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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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substrate thoughts

I am thinking of using miracle gro organic choice potting mix in a 75gal. topped with a layer of kitty litter, and then top that off with some black diamond blasting sand. any thoughts on doing something like this?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 03:57 PM
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Plenty of threads on it, and its very good option one I am using (using play sand instead of kitty litter) but lots of people have chosen this option
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:18 PM
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Don't waste time or effort on kitty litter. The soil and sand will be enough. The blasting sand is really, really sharp(like it will end up in your fingers) so be careful. Bottom dwellers aren't a good match with it.

Kitty litter is dirty and breaks down really quickly. There is no real good reason to use it with soil.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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being a clay won't it help hold some of the nutrients
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:39 PM
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it would. But it breaks down very easily, clouds the water, and is next to impossible to get clean. When you do 3 layers, they end up getting all mishmashed anways. The soil has enough nutrients that the clay serves no purpose. The kitty litter is super light, too and ends up on top eventually. Save yourself the 4 bucks and year of misery.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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will the potting mix be ok or would mineralized topsoil be better
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:46 PM
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Potting mix works great.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 02:13 PM
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actually i've heard that adding regular unfired potting clay (the red stuff) in chunks to the dirt helps with more iron.

Also, regular potting mix will not work! It has fertilizers in it that will fry anything you put in the water (I used it but thankfully someone made me realize what I was doing before I put anything alive in the tank).

Miracle Grow Organic soil works well. I've heard basically any "organic" soil will work. Just make sure there aren't any severe fertilizers or time released fertilizers. They will ionize into the water and be lethal.

If you want to check out my 5g I'm doing something similar to you on a (much) smaller scale.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaStudent View Post
actually i've heard that adding regular unfired potting clay (the red stuff) in chunks to the dirt helps with more iron.

Also, regular potting mix will not work! It has fertilizers in it that will fry anything you put in the water (I used it but thankfully someone made me realize what I was doing before I put anything alive in the tank).

Miracle Grow Organic soil works well. I've heard basically any "organic" soil will work. Just make sure there aren't any severe fertilizers or time released fertilizers. They will ionize into the water and be lethal.

If you want to check out my 5g I'm doing something similar to you on a (much) smaller scale.
We're talking about Miracle grow organic potting mix. See the first post.
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