question about the Miracle Gro Organic Potting Soil, did you just dump it in and add the sand substrate or did you do any preparation to the potting soil?
If you buy the "ORGANIC CHOICE SOIL" (read the bag) You're into the wrong stuff for an easy starting tank using orgainic rich soil. Every bag I've seen (looked at a bunch in 5yrs.) they all contain cow manure.
ix is the bagged 'dirt' product I use.
(potting mix) contains soils and a large portion of organic material (55-65% by volume).
Listed as containing Sphagnum peat moss, composted bark fines, leaves, twigs, wood chips, etc. and "pasteurized poultry litter" (cooked chicken crap).
The chicken crap is cooked to eliminate the bacteria it's commonly known to contain.
0.10-0.05-0.05 is one of the lowest NPK ratios you will find on a bagged product and part of the reason the initial spikes reported by many using other stuff is reported at a minimum using MGOCPM
Get the right bag and have zero point zero added chemical ferts to be concerned with no urea, no wetting agents and no cow maunure.
Remove any big wood chips.
1.5 to 2" max depth on the soils layer.
1 to 1.5" of your sand or other capping material.
Flood slowly to about 3" of water above the total substrate and use your hand to pat the base to release any trapped air.
Fully plant the tank and filler it up.
After a week change 50% of the water if the tannins stain it more than you can stand for.
Run the lighting 6-8hrs per day and watch for algae issues and reduce lighting if needed. Floaters are something I add to most new tank starts.
grow baby grow