This is for anyone who wants to use Potting soil! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Post This is for anyone who wants to use Potting soil!

Organic soil is one of the cheapest substrates you can use, but you should follow some basic steps when using it.

1. Buy the soil, this is pretty self explanatory, but make sure you get organic soil or else harmful chemicals may dissolve into the water column.
2.Use some sort of material with small holes like a strainer or mesh to sift the larger particles out of the dirt. If this step is not taken the wood will float up and cause slight clouding in the water.
3. (Optional) Pour the sifted dirt into a tank or container and let it sit under water for a few weeks.
4. Use a cap, sand or gravel, to ensure the dirt stays a the bottom of the aquarium, or else the entire tank will become clouded with dirt.
5. Occasionally poke at the substrate to release gases.

You should research a lot more if you ware going to use potting soil. This is just the basics.


This is the soil I chose.


Sifting





Pile you don't want to use.


In the tank(you can do something like this)


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 01:45 PM
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Nicely done. I was thinking of using this method in my sump for RDP ( which is empty atm). Saved me some time searchinig for a primer on potting soil!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 02:00 PM
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Screening the larger stuff out is an option but not entirely required to succeed with this method. Captured the process without doing that in two threads.

The oldest is 2 years wet.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...-soil-sub.html

The second is only several months old. Setting this one up I added layers of clay, sand and potash. Neither tank had the larger organics removed and never yet to deal with a release of material through the cap.

Laying the soil bed is at the bottom of page #1.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...k-warning.html

HTH


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metallicanick78 View Post
Nicely done. I was thinking of using this method in my sump for RDP ( which is empty atm). Saved me some time searchinig for a primer on potting soil!
My pleasure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Screening the larger stuff out is an option but not entirely required to succeed with this method. Captured the process without doing that in two threads.

The oldest is 2 years wet.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...-soil-sub.html

The second is only several months old. Setting this one up I added layers of clay, sand and potash. Neither tank had the larger organics removed and never yet to deal with a release of material through the cap.

Laying the soil bed is at the bottom of page #1.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...k-warning.html

HTH
I agree with you completely but for those inexperienced with soil(like me) sometimes you want to move stuff around and the wood bits going flying everywhere. It is not need at all, but a help when trying to keep the tank clean from large debris if one is moving things around or if the cap isn't large enough.

Everyone looking at this thread should also look into more detailed information regarding soil, and tank journals to learn about setup and maintenance.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:50 PM
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Potting Soil Use

Good morning Ben. Good choice for a substrate base. I've been using it for a while. You're a lot more particular about sifting out the large pieces. I use a similar brand that doesn't have very large pieces and though the tannins in the wood pieces can turn the tank water a little brown, a couple of water changes takes care of it.

B
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 11:27 PM
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I've had mine set up since November and I just realized that I'm still getting quite a bit of tannins (my Purigen needs changing).

So just an FYI.

I didn't sift mine beforehand, and just used a big net to scoop up any floaters. First day I pulled up a ton (mostly b/c I disturbed it while tweaking my hardscape), 2nd day just some, and haven't had any floaters at all since then- even when I've moved some plants around.

(PS- I moved this thread over to the Substrate forum...)





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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 01:40 AM
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Did the potting soil have to undergo the wetting/drying process that you need to do for top soil(in the sticky)? Is there a difference between potting soil and top soil? xD
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by irbenson View Post
Did the potting soil have to undergo the wetting/drying process that you need to do for top soil(in the sticky)? Is there a difference between potting soil and top soil? xD
Are you asking about mineralized topsoil?

If you are then the they are not the same. Mineralized top soil contains more nutrients by adding clay, potash, and anything else your tank might need specifically. Potting soil is just the soil, which is used to make mineralized topsoil.

Topsoil is also usually lower in nutrients when compared to potting soil.

Hopefully I answered your question, I'm still pretty new to soil substrates.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I've had mine set up since November and I just realized that I'm still getting quite a bit of tannins (my Purigen needs changing).

So just an FYI.

I didn't sift mine beforehand, and just used a big net to scoop up any floaters. First day I pulled up a ton (mostly b/c I disturbed it while tweaking my hardscape), 2nd day just some, and haven't had any floaters at all since then- even when I've moved some plants around.

(PS- I moved this thread over to the Substrate forum...)
Thanks for moving this, I wasn't really paying attention

I am still getting tannins as well, and I agree with you that the sifting is not needed. I just prefer setting down the substrate and not having to worry about anything floating(netted woodchips for a long time).

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 03:52 PM
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I've never used soil but I'd like to try it too

my old tank has gravel in it, which i clean weekly with a gravel cleaner. but with soil, would I need to do any cleaning or what kind of maintenance does it require?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mojof1 View Post
I've never used soil but I'd like to try it too

my old tank has gravel in it, which i clean weekly with a gravel cleaner. but with soil, would I need to do any cleaning or what kind of maintenance does it require?
If you want to set up a Natural Planted Aquarium you wouldn't need to clean the soil because the waste of the fish contributes nutrients to the plants. The only maintenance required is occasionally poking the soil to realease built up gases. If you submerge the soil for a few weeks before then this can speed up the break down materials and potentially release less gases when the tank is set up.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I've had mine set up since November and I just realized that I'm still getting quite a bit of tannins (my Purigen needs changing).

So just an FYI.

I didn't sift mine beforehand, and just used a big net to scoop up any floaters. First day I pulled up a ton (mostly b/c I disturbed it while tweaking my hardscape), 2nd day just some, and haven't had any floaters at all since then- even when I've moved some plants around.

(PS- I moved this thread over to the Substrate forum...)

i still get tannins after a year.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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i still get tannins after a year.
Even with all the wood sifted out, I also get tannins. It's dirt!

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 04:56 AM
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hello guys, im new to natural planted aquariums.
is it OK for me to use organic soil that has a mix of soil, crushed rice husk, and vermicast
or is it better to use soil and crushed rice husk mix only?

thanks
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