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Re: Compost in the Substrate

OK, gang, I have been lurking for awhile, and I am fascinated by the
discussion of laterite because I have to right of where I now sit an empty
37 gal tank which I intend to start as a plant tank this evening: and I
have been wondering what kind of "stuff" I am going to add to the

An aquatic gardner in Chapel Hill, NC tells me that she uses soil from her
garden in the substrate:  Bingo!! That is an idea that I like.  She says
that the organic matter in her soil becomes a source of CO2 in the water
column for about a year.

I am an avid outdoor gardner here in Zone 5 in Boulder, Colorado, and my
compost heap is fabulous.  So tonight, unless I hear persuasive advice to
the contrary, I am going to start my first plant tank by mixing soil and
humus from my compost into the substrate.

What should the soil:substrate ratio be?    1:1?  1:2?  2:1 in the bottom
third of the substrate?  2:1 in the bottom 2/3 of the substrate?

What is the importance of _not_ putting soil in the top layer of gravel?

Brrrrrrrrr, it's cold in Boulder today, with a couple of inches of new snow
on the ground.

Macon Cowles
1680 Wilson Court
Boulder, CO 80304
(303) 447-1332