Miracle Gro Organic-bugs & PH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Miracle Gro Organic-bugs & PH

So my local Lowes didn't have any MGOPM so I took my search online and found quite a few negative reviews. All of the negative reviews seemed recent (as in the last 6 months) and most were complaining that the mix was full gnats and other critters. That didn't concern me too much but then I saw two people complain that the mix caused their soil PH rise quite a bit. Is that cause for concern?

I know it's pretty much the go to organic potting mix but I was curious if folks on here had similar issues. Or possibly if there is just a bad batch floating around out there. Thoughts?

On another note though, check out that first review by Matt
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 06:55 AM
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It seems that most of the reviews that are negative are all involving things that would suggest human error as the culprit. Not taking care of the plants or soil property or using the wrong kind of soil for the job. I've been using the stuff for years along with a few others for various gardening applications and recently in an aquarium. I highly recommend it provided it is the correct solution to your problem.
You don't go into a a car dealership demanding your money back because you thought coolant in the gas tank might be a good idea.

Also, this probably doesn't translate as well over to aquariums but bugs in my dirt means my plants are happier.

EDIT: just emailed the company requesting an MSDS and information regarding possible variations in material used. Hopefully this will prove to be fruitful.

Last edited by Barkington; 04-05-2013 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Because editing was required
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 12:19 PM
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I just set up my 1st dirt tank with MGOPM and have no issues. I'm new to this and I didn't rinse or anything. Just added a 1 inch layer and capped with flourite. No issues as my PH went down as it did in my non planted tank and ammonia went up to start the cycling process. I just do my water changes and add stability to help cycle the tank. Everything seems to be leveling out just like my other tank. I recommend it.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 12:41 PM
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Re: Miracle Gro Organic-bugs & PH

I have two dirt tanks. One of the recommendations I got to help address ph concerns was to add crushed coral to your dirt. Some people mix it with dirt, I added a small layer crushed coral first, then dirt over it. I don't have any crazy ph levels.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 01:01 PM
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According to the Scotts rep. and the MSDS, the organic choice contains peat and manure both of which have a decent amount of variation potential. It contains anywhere from 10 to 25% manure and peat moss (5-15 and 5-10 respectively). I'm thinking it was probably a high cow manure content and somewhat lacking quality control from a batch that resulted in bugs and a high amount of peat that led to a larger-than-normal pH swing/drop. I'm no expert or anything but it seems like all the QQ is a bit overblown. Also, they do not recommend the product for use in aquaria, stating that it can lead to algae and cloudiness issues.

I love the stuff and will keep using it. Just takes slightly more effort.

Also, there are two types of the same product (garden soil) on their site but they are listed as separate products. One even has a warning on it not to be used by children and suggests the use of gardening gloves. Peculiar. Assuming both of these products are available for sale in addition to their potting mix, I think people may confuse the various types of soil. The bugs I still think are a bad batch.
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