I am trying to set up a tank with a Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix / Pool Filter Sand substrate. I have been reading everywhere that it is very important to mineralize your soil so that the nutrients it releases are accessible to the plants. Otherwise, in the initial months, it will release nutrients that are mostly available to algae and can cause other problems, as well.
My question is, has anyone had success with a dirt substrate tank without going through this month long process of soaking, air drying, soaking, air drying, etc?
I'm re-thinking whether I want all the bacteria and other what nots that are living in the dirt still alive before tanking it but that's another topic.
I tank the MGOCPM right out of the bag.
In very simplistic terms mineralization makes your dirt nutrients time release.
I definitely feel MTS is worth the effort.
Ummmmm, think we have a foobar of opinion.
Mineralization makes your dirt nutrients readily available NOT time release.
Tanked twigs, bark, peat, leaves etc aren't nutrient available for uptake until the bacteria break down the organics so that is what I would call time release ferts
The submerged rate of decay puts the total breakdown at >yr based on poking around in my older tanks.
I tank the high organic content and allow the breakdown to happen within the tank, thats time release
(these are not the only dirt tanks here).
Opinions vary as does plant selection. I use sponge equipped powerheads for water movement on a number of tanks.
Potting mix, Flourite, 4x32WT8 and a sponge equipped power head.
Flooded 4/30/2009 update pic is from May 2012 still not dosing on any schedule.
No filter other than a single sponge equipped power head on all these 55g tanks. The office 40g does have a canister on it.
* the pictured HOB on the lower tank is used for mixing in GH minerals after water changes because I use 100% RO and build the mineral content in tank.
Rubbed the key print off a keyboard posting about dirt tanks (broke the spacebar anyway LOL). Dirt works for me