Miracle gro floating -- how long til it sinks? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Miracle gro floating -- how long til it sinks?

Am prepping my miracle gro potting mix in a bucket and it's still floating after 5 minutes.

Feel worried.

Please reassure me and give advice if you have any!

Thanks!

Supernewbie
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 01:55 PM
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Using Miracle Gro

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecGrrl View Post
Am prepping my miracle gro potting mix in a bucket and it's still floating after 5 minutes.

Feel worried.

Please reassure me and give advice if you have any!

Thanks!

Supernewbie
Hello Spec...

The potting mixture is used under another form of substrate. The mixture is too small and light to sink. I've used the organic miracle gro as a base at the bottom of my tank and then covered it with a thick covering of pea gravel.

I've also used it in small plastic pots. Again, I cover it with a layer of a heavier substrate. Never by itself, because it will float. It's a little messy at best, but my plants like it.

Hope this info. helps.

B

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 03:03 PM
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The organic potting mix layer will compress over the first 6-7 months (not a problem just fyi).
I build the base layer thicker keeping that in mind but do keep the soil layer less than 2" thick. Starting with 1" of soil after 6 months the layer will be reduced to about 1/2" as bacteria break down the organic content.

1.5 to 2" placed in the tank dry, press the palm of your hand down with firm pressure and measure.
I don't use round pea gravel or river gravel sold for aquariums as it doesn't hold the soil well. 1 to 1.5" of capping material. Fluorite, oil dry or sand is my opinion of what works best.
Just a couple of my setup threads for you,, if you care for a peak.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=86457
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=131940


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello Spec...

The potting mixture is used under another form of substrate. The mixture is too small and light to sink. I've used the organic miracle gro as a base at the bottom of my tank and then covered it with a thick covering of pea gravel.

I've also used it in small plastic pots. Again, I cover it with a layer of a heavier substrate. Never by itself, because it will float. It's a little messy at best, but my plants like it.

Hope this info. helps.

B
Oh ok good know about the gravel --will try in my 2.5
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
The organic potting mix layer will compress over the first 6-7 months (not a problem just fyi).
I build the base layer thicker keeping that in mind but do keep the soil layer less than 2" thick. Starting with 1" of soil after 6 months the layer will be reduced to about 1/2" as bacteria break down the organic content.

1.5 to 2" placed in the tank dry, press the palm of your hand down with firm pressure and measure.
I don't use round pea gravel or river gravel sold for aquariums as it doesn't hold the soil well. 1 to 1.5" of capping material. Fluorite, oil dry or sand is my opinion of what works best.
Just a couple of my setup threads for you,, if you care for a peak.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=86457
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=131940
Ok so I just need to pull out the bigbitsofwood before I pack it down?

I feel like I mis remembered every post and MSG I ever read!

*sigh*
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
The organic potting mix layer will compress over the first 6-7 months (not a problem just fyi).
I build the base layer thicker keeping that in mind but do keep the soil layer less than 2" thick. Starting with 1" of soil after 6 months the layer will be reduced to about 1/2" as bacteria break down the organic content.

1.5 to 2" placed in the tank dry, press the palm of your hand down with firm pressure and measure.
I don't use round pea gravel or river gravel sold for aquariums as it doesn't hold the soil well. 1 to 1.5" of capping material. Fluorite, oil dry or sand is my opinion of what works best.
Just a couple of my setup threads for you,, if you care for a peak.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=86457
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=131940
I have black diamond for the 5 gal which is getting soaked and rinsed today.

I did all this backwards -- next time I'll read first buy fish later!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:28 PM
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haha I think it happens to all of us at times.
Buy, read, buy, make the list after several tries or skip the list part all together LOL

I've only loaded a tank with wet soil once (another thread but it's short)
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=143352

Take your time and I'm sure it will all work out for you.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:46 PM
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Allow the soil to soak, organic matter takes time to sink.

You can use warmer water, that soaks into the soil faster. Tap-hot is fine.

Yes, anything you can identify (leaf, stick) remove it.

Once it is well soaked put it in the tank, arrange hills and valleys, driftwood (also soaked until it sinks) rocks, ceramic merpeople...
Plant before adding water- mist the plants a lot.
Cap it, gently tucking the capping material close around the plants.

Put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and fill slowly (no more than 1 gallon per minute), allowing the water to flow over the edge of the plate into the substrate.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 06:54 PM
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Allow the soil to soak, organic matter takes time to sink.
Really no point in doing this, waiting for floaters to clear is wasted weeks (imo). I've done this only once and saw no benefit from it. The settling in period for the tank to stabilize was the same as just dumping the bag into the tank and capping it. Removing all the larger material using a screening technique the soil simply had less reserve materials for the plants.

Yes, anything you can identify (leaf, stick) remove it.
Larger than a matchbox yes (maybe) but why be overly concerned? Larger pieces simply take longer to break down and I consider it all time release plant food. The more you remove the sooner the enriched base will fail. My tanks have proven that to me over time.

Once it is well soaked put it in the tank, arrange hills and valleys, driftwood (also soaked until it sinks) rocks, ceramic merpeople...
Suggest avoiding any large footprint hardscape use in NPT (organic rich) tanks as my best advice. Don't trap material under rocks or wood. If your plan includes large decorative stuff like rock piles or ceramic merpeople don't put soil under those areas just put capping material under any hardscape.

Plant before adding water- mist the plants a lot.
Cap it, gently tucking the capping material close around the plants.
This can be done but is a lot more work than simply building the substrate including the cap and then planting. Using a soil material rich in organics like MGOCPM the minimum thickness of the capping layer should be at least 1". I find it hard to plant then add an 1" or more of material without burying the plants. Sand or Fluorite/oil dry materials 1 to 1-1/2" is a great reference number for the capping layer. Gravel (not a fan) at least 2" to avoid issues. Planting tweezers (8-10") are a blessing and everyone should have a pair. Build the substrate complete including the cap then I almost always get wet, put water over the base, at least 4" then pat it down, get you're hand wet and press down to help remove trapped air. Then using tweezers push plants through to the depth you wish. Even smaller plants that are in just the cap layer will send roots down as they grow. Plant heavy starting out, (lots of plants!) including floaters if you can get them and enjoy. Within three months even my most troublesome start was worry free as posted in my journals. There are other ways to do this, (always) thousands of ways to wet the box it seems but this method works every time for me and seems easy simple and dare I say fun


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 07:37 PM
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to wkndracer's words. I know there are as many ways to set up a dirt tank as can be imagined, but unless you're into extra work, why make it that way? I am on my 4th MGOPM tank - the most recent one being a 125g. I don't sift anything out of the MG bag unless an unusually large bit of wood is present. For me, putting in my hardscape rocks and driftwood in first (my driftwood is usually glued to a rock so it will stay submerged while it soaks) and firmly pressing down the MGOPM around these objects work perfectly. Firmly pressing down the soil helps me visualize how thick the MGOPM layer will be when soaked and compressed - it will compact further over time as it breaks down. Then I cap, then plant. I used to worry about getting the plant's roots into the soil, but I've learned that if I don't, they quickly grow there anyhow. Just my way of doing it.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your input!

I have a ton of plants arriving next week so am excited!

I almost bought Eco complete today just bc I was anxious about doing this incorrectly and possibly killing my fishes.

Am considering trading in the used 10 gallon and stand for credit at my LPS.

Got 2 little pieces of Malaysian driftwood today that are suitable for the Fluval Spec 5 combined.

Hard scaping scares me a little. I might have to drill a hole to connect the pieces with a Cable tie.
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