Capping Miracle Gro with Gravel - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Capping Miracle Gro with Gravel

Has anyone else done this?

I want to do this with one of my 5 gallons.

I plan 2 inches of Miracle Gro and 1.5 inches of gravel.

How would Malaysian trumpet snails do in this? Is the gravel too rough for them?


In my other 5 I plan to do Miracle gro capped with Black diamond and perhaps a contrasting area of pool filter sand. Same depth of substrates.

The plants I have on order (yay and gratitude for generous Forum members!)

Hornwort
Taiwan moss
Najas grass
Dwarf water lettuce
Dwarf sag
S. Bihar
Red root floaters
Hygros
Ludwiga

I have two 5 gallons (one is a Fluval Spec V) a 10 and a 2.5.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 05:00 PM
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What kind of gravel? I personally wouldn't trust a large grain gravel as a cap.

And did you really ask if something was too rough for a...snail? I don't think anything can be too rough for a snail.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 05:20 PM
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I never recommend using traditional round aquarium gravel over soil based substrates.
River gravel or whatever you use as a term for it, poor results are often reported.
Think of it like looking at a glass filled with marbles, all the gaps between those round shapes allows a path for water movement and a path for the lighter materials in the soil to release into the water of the aquarium. Your second choice of Black Diamond blasting media will yield much better results.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re:snails--Itold you I was a newb!


Okay black diamond. Sometimes I just want to put fluorite in it and skip the wait!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 07:12 PM
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Dont cap with gravel, its really messy and it doesnt really like to compact the dirt at all to keep it from... for lack of a better word, "spray out of the gravel". I'd go with sand ecspecially with MTS because theyll keep the sand from getting the type of bacteria that doesnt use air and is toxic
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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I bought the miracle gro and the black diamond today at Tractor Supply on the way back from the monthly rice run (really great Asian market up past the Tractor Suppy, near Trader Joe's, about 30 minutes away).

I also stopped into Petco and Care a Lot to see if either had Eco Complete in stock.

Nope.


Plus bought ammonia from the Ace Hardware for the upcoming fish less cycling of the other 5 and the 2.5

I might sell the current 10 with its filter hood light and stand to a friend who has cyclists bc I can't get the mineral deposits off the inside of it. I was being naive when I bought it.

Have been reading about mineralizing and wonder if I should process the Miracle Gro somewhat before capping it with the black diamond.

Do I need to wash the black diamond?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:52 AM
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I have had great success with capping soil with gravel. Initially though the water will be cloudy but later on it is absolutely fine. I've had vals that took off like crazy and basically overtook the entire tank. I say try it if you like the gravel look.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfish92 View Post
I have had great success with capping soil with gravel. Initially though the water will be cloudy but later on it is absolutely fine. I've had vals that took off like crazy and basically overtook the entire tank. I say try it if you like the gravel look.

Oh interesting!

I am thinking of putting a contrast beach area of gravel on top of the black diamond as a compromise.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 01:48 AM
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You have what you need, the black diamond and the miracle gro will do the trick, no need to buy the Eco complete unless you really want to.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 12:27 AM
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i used gravel on mine, and unless i really mess around in my tank i don't get dirt shooting up...and if it does, in a while i will have a gravel bottomed tank just like how i used to do it lol
I personally would mineralize the dirt, even just a single drying or two if possible

I hope everything does well
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 01:09 AM
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get the woodchunks out, it becomes a mess after a while if you dont.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 987456321 View Post
I personally would mineralize the dirt, even just a single drying or two if possible
The organics take months to break down and a few wet dry cycles do not 'mineralize' anything. Soaking the dirt might help jump start the bacteria but it doesn't change anything on how the soil transitions to the submerged decay rate. I would load the base dry (less mess), plant it and enjoy.
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Originally Posted by nalu86 View Post
get the woodchunks out, it becomes a mess after a while if you dont.
Only if the cap is breached. Larger pieces only take longer for the bacteria to break it down so look at as time release nutrients for sustained plant support. I've done 8 of these tanks trying different angles on the method. The straight bag dump is lasting the longest. If it's smaller than a 2x4 leave it LOL

This is all I removed using the whole bag.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 01:13 PM
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Id go with SAF- T -SORB as a cap.....also available at tractor supply 40lb bag=$4.99
high CEC....nice color....does require sifting/rinsing it quite a bit...
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 03:02 PM
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I have a tank with miracle grow organic potting mix capped with the Black diamond.
Didn't wash or sift anything.I did sprinkle a little osmocote on the bottom before dumping the miracle grow in.
Tank was cloudy(not bad) for a few hours, but cleared by the next day.
This was six month's ago and plant's ,shrimp,fishes,are doin well.
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