Planning to start a low tech planted tank with dirt .... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Planning to start a low tech planted tank with dirt ....

Can I use garden soil or the potting mix that is available near to me .. any advice would be good

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 01:15 AM
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Soil from your garden will have to be baked to sterilize it.

That bag of soil which is manure and worm casting will be so rich that probably youíll probably only need 3/8Ē of it.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 03:27 AM
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The most recommended soil I have seen is Miracle Grow Organic Choice potting mix. I'm sure there are many differing opinions on this!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 03:42 AM
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I've successfully used backyard soil without baking it, though I did screen it carefully to remove bugs and worms and stones. Avoid soil that comes from near old buildings (which might have lead paint chips from old paint in it) or where pesticides have been used in the last few years.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 03:57 AM
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I'm trying out the newer miracle grow in the green bag,the older type in the orange bag was great! tank has only been up a week,so we'll see.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 04:15 PM
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Miracle Gro “Organic Choice” has been replaced with “Nature’s Care” in the green bag. To my knowledge, it’s the same stuff. I have a tank with Nature’s Care at the bottom that has been set up for 6 months, and it’s performing well.

That being said, any packaged soil that only contains natural ingredients should be sufficient.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 05:11 AM
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I have used miracle gro Natures care with good results in my 10 gallon that has been up for about 9 months now things are growing despite my lackadaisical attitude toward that particular tank.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:13 AM
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I have Miracle Gro Performance Organics Potting Soil Mix and haven’t killed any fish with it. The fish have been in the tank for a month or so. I skipped the step of washing it. I won’t make that mistake again. I get floating balls of white slow-release fertilizer on top of the water and had some other loose soil particulates to clean out (and a lot got sucked into the filter) the first few days. Otherwise, it’s been great. The plants are fine and the fish are healthy. It wasn’t expensive at Lowe’s. I got something like 1.3 cu ft of it for a few dollars. If I had been more careful with it, I could have probably done my 25g tank 3 times over with that bag.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 01:02 AM
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I put Miracle grow organic in the bottom of my tank with a gravel cap several years ago. I just dumped it from the bag directly into the dry tank before filling it... no other prep. It seems like I have to constantly trim the plants back to keep them from over growing the tank these days. I don't use CO2, fertilizers or any amendments. I recall killing some plants the first 3 or 4 months... then everything just took off and has been growing ever sense.

Ajay - it might help if you told us where you are from... not much sense in recommending Miracle grow if it is not available in your part of the world.

I don't know anything about the potting soil you have pictured... but I am a big believer in dirt bottom tanks with some sort of gravel or heavy sand topping the dirt. I won't do a planted tank without dirt now that I have tried it.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 01:09 AM
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Planning to start a low tech planted tank with dirt ....

Iím currently using Miracle-Gro Performance Organics in two tanks, and so far so good. I like the in-ground stuff better because it doesnít have perlite. All I did was sift out the sticks and place it in the tank, then capped with pool filter sand.


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 01:36 AM
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I am on the same page with all of you. I just love how a soil-based tank steers towards stability. Just add light, livestock, food, and water.

Style: Organic soil (dirt), sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, biofilm, mulm, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Eheim Skim 350, Neptune Apex EL
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Last edited by Streetwise; 10-10-2019 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Details
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 03:38 AM
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I'm using miracle grow raised bed soil. The bag says 100% organic and on the back it states that it's "premium potting soil". It has nearly half the amount of nutrients that natures care. I think? Anyway as long as you plant semi heavy and possibly go with floating plants.

I'm on about the 9th week or so and most of my algae problems have resolved itself. At first I was combating with metricide. Then I decided to just let it do its thing. So far so good. As of today I have 0ppm ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I feel that I've reached a balance.


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaykd62 View Post
Can I use garden soil or the potting mix that is available near to me .. any advice would be good

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My only and advise would be follow our queen diana walstad method and you'll be fine.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the advice... finally after few days I have set up the tank ...I have ordered plants .... here's a picture of my tank .... I have used regular garden soil as a base layer and capped it with sand and floramax substrate ...does cap look okay or should I make any changes ...

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 06:54 PM
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Welcome to the dirt club!
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Style: Organic soil (dirt), sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, biofilm, mulm, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Eheim Skim 350, Neptune Apex EL
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