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Old 01-05-2012, 11:22 PM   #1
JonXO
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Noob w/ a dirt question


So, I've been looking into dirt tanks and i can't seem to find Miracle Gro organic. However, I do have Kellogs Premium potting soil and SuperSoil. The Kellogs brand says it is composed of fir bark, composted forest matter, peat moss, perlite and sand. The SuperSoil says it contains composted forest product, sphagnum peat, and fertilizer. Would either of these work?
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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I would avoid anything with a lot of bark, that was one of the reasons I was really unhappy with my miracle gro dirt tank. I wish I would have taken more care to remove all the wood I could.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick input I really appreciate it. I suppose I'll return that Kellogs bag to find something better. I feel like finding the right dirt is really going to be a hit and miss process.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:38 AM   #4
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You can always find Miracle-Gro Organic potting soil at any HomeDepot or Walmart you can also order some from Homedepot.com

However you want to make sure it the Miracle-Gro Organic potting soil, not any of the other organic ones from like bone meal, etc... 100% Miracle-Gro Organic potting soil.

I would also suggest enriching the soil with laterite, or potters clay, some dolomite calcium/magnesium, and some muriate of potash which is a potassium powder. By adding these to the soil enriches it beyond belief, and will give you lush beautiful plants.



Read the main topic in this forum section, about How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate (MTS), by Aaron Talbot

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...mts-aaron.html



Plus you can order Dolomite at this site which is amazingly cheap.

http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/in...itU=2&Regit=14
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:18 AM   #5
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Thanks unrated, I was actually able to find a little bag of MGOPM at HD. I just didn't look hard enough the first time. I do have dolomite, potash and laterite. I just spent a good 10 minutes hammering some laterite into a powder. I have one more question, the soil I have soaking right now seems to have a lot of stuff floating on the top is that bark or some sort of wood chips? Thanks again guys.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:38 AM   #6
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Yeah pretty much all soils for gardening will have the wood chips in them, I always try to remove as much as I can before soaking it, then when it is soaking I use a net to get the rest of the wood chips since they always seem to float to the top.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:47 AM   #7
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Ok sweet. Without all your advice I would definitely be stressing out right about now. Thanks for taking the time to help me out. =)
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:20 AM   #8
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Not a problem!!
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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You may have already figured this out. Put your "dirt" in a 5 gal pail up about 1/2 full. Add water until about 3/4 full. Stir it up. Let it sit 5 min. and simply pour off everything that is floating. If it floats in the bucket...it will float in your tank. Do this a few times. Carefully drain of the water. When you get as much water out as you can, add crumpled newspaper, compress the dirt with the newspaper and pour off more water.

I like to add the rinsed muddy mix when it's the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remember when you do put it in the tank to flatten it out so you don't have any void spaces. Cap it and plant it.

Good luck with your new tank.

Last edited by DogFish; 01-11-2012 at 01:24 AM..
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:32 PM   #10
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Dolomite will raise the hardness and pH substantially. If that is your goal then fine. Peat or humice will lower the pH and hardness substantially. Mixing the two will give you somewhere in the middle. What kind of plants do you want to grow?

Soft water plants will not want much calcium and like acidity. Hard water plants like Vallisneria would not like an acidic substrate. Middle of the road plants are more tolerant of either.

Perlite floats and serves no purpose in the aquarium. You can sift the soil without getting it wet, which I prefer to remove bark and chunks than working with mud. Just take a screen window and place it over a bucket or tub and pour the soil through it. The screen will catch anything too big to pass through.

If you air out the soil under the sun or in warm air, letting it dry out, this will remove excess nitrogen.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:39 AM   #11
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Last edited by DogFish; 01-11-2012 at 12:32 PM..
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:46 AM   #12
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I don't understand all this work. Just bury the dirt (dry) with your capping material. I had wood chips in mine. Day one I had to spend a couple minutes scooping out some floaters with a net, no big deal. I never saw another wood chip until I replanted a big sword and messed up my cap. A bit of dirt got into the water...some wood chips floated to the top. The filter cleaned the dirt, and I netted the wood chips. Five minute ordeal.

I just don't understand all this talk about cleaning dirt, lol.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:53 AM   #13
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Dax - Clean dirt or Dirty dirt they both grow plants.

Kinda like wash & waxing your truck doesn't get you there any faster clean & shinny....ya just feel better driving it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Dax - Clean dirt or Dirty dirt they both grow plants.

Kinda like wash & waxing your truck doesn't get you there any faster clean & shinny....ya just feel better driving it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Dax - Clean dirt or Dirty dirt they both grow plants.

Kinda like wash & waxing your truck doesn't get you there any faster clean & shinny....ya just feel better driving it.
Haha that was pretty funny. I basically ran the mix through a steel mesh strainer similar to window screen to get all the wood chips out. Luckily, I live in california so I've been able to put it through 3 soak and dry cycles. Gotta love "winter" in cali. Now I'm just waiting for the bag of eco complete I ordered to show up. I've been dying to set this tank up since I got my Finnex 4g deluxe+ on Monday.
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