Substrate Question?
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
TankMania
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Substrate Question?


I have a substrate question that might be kind of weird.
I was wondering if I could use any kind of Top Soil or any kind of Gardening Soil for a planted tank.
If there are any that I could use I have a few questions.
Like is it safe with fish/inverts, where could I get it, does it hold plants down good, how big the bags are & the cost.
I have been wondering about this for a while just never got around to it.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Miracle grow Organic choice Potting mix (Walmart) is fairly cheap and work's well for many folk's.(Google it)
It will need to covered or capped with sand or fine gravel.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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Search MTS here on the forum. I have used it works well for low light tanks with root feeding plants. My 26 gallon bowfront is currently MTS capped with blasting grit. Crypts, swords and Vals are all doing well.

But be aware that rescaping is a total bear of a job. The tank will be cloudy for some time unless you do a big water change afterward.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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I just got back from the store & got a bag of the Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix. Is there a better/faster way to shift through it, I was thinking just let it soak in the tank for a few days, mix it up wait a few more days then get all of the floating stuff out then cap it with some sand. Any Advice?
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:20 PM   #5
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I just dumped the bag of MGOCPM in my my tank wetted it down. Took sand in a bowl, after washing the sand, and add enough water to make it stick together. Slowly added it on top of the soil, and spread it around like cake frosting. Next I added water, by pouring it on to a plate, so it wouldn't throw things everywhere. Let it set over night and it was clear. Drained the water down to a few inches and planted it. Then let it sit a few weeks before adding fish, with biweekly water changes.

I get hydrogen sulfide bubbles regularly, but doesn't seem to affect the plants or fish.

I don't really see a need to sift the soil. If you take your time little to none will float on you. What does float, your fish net will make short work of it.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:34 AM   #6
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what are you abbreviating to MTS? Thought that was Malaysian trumpet snails....
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:52 AM   #7
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i set up two tanks using the same material. I did three large bags. In my humble opinion if it floats after 15 a 30 minutes later use a screen and get rid of it. Also if you soak it dry it, soak it dry it,soak it dry it you will wind up with something much different than dumping in the bag ;-)
I used those plastic tubs at home depot for mixing concrete ( smaller one) I have at least six of these and it really helped when dealing with that much material. ypu are going to be surprised with the end result and yes it does turn a shade of gray with zero smell.


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Old 12-06-2013, 01:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat12 View Post
what are you abbreviating to MTS? Thought that was Malaysian trumpet snails....

Yeah you're right. In this context though it refers to mineralized top soil.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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It helps a lot to soak it and remove all the floaters.
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