Organic Top soil - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Organic Top soil

Im planning on using top soil only because i bought 2 bags of it already. I heard people sifting their soil before using. is this step a necessary step?

This soil will be have some red clay, and red lava rock mixed into it so it won't be to compact. does this mixture sounds right?


Also, im still new to aqualandscaping so please excuse me for my lack of knowledge.


All this will be put inside a 50Gal. tank with a sunsun 502 canister filter.


-mr.BIG
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 04:01 PM
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Plenty of folk's use miracle grow organic choice so I see no issue with organic top soil.
I have used both.
Would note that the organic material can give rise to elevated ammonia level's so I would plant heavily from the start while holding off on fishes for a month minimum.
Plant's will rapidly take up the ammonia/ammonium for fuel for growth, but the ammonia might be too much for fishes right away so best to let the tank mature for a bit.
Also would note that too much light,plus ammonia possibly leaching from the soil initially, could result (prolly) in algae bloom.
Lot's of fast growing plant's from the get go will minimize algae.
Can keep or swap out the plant's later.
Best in my view to begin with conservative light period say, 6 hours for a few week's, then up the photo period to eight hour's for a few week's ,then maybe ten hour's if all is going well.
I only sift dirt to get out the wood which could work it's way back to the surface.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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roadmaster, when you say that the plants can be swapped out later, do you think it might be a decent idea to plant fast growing plants in pots first so they can soak up the ammonia first? If so, what plants are those types? if there is a plant section that will give me detail information about them in this form, please direct me towards it.

Also, are there any way that i can get rid of the mass ammonia in the soil first before i start adding in the water? I am going to be rising out the dirt first making it into a dry muddy thing to work with. i won't be putting it in dry.

Thank you by the way for your response.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.BIG View Post
roadmaster, when you say that the plants can be swapped out later, do you think it might be a decent idea to plant fast growing plants in pots first so they can soak up the ammonia first? If so, what plants are those types? if there is a plant section that will give me detail information about them in this form, please direct me towards it.

Also, are there any way that i can get rid of the mass ammonia in the soil first before i start adding in the water? I am going to be rising out the dirt first making it into a dry muddy thing to work with. i won't be putting it in dry.

Thank you by the way for your response.
-mr.BIG

Might search "mineralizing soil for planted aquarium" and see if this suit's you.
I never went to the trouble, just dumped the dirt in my tank after sifting out twig's/rocks ,and covered it with black diamond blasting media or sand,and filled it half way with water and stuck the plant's in the dirt.Then filled the tank the rest of the way.
Fast grower's I used were Leopard Val's.Water sprite,Hygrophila.
I placed enough plant's in the substrate so that I could not place my hand flat on the substrate anywhere, without some part of my hand touching plant's.
some of the plant's I also used were easy slower growing such as crypt's,and anubia,java fern but at first,,,the majority were fast grower's.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Road Master, i am going to look up mineralizing now. and ill grab those plants or atlease look at their profile and there growing rate and compare to stuff that i might be interested in.

I use to be on a car fourm... can i give credit where it due?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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I've been working on the top soil, but with all this rain, it's hard To dry it out.
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