Go look for ecology of the planted aquarium by diana walstead or research the el natural style, i was recommended it and own the book but havent really studied the theory behind it.
a.) That book costs about Â£35.Go look for ecology of the planted aquarium by diana walstead
I semi-answered that one in Post #46Good Idea, how do you do it?
Response:Now I think the most pleasing setup is 'El Natural', because of its simplicity and extreme low maintenance and low cost. You can use a professional substrate for this, but the ultimate in my mind, is simple: Dig some soil up & use that! A very difficult concept to get one's mind around though: Soil! In MY tank!! No way!!!
I did. Just what nature intended and just what the plants get!
However, it takes some time to condition the soil - you have to dig it up, sift all the bits out, add a bit of gravelly sand & compost and then let it soak for about a month so that any ammonia etc. can leech out (as you would do for AquaSoil). Many ppl can't be bothered with this and just bought some 'proper' stuff.
I guess your 'stuff it' response was in relation to the time it takes to condition the soil - that I can understand. Soil is the best substrate to use for this method but like I said you could use something like Tropica Plant Substrate, but after all, the best stuff is free - you dig it up.Oh stuff it I think i'll just wait it out and go the hybrid way.
You have an existing matured tank no?And do I have to cycle my tank first before I add fish?
Glad you asked that as it is also just what you need to cycle your new filter:Where do I get the mulm from?
Good find that, just right IMO, and you wanted a black look didn't you?Also I found some good sand for my tank:
Hagen Black River Sand it says grain size is 2-3mm.
I would if I were you, otherwise you will loose the cycled bacteria in your filter. Keep the filter floating in old tank water for a maximum of 1-2 hours. They need to be aerated - i.e. have flowing oxygenated water flowing through them (in other words the filter).Also I'd have to empty my tank and refill it on the same day then?