Miracle grow? Yes?...No? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Miracle grow? Yes?...No?

I've been searching and reading but can't find anything straight forward about this.

If I use Miracle grow capped with Flourite, do I need to run CO2 or dose any ferts (if so, what?)? What should I do to the soil before putting it in my tank?

I am moving from a 20 high to 20 long, I have plenty of plants, and a matured tank to start with.
Any help from people who have dirted tanks is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ciscokid View Post
I've been searching and reading but can't find anything straight forward about this.

If I use Miracle grow capped with Flourite, do I need to run CO2 or dose any ferts (if so, what?)? What should I do to the soil before putting it in my tank?

I am moving from a 20 high to 20 long, I have plenty of plants, and a matured tank to start with.
Any help from people who have dirted tanks is much appreciated.
Miracle Grow tanks will provide almost all of the nutrients needed for root based plants. You will not need to dose unless you have plants that are not root based...ie mosses. Dosing wont hurt with a dirted tank, but it's not mandatory in my opinion...that's what the dirt is for.

Co2 can be used in any planted tank regardless of substrate. You don't need it unless you have high light. But you can USE it in any planted tank and it will produce faster plant growth. Co2 is like steroids for plants.

What should you do before putting the dirt in your tank?

You will get a few opinions on this one...mine is open a beer. Meaning, nothing. I opened the bag and put the dirt in the tank.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick response and great info.
What about doing with small foreground plants (hc)?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 01:01 AM
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Thank you for the quick response and great info.
What about doing with small foreground plants (hc)?
Well, 20 longs aren't too deep so that is doable. You will probably need Co2 for them though. Well, let me correct that, those carpeting plants grow better under higher light, higher light normally needs Co2.

I'm sure it's possible to find that happy place of high enough light to grow them without high enough light to require Co2, but I don't know what lights you need to get there. Even if you did find that spot...I fear they would grow at a snails pace without Co2. Welcome to the technical side of planted tanks, lol.

I have a low light tank, I fail at dwarf hairgrass and HC, and I am using Co2. Just not enough light for them.

Drawf Sag grows fine though. I would start a new thread in the lighting section, ask them what lights you would need to grow that plant in that tank, and if you would need Co2. I simply don't know the answer to that.

To reiterate, all root plants will benefit from a dirt tank. High light, low light, Co2 or not.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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After trying to grow hc and dhg belem in my 20 high with 2 t5ho bulbs and no CO2 or ferts, I gave up and spent a paycheck on a pressurized co2 system and got some ferts. I can see how much it does for plants, but still grows slow. I guess it will be some guess and check when I get the new tank going.

You've made me a dirt man from now on, thanks
now I'm off to make another thread.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 03:49 PM
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Using Miracle Gro Potting Mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciscokid View Post
I've been searching and reading but can't find anything straight forward about this.

If I use Miracle grow capped with Flourite, do I need to run CO2 or dose any ferts (if so, what?)? What should I do to the soil before putting it in my tank?

I am moving from a 20 high to 20 long, I have plenty of plants, and a matured tank to start with.
Any help from people who have dirted tanks is much appreciated.
Hello cisco...

Here's the "scoop" on this potting mixture, from my experience. It will nourish your plants for several months, but doesn't last indefinitely. The organic mixture has a trace of ammonia, but should be safe in 30 G tanks and larger. I've never used it in smaller tanks.

The mixture will begin to break down after a few months and can cause the water to cloud a little. Large, frequent water changes will help. I remove and replace 60 to 70 percent of the water in my tanks weekly.

The mixture is messy to use even covered with another substrate. Because of the fine texture of this stuff, the slightest disturance in the water will result in floating debris in the water. It will eventually settle.

IMO, the stuff is more trouble than it's worth. There are several other substrates that work better, including the standard pea sized gravel. If you want ferts, then get a good commercial brand in dry, liquid or granules.

B

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 04:03 PM
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Hello cisco...

Here's the "scoop" on this potting mixture, from my experience. It will nourish your plants for several months, but doesn't last indefinitely. The organic mixture has a trace of ammonia, but should be safe in 30 G tanks and larger. I've never used it in smaller tanks.

The mixture will begin to break down after a few months and can cause the water to cloud a little. Large, frequent water changes will help. I remove and replace 60 to 70 percent of the water in my tanks weekly.

The mixture is messy to use even covered with another substrate. Because of the fine texture of this stuff, the slightest disturance in the water will result in floating debris in the water. It will eventually settle.

IMO, the stuff is more trouble than it's worth. There are several other substrates that work better, including the standard pea sized gravel. If you want ferts, then get a good commercial brand in dry, liquid or granules.

B
I wonder if you used enough capping material...because honestly, I've not experienced any of this in any of my dirt tanks...except for the first one that I didn't cap properly.

I did cause a mess in my 90 this weekend as I pulled up a gnarly sword...had dirt and some wood chips floating around for a bit. I took a couple scoops of my capping substrate, covered and filled the hole, then went at the surface for a couple minutes with a fish net. Tank was crystal clear in 2 hours.

I did massive water changes in my tanks for the first two weeks (this is required with dirt in my opinion)...now I do 25% when I remember, but most just top them off. My water test good.

I cannot comment personally on the longevity of nutrient supply from a dirt tank, but I have seen/read about many lasting years...not months.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 04:21 PM
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It depends on how much light you have if you need CO2.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 05:15 PM
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Hello everyone , I was told by some one that if you dose ferts with miracle grow (or any kind of nutrient based dirt/substrate) then you extend the life of the dirt as the plants take the nutrients out of the water column aswell, so they are not totally reliant on taking them from the dirt !
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:48 PM
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Also do any of you people on here know where to get MG in the uk ???
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:51 PM
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Also do any of you people on here know where to get MG in the uk ???
I do not, but I think any "organic" potting mix would work just as well. Just ensure it's organic. Miracle Grow has just been tried and tested so most agree it's the best, but not the only option in my opinion.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 07:34 PM
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Listen to Daximus. He knows his stuff.


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 07:37 PM
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Listen to Daximus. He knows his stuff.
I don't know about all that...lol...just the dirt.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 07:53 PM
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Listen to Daximus. He knows his stuff.
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I don't know about all that...lol...just the dirt.
Bwahahaha! don't bother denying it!
You post often on the topic so you are bound to get stuck with the status of guru. Daximus


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 07:57 PM
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Bwahahaha! don't bother denying it!
You post often on the topic so you are bound to get stuck with the status of guru. Daximus
Yea...and half the time I'm just using the search button for something you posted and regurgitating it as my own, lol.

J/k, but you are the sole person responsible for my current dirt fascination.
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