Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Eastchester, N.Y.
Let me preface this by saying that I am, BY NO MEANS, an expert.
I used regular dirt. My brother-in-law has a landscaping buisness and he gave me a bunch of buckets full of dirt he had removed from a job.
Anyway, I wet/washed it in one bucket and then filtered it thru screen material (like would be used for a screen window) into another bucket. I then poured off the excess water and spread out the dirt on a tarp to dry. I threw away the stuff that collected on the screen (rocks, branches, etc.).
I repeated this process about 10 times, until I was left with a fine, debris-free, soil. I then mixed it with a quantity of clay and that was it.
As I understand it, it is the wet/filter/dry process that "mineralizes" the dirt.
So, as I was told by another member, "ITS JUST DIRT". Dont sweat which dirt you are using, as long as you commit to the process of mineralizing it.
Hope this helps alittle.