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kochman 01-14-2013 12:10 AM

Please help with dirt setup
Hi all. I have a very successful litter tank in a 55 gallon so i have learned lots since my last post but i have hit a wall now and would love some help and ANY would be greatly appreaciated

a friend of mine dropeed me off some dirt and ASSURED me that it was the MIRACLE GRO ORGANIC, it is not organic it is Miracle-Gro potting Mix 0.14 0.14 0.14.
Unfortunatley i took his word for it and the tank is already setup. Installed Capped and Planted. Can someone plz tell me what i am in for

Setup on this tank is

2x54watt T5HO 10000k and a " planted bulb " 48"
5pound co2 tank with 3 in 1 ceramic diffuser under the inlet of a aquaclear 110 ( one of two filters)
3amazon swords, 4 crypts, 3 wysteria, 1 ludwegia ( sorry for spl ) 5 scarlette temple and 10 other various stem plants 1 inch of the soild . 1 inch of aquarium gravel coarse

Rich Guano 01-14-2013 01:41 AM

I have been wondering the same thing.

After a brief google session, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps it would be best to start over and remove the soil.

Potting soil contains manure, tons of it. Potting mix contains none.
Potting mix is designed for growing plants in containers. Potting soil is not good for containers.
Potting soil is designed to handle oxygen and water exchange more effectively for plants.

I don't know what your heading into, but I would leave the fish out of the middle of it.

kochman 01-14-2013 01:43 PM

Thank you for the response.

I have seen that UREA is the problem with terestrial ferts. however i have also seen on the web that some use it very successfully as a fert.

Anyone else wanna weigh in on this one before i comepletely tear the tank down and start over?

cruiserfj45 01-14-2013 03:06 PM

What I have is Miracle grow organic potting MIX, which is what I found recommended here. Is yours the soil or mix? I would say what your water parameters and if it starts to go bad then change it all.

kochman 01-14-2013 05:29 PM

I have the potting mix but it is not the organic stuff . Did not come in orange bag, to my understanding some say it is ok and some say that it has to be organic or it will leach UREA in tank and kill everything and the plants... If i have to deal with algae for a few months i am not concerned i just dont want everything to die

newbieplanter 01-18-2013 05:38 PM

I just got some organic garden soil by miricle grow am I on the right path please let me know before I even open the bag? Also how thick should the layer of soil be?

kochman 01-19-2013 03:22 AM

if it is organic i have heard it is the right stuff. mine has been running for about 2 weeks and i poke the gasses out everyday and so far everything seams good and the plants are growing like crazy!

i put approx 1 inch of soil and capped with 1 to 1.5 inches of gravel on the top. after a week of running i started poking the gas bubbles out of the dirt. So far no deaths in tank. all plants are growing awesome and not a spec of algae .

newbieplanter 01-19-2013 02:06 PM

Nice, one quick question how do I poke the gasses out of the soil? Also did u plant right after u laid the soil or did u "cycle" the tank first what ever that means?

kochman 01-19-2013 11:52 PM

mine was already cycled. was an established tank i converted. yes i planted right away . very heavy plant load in my tank. Some that grow quick to absorb extra goodies from water column and some heavy rooters to break up the soil and release bubbles. i use a chopstick sanded down to a fine point to poke gravel, anything will work as long as it doesnt release too much back into tank.

i also have assassin snails in my tank which are burrowers and will also help, like i said i got bad dirt from the start from everyone elses opinion but i am sticking with it and so far so good . everything perfect with awesome growth .

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