant tabs but everytime I've used them I get green water
big time. I use the Kent freshwater plant iron stuff. I'm going to be
monitoring the phosphate very carefully. I kept about 50% of my old water
and put a cup of old gravel in my filter. BTW, I didn't get a big mess when
I used this substrate. I was carefull but by pouring in the initial water on
a dinner plate and I got very little in the way of floating vermiculite and
no soil leakage.