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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Dirt?

Is this the correct dirt to buy? Also how many bags would i need for a 55 gallon?

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-G...specifications
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Gravel?

I going to need some gravel for a 55 gallon? what would you recommend? need to be a smaller grain and can be river rock or black. If you could leave some links below.Also could some one leave a link for pool filter sand?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 08:30 PM
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I just set mine up and used the MG organic potting MIX
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 08:59 PM
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Yea the potting mix, not garden soil: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-G...3650/100619045

Any gravel I've used has been something I got for free or with used setups... but have picked up pool filter sand at a local pool supply shop. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Quikrete-...5350/202314677
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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how much drit and gravel is recomended for a 55
so what size bag(in lbs)
of dirt sand and gravel would i need

Last edited by JwDiedrich16; 03-09-2014 at 10:11 PM. Reason: forgot pounds
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 12:00 AM
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I think it depends on if you want to sift/mineralize the dirt first, or just put it in straight from the bag. I've only done the latter, which one 50 lb bag would be plenty.

The gravel, 1.5-2" would be about 50 lbs, and I think it's up to you if you want less than that...
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwe View Post
I think it depends on if you want to sift/mineralize the dirt first, or just put it in straight from the bag. I've only done the latter, which one 50 lb bag would be plenty.

The gravel, 1.5-2" would be about 50 lbs, and I think it's up to you if you want less than that...
how do you mineralive it
?

Last edited by JwDiedrich16; 03-10-2014 at 12:49 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 01:14 AM
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It's a process advocated by Tom Barr generally done with top soil, not potting mix. But you basically soak the dirt, let it completely dry out (generally laid out on a tarp or something), then repeat two more times.

Even if you don't bother doing that, but sift the dirt, I'm pretty sure MGOCPM has lots of bark and such in it, so you'd end up with a lot less... but I've never bothered so I'm not sure exactly how much less.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwe View Post
It's a process advocated by Tom Barr generally done with top soil, not potting mix. But you basically soak the dirt, let it completely dry out (generally laid out on a tarp or something), then repeat two more times.
I think it's more complicated than that. Doesn't it involve adding clay and some sort of fertilizer/nutrients?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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probably
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 10:00 PM
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Yea I forgot about that part, just a process I was never interested in... but here's a good step-by-step:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwe View Post
Even if you don't bother doing that, but sift the dirt, I'm pretty sure MGOCPM has lots of bark and such in it, so you'd end up with a lot less... but I've never bothered so I'm not sure exactly how much less.
I've done a couple small tanks, one with sifted MGOCPM, and one with unsifted MGOCPM. The tank with the unsifted got a couple twigs and wood chunks on the substrate surface after a couple months. didn't really bother me, and that's about the only difference I noticed.

When I sifted the remaining MGOCPM, I'm guessing I had at least 1/2 a bag left of a 16qt bag.

Ended up with maybe ~1/2 gallon (probably less) of stuff (rocks, bark, chunks of wood) that I couldn't crush or squeeze through the mesh I was using. I imagine it could vary from batch to batch and maybe from location to location.

Also, one of the benefits of a dirted substrate is that the decomposing organics raise the CO2 levels slightly in the tank. I think this effect may be lessened (or lost entirely) if you mineralize the dirt. Not certain though.
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