Nature of soil in tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Nature of soil in tanks?

I live in Portland, OR, and we have pretty amazing varieties of soils around here that have a high mineral content, and some with high clay, as well. I'm wondering what kind of properties mineralized topsoil has? Is it sandy, or silty, or loamy, before you mix it with the clay? Where does the Miracle Gro Organic come from?

I wish I had an extra tank to experiment with, but I'm a bit too poor at the moment. Has anyone done experiments with their local soil?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-01-2015, 05:09 AM
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Topsoil is made up of both organic materials (humus) and inorganic materials (clay and silt). I have used soil I dug up from a silt deposit on a river bank, which was high in very fine sand, had some clay, and quite a bit of humus. I also used some soil I dug up in an area with lots of brush and trees. And, I have used soil I dug from the planted areas around my duplex. All of them worked ok. The river bank silt was the most stinky until I had it mineralized, and I think it grew plants the best, but not a lot better than the other soils.

The packaged "topsoil" I bought at the cheapest price I could find, at a hardware store, was mostly shredded bark and bigger pieces of bark, plus sticks and stones. I didn't like it at all, and my soil layer never did stop generating "air" bubbles, which were obviously laced with hydrogen sulfide. So, my personal preference is real topsoil, not packaged "topsoil".

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-01-2015, 06:43 AM
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This is the list of ingredients from the package of MGOCPM.
"This product is formulated from composted bark, sphagnum peat moss, and
pasteurized poultry litter."
I don't know at this point, the planning stage, if it will turn out a Royal mess or
end up being successful. But I bought one bag of that plus one bag of Miracle Grow
Organic Top Soil which so far I've only found a couple of sticks in and the rest looks
like dirt and a bit of sand thrown in to discourage clotting. But I plan to use one
inch of the MGOCPM under one inch of the Top Soil and cover thinly with river rocks.
No regular cap. The idea being for the plants to grow between the rocks as they will
not completely cover the sub. Just one layer close to each other on most of the bottom.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-01-2015, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noseprint View Post
I live in Portland, OR, and we have pretty amazing varieties of soils around here that have a high mineral content, and some with high clay, as well.
Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noseprint View Post
Where does the Miracle Gro Organic come from?
California or Georgia

Quote:
Originally Posted by noseprint View Post
I wish I had an extra tank to experiment with, but I'm a bit too poor at the moment. Has anyone done experiments with their local soil?
How big do you need? Petco has their $1/gal sale going on right now, makes it very affordable.

I am currently doing an experiment in a 10G with soil from my property paired with Nature's Care Organic (similar to MGOPM).
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mineralized top soil, oregon, portland, soil, substrate

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