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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of setting up a 65 Gal planted aquarium and in doing research, I've read that using manure compost for a 2" -3" base (such as "Black Kow" from your local home improvement stores) with a top layer of sand is great for freshwater planted aquariums. Does anyone have any experience with this or know of any issues with using manure compost as a substrate? I will have a biowheel 400 filter with a XP canister filter and 2 - 96W PC lights.

Thanks in advance,:confused:
 

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I have used dirt (unfertilized soil) and cat litter (clay) before without any problems but I would stay away from manure compost. I would imagine it would have high nitrate levels. I assume this is for a planted tank?

What size is your tank and why not top it with a bag of Flourite or similar substrate? A lot of people use that or Eco-complete with a layer of peat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank is a 65Gal, and yes I plan to have a planted tank. I've looked into the Eco-complete, etc., but was trying to find a more cost effective alternative that would be comperable.
 

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Then I would go for a 1" mixture of dirt and peat if possible. You can find topsoil type dirt at a local hardware store that does not have fertilizer added. Then about 1-2" of cat litter...clay only, no crystals (Petco). Then top it off with some sand and gravel. Be careful to add water slowly because the clay will become cloudy with too much aggitation, especially when planting. It should settle out in 24hrs though.

You are also pushing your light limit unless you are pumping a lot of CO2. I would back down to 2wpg until everyting is rooted and growing nicely or you may run into some algae problems. ;)

The above is how I did my 20g tank:

black is gravel, tan is sand, then dirt and clay and peat are under that.
 
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