need the soil 'experts' - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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need the soil 'experts'

I was dirt shopping at HD yesterday and found some options I think might work for a dirted substrate, but I had a question about a couple ingredients.

for instance:
"Garden Soil"



Seems like a good mix that would just need a little extra time to cycle to flush out the higher levels of ammonia, but after that it would be OK. Is the oyster lime anything to worry about?

or

"Top Soil"


I'm pretty sure ash isn't harmful to fish, but I could be wrong?

"Potting Soil"



I really like the composition of the first one, but I'm not sure if there will be anything in it that will hurt the fishies or not. I bet it would be a good a good candidate for MTS but I don't know if I want to go to the trouble. I looked at MGOPM and it really doesn't look much better than the peat moss I was using except it had more wood in it, hence the reason why I'm looking into some alternatives. Plus I want more DIRT not just fillers.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 02:18 AM
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I'm curious about the "wetting agent".

Always curious.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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I was wondering the same, but since that was my last choice, I wasn't too concerned. A quick google search revealed this
http://jerry-coleby-williams.blogspo...g-trouble.html

some of the wetting agents are petrolium based, but if its certified organic, it won't be. If for some reason I decided to go with that I'm going to call/email them and see if they'll reveal what wetting agent they use.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 03:10 AM
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I've used the $1.17 (97 cents on sale) 40# bag from Home Depot to build MTS in the past. I think if I was going to use dirt from a bag, I'd use it. The topsoil does need to be rinsed well as there are a lot of sticks & stones in it. But what should you really expect for $1.17??

I would add some Potash. Cap it up and plant it heavy from the start. I should build a tank like that just to see how it works.


I'm starting the feel that the MGOPM is really just hype.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I didn't notice dollar bags of dirt when I was there. I'll have to check. Dogfish your tanks are a bit of inspiration and I thought of this as a bit of a way to get my feet wet. I'm also looking for an affordable, heavily plantable substrate for my 200g.

From a quick wikipedia search it appears that all the ingredients listed in the garden soil are sources of all the ferts that are dosed in planted aquariums. I'm gonna try it in my 200 if I don't get a tank to try it on before then.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 02:20 PM
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Did you also notice the other Kellogg company bags? All three (Red, Blue, Green) have all the same labels, same ingredients. One is labeled for Trees and Shrubs, another for Flowers and Vegetables...
And all the ingredients are the same!!
This is NOT garden soil. Walk out into your garden. See the dirt? THAT is garden soil.
The Kellogg products are Soil Conditioner. A blend or sawdust and so on that you add to your dirt to improve it for land plants.
Not suitable for an aquarium.

Just go out in your garden (As long as it has not been treated with herbicides or pesticides) and get some dirt for the aquarium.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Problem is I live in an arid desert area with only scrub pines around and not much dirt to grab. Plus right now I live in an apartment complex so who knows whats been put in the dirt around here. Thats why I was trying to source out some soil to buy since I can't very easily find some laying around.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 05:52 PM
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Some of the landscape rock/gravel stores here have a bin of "topsoil", which appears to be natural soil they dig up somewhere. If I wanted to pay for dirt, that is probably where I would look first. I would also suggest a "field trip" to where you can find real topsoil, but with gas prices what they are today, that isn't a cheap option.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I'll go back to HD and see if they sell the same topsoil Dogfish mentioned. Its so rocky around here I don't know if I could find any decent top soil except at a park and I don't want to bring home all the pesticides the city likely uses in the parks. Or maybe I can grab some sludge from the Columbia River......


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 05:59 PM
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How much is gas in the west coast? Here in Boston we average about 3.9ish for 93
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 07:38 PM
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Most landscape supply stores around here sell topsoil for super cheap. Not sure of the exact composition but it smells nice and works great in my garden. Mine comes with some mushroom compost mixed in for the nutrients.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtejeda.arias View Post
How much is gas in the west coast? Here in Boston we average about 3.9ish for 93
In the range of $3.50 for regular here.


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