MGOCPM vs Scott's Premium topsoil - The Planted Tank Forum

View Poll Results: What would you use?
Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix 10 71.43%
Scott's Premium Top Soil 2 14.29%
Something else 2 14.29%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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MGOCPM vs Scott's Premium topsoil

long story short, I bought the MGOCPM for my upcoming dirt capped with STS "safe t sorb" tank and a few guys on another forum talked me into returning it and buying Scott's Premium Topsoil because from reports it has no manure is organic soil and has way less organic debris to remove.

As soon as I made the switch people over here all started telling me to return the Scott's and re buy the MGOCPM.

I guess the rational is that the Scott's need less prep and the water will be clearer.

The plan is to mix some STS into the soil, put in small nubs of red clay and cap with more STS.

What soil would you chose?
thanks

I don't want to go into a brand war, I really just want long lasting results and clear water. I'm looking for longevity here, I want this tank to be set up for a long time.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 11:04 PM
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Screening Miracle Grow

The above link may shed some light for you. I started a post that had some good info in it. This forum is geared towards planted tanks so there are probably more experienced people on the matter here. Not to discredit the other forum but people here know their stuff. I have learned alot since joining.

Basically, you don't remove any organics from MGOCPM which makes it even easier to deal with. I was under the impression that it must be screened as well but the link above cleared that up thanks to Wnkdracer.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 11:18 PM
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Isn't the topsoil is just dead dirt?? You want some organic contents. The potting mix has no manure in it. Only the Garden Soil does. Which aquarium message boards you got your suggestions from?


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetra73 View Post
Isn't the topsoil is just dead dirt?? You want some organic contents. The potting mix has no manure in it. Only the Garden Soil does. Which aquarium message boards you got your suggestions from?
That's what I initially thought but I didn't say anything. I figured perhaps the Premium had a little extra that the cheap topsoil didn't. In a nutshell, topsoil is the soil that you make mineralized soil from. There is a process in which to make it with additional items. MGOCPM on the other hand is a shortcut. A very successful and proven short cut. Some can not find the media to make mineralized, some don't want to make it, some don't have the space to make it and then there are people like myself, that just want he shortcut because it does works, lol.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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maybe I should exchange it back or do half and half?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 12:59 AM
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i used normal topsoil as i dont have acess to miracle gro. working probably semi successfully at best.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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ok I'll follow you guys lead and get the miracle grow again.

I'm capping with Safe T Sorb. Should I mix some into the dirt and then cap or just cap straight dirt? Also is red clay and MGOCPM all I need or should I find anything else to put in my dirt?

and
If I do a bare sand beach in front that I'll never plant it should I still put dirt under that unplanted section?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 04:49 AM
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I don't think mixing Safe-T-Sorb in with the soil will cause any problems. Although, I'm not sure there would be many benefits to it either. I imagine it may slightly reduce the amount of compaction of the soil layer, but I think that's pretty minimal to begin with. (I'm currently running a tank with ~2" MGOCPM, and a ~2" flourite black cap, and there hasn't been any noticeable compaction in the ~8 months or so since I set it up.

If you're never planning on having plants in the sand, then it might be easier to section that area off with flexible plastic (like cut from a 2L soda bottle, juice bottle, whatever), and use just sand there.

As to additives, I think it's frequently recommended to add a scattering/dusting of dolomite and muriate of potash to the bottom of the tank before adding the dirt. I believe the dolomite is to help stabilize pH, and provide some Ca and Mg. If you have any on hand (or even crushed oyster shell, crushed coral, marble chips, etc.), I don't think it would hurt to add in a handful or so. If you don't have any, I wouldn't stress about it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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"dusting of dolomite and muriate of potash" are these things I'll find at lowes or home depot, or the hardware store?

"crushed oyster shell, crushed coral, marble chips, etc." I have bags of old sea shells I could smash
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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what do I do with this?
Crush it up and sprinkle on the bottom?

Last edited by solchitlins; 09-25-2013 at 05:46 PM. Reason: added photo
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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alsosalt=potassium chloride, L-lysine mono-hydrochloride, calcium stearate.
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