Need Instructions about Setting Up 10g Tank with MGOPM , Preparation of Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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Need Instructions about Setting Up 10g Tank with MGOPM , Preparation of Substrate

Hi. I have been reading this forum for a while, and I'm ready to take the plunge into the unknown and set up my 10g with MGOPM and a black Petco sand cap. I need to know how to prepare the soil, what size sieve to use for getting out organics (wood), and whether using a sieve of non-metal window screen and going from bucket to bucket to get the soil separated from the water is a good idea. I don't like the idea of drying, and have no place to do it anyway. I'd like to hear other suggestions too.

Thanks,
Steven
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 07:29 AM
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here is what i did.

--for a 40 gal.

Open bag of MGOPM
Dump whole bag in empty tank
Level MGOPM
Compact it as much as possible

open sand cap
wash it
Place sand cap on top of MGOPM trying not to disturb the underlayer
level sandcap
compact both layers by hand

slowly fill with water to about 1" above sand cap
compact again

finish filling tank slowly
plant and done.

water will be cloudy but not muddy, not even close. need to keep cleaning the filter media pretty often to flush out all the particles.

and no I did no sifting of the MGOPM, I didn't even take out any twigs. What was in the bag is in my tank.

20L My Other Tank: OEBT Shrimp
40B Inlaws Tank: 2 goldfish
75 Main Tank w/ sump: 5 Glossolepis pseudoincisus, 5 Melanotaenia boesemani, 10 Melanotaenia praecox, 5 Melanotaenia lacustris, some cories, a bn pleco and rainbow fish fry
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 08:50 AM
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To avoid stirring up the substrate place a clean trash over the substrate then fill. It will help tons! And won't disturb your substrate.

Pour mgo
Sand cap
Trash bag
Fill half way
Plant
Finish filling cupping the water before it hits the tank to avoid disturbing the substrate

Patience once drove a man insane

Thanks for your time
Danny Tejeda
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 09:59 AM
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when I filled I used the good ol python

my wife manned the faucet and I put my hand over the end of the hose to disperse the inflow.

even at that we probably spent 30 min to fill it. nice and slow.

20L My Other Tank: OEBT Shrimp
40B Inlaws Tank: 2 goldfish
75 Main Tank w/ sump: 5 Glossolepis pseudoincisus, 5 Melanotaenia boesemani, 10 Melanotaenia praecox, 5 Melanotaenia lacustris, some cories, a bn pleco and rainbow fish fry
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 11:32 AM
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The bag over the substrate works wonders that'a a personal preference

Patience once drove a man insane

Thanks for your time
Danny Tejeda

Last edited by dtejeda.arias; 07-07-2013 at 11:33 AM. Reason: .
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 12:39 PM
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I have 4 Miracle Gro tanks, and here is what I do:

1. Put cap material around the perimeter of your tank. I use pieces of cardboard to keep it separate from the soil. Way more attractive than the layered look you get if you don't do this. Doesn't have to be thick. Mine is about 1/2" all the way around.

2. Sift it. I did not do that in my first two tanks, and I lived to regret it. Everytime I do anything in there, more chunks end up on the cap. Almost any strainer will do, since the pieces are pretty big. Window screen is probably overkill, but the only downside is that you need more soil to get to your final amount. I use a 4 buck cheapie plastic colander.

3. Once it is sifted, put it on in! Keep it off your cap material around the sides. I personally use 1" of soil. If you need more height somewhere, use rocks or eggcrate underneath the soil.

4. Level it out, lightly compact, and mist gently with a sprayer. I find that keeps the dust down, and keeps your sand on top where it belongs.

5. Add sand gently. I use a 1" cap. Other people use half that, but I have had trouble with thin caps. Never again.

6. Put a plastic bag or a piece of bubble wrap over the substrate, and fill gently. Remove the bag or wrap, and give it an hour to settle. Then drain it 80%, plant, refill carefully, and start your filter up. Your water should be clear, with no floaters.

7. It takes quite a while for the soil to get waterlogged, and settle down. Until that happens, poke it with a chopstick a couple times a week. If you have a lot of plant roots, you won't need to do this as much. Yet another reason to plant heavily from the beginning.

8. Most things are fixable in dirt tanks. Don't despair if you break the cap, just pour some more sand in the area. Use some kind if plastic brace on slopes. Dirt is soft, and levels out quickly.

9. Step back and watch your plants take off! I don't use cO2, just Excel occasionally. As a result, the amount of ferts I need to supplement is very low. That will change with time, but for now it is really low maintenance.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the good information. Any other suggestions, remarks, what do I have to look out for?

Thanks,
Steve
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the good information. Any other suggestions, remarks, what do I have to look out for?

Thanks,
Steve
I'm also wondering about compacting the MGOPM. I figure it's to minimize air bubbles in the substrate, but isn't there more risk of anaerobic areas, or can the water or roots get down there?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Django View Post
I'm also wondering about compacting the MGOPM. I figure it's to minimize air bubbles in the substrate, but isn't there more risk of anaerobic areas, or can the water or roots get down there?
The plants will find the MGOPM and will root into there. You'll see bubbles but most of the time it will be CO2. Every once in a while, poke small sections of the substrate with a bamboo skewer to release any built up gas.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, anyone have pics of 10g tanks with MGOPM to encourage me? Thanks!

Last edited by Django; 07-09-2013 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Add Thankyou
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