The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Cycling with high phospates?
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:28 PM   #8
Zorfox
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That was quite an informative post, thank you. I appreciate all your input. I haven't had the time to read all the links you provided but I will.

The product I used was in fact Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix. I checked while I was at Wal Mart today and it was in fact still the same price, in the same location and matched the image you provided. I have no doubt it is a viable substrate. I've read hundreds of posts and articles from people using it successfully. I do however think I received an “oops” bag as you mentioned. Though I still feel that mineralizing the soil would help to prevent the initial chemistry problems.

The depth was about 1 1/2” of soil with an equal amount of Flouramax cap. When I did tear it down I put the soil in one container and the capping in another. I filled it with R/O water and tested about 24 hours later. The soil container was 10+ppm phosphate. The capping container was roughly 0.5ppm. I have no idea what was in the mix to cause this but it did. While sifting it I didn't notice any out the the ordinary clumps of organics or odd materials. It had no significant odor.

I assumed the large bubble that was released was hydrogen sulfide. It smelled quite rotten. Maybe as you said the very high CO2 concentration played a role but I have no idea. Maybe after digesting the information you provided I will have a better idea. By the way I actually like the chewy boring academic papers .

Basically, I think we agree. MGOSM works but I simply got an “oops” bag. The tank now is fully cycled and doing well. I just need to pull all the initial plants and rescape it.
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