potting soil - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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potting soil

Could I use this stuff? It seems to have peat and other good stuff
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:23 PM
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not easy to tell without knowing what is really in it. Most potting mixes have perlite or some other moisture holding substance mixed in which you don't want. Also standard potting mixes may have chemical based fertilizers mixed in which might release too much too fast into the water column. That's why you see most people using the miracle grow organic stuff because it's known work.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:26 PM
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^^^ Yup.

It should have the ingredients on the bag somewhere. Seeing anything you can't pronounce isn't a good sign.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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The only ingredients I see is in the first pic. I was thinking of washing the soil and removing all the floating pieces and white specs. I've used the organic mix also but.don't want to buy a whole bag when I just need a cups worth
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:55 PM
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Using Potting Soil

Hello x...

Check the ingredients. If it has more than a trace of ammonia, then I wouldn't use it. I've used the organic potting mixture with mixed results. It fertilizes the plants for several months, but is messy if you disturb it. It doesn't last forever and as it breaks down it can cloud the water. It also has a smell of stagnant water after a few months.

I still use it in my tanks, but now use it in pots and then put the pots into the tank.

B

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xev11 View Post
The only ingredients I see is in the first pic. I was thinking of washing the soil and removing all the floating pieces and white specs. I've used the organic mix also but.don't want to buy a whole bag when I just need a cups worth
I'd give it a run. Just do some water changes before you toss anything in there. The white specs, whatever they are, are one of the main things that suck about regular potting soil. I think it's just styrofoam to keep the soil aerated. So yea, if you want to use that stuff I'd toss it in a bucket, float all the junk out of it, let it settle and dry, then go about your business.

My tanks smell like dirt for a month or so, but after that, about the time they are cycled well I never have any issues.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:18 AM
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I imagine the white specks are perlite?

The photo of the back of the bag; where it states what it's made of, lists perlite as an ingredient.

I'm not sure, but I think perlite is mineral. not sure if it's one of those things where they pump the rocks with water and then heat them until they popcorn, or if it's actually naturally found in that state, but I'm pretty sure it's rather inert. No clue on this, but I'm wondering if it might have decent CEC or something if someone managed to get it waterlogged (Sisyphus may have some tips on accomplishing this...).

But, yeah, while I don't think they would be harmful to the aquarium, good luck keeping them in the substrate. Plus, I think the main reason they are put in mixes is for aeration or lightening the substrate, which I don't think is much of a concern for aquatic substrates...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:42 PM
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I used a regular potting soil that has perilite in my very small tank as a test. The water is clear and no perilite has floated. I capped with round pebbles. The plants seem to enjoy it but I haven't tested long-term with any fauna yet to see fish effects. I had a guppy in there for about 3 days but she's been moved. She was doing fine though.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 02:56 PM
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I used potting soil with wetting agents and I believe the wetting agents are nulled when fully soaked. I did WC before adding anything just to be safe anyhow.


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