Is there any dirt sold at Home depot acceptable for a dirt aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Is there any dirt sold at Home depot acceptable for a dirt aquarium?

I went to home depot and they don't have the Miracle-Gro Model Organic Choice anymore. The website said there is no location within 100 miles of me that has that anymore.

I know I use to see it there all the time but not anymore. Now they have Nature's care by miracle gro instead.

Is there anything that can be used which is available at home depot for a dirt aquarium?


I was thinking of doing like a 10 gallon outside just to raise plants.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 11:03 AM
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The Natures Care will work.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 01:20 PM
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I bought it at Loew's so Home Depot may have "Miracle Grow Organic Choice Gardening
Soil." It was about $8 a 40# bag.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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I bought it at Loew's so Home Depot may have "Miracle Grow Organic Choice Gardening
Soil." It was about $8 a 40# bag.
They use to. They had it all the time and I even have purchased it before for my garden.

They are completely out of it and there is no a home depot within 100 miles which have it. They actually have a way that you can check online.

As far as I can tell, they stop selling it so they could sell " nature's care organic soil instead(which is also from Miracle gro)

Thanks.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 01:18 PM
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If you're not going to put fish in the tank you can pretty much use any organic soil.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 04:36 PM
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I used the organic sunsoil, I believe it's called, from home depot once, worked well and didn't mess with my water. I didn't buy it again just because of how much wood/sticks were in it (more than miracle grow)

I now use the cheap black earth Wal-Mart sells (love it! Its just dirt), I contacted the company that "makes" it and they don't add anything to it but can't mark it as organic just because they get it from different forests, so technically it's not land designated as organic.
My plants and fish were quite happy, nothing about my water was funny with it.

If you are not planning to ever put fish in though, you can use basically any dirt you want.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-12-2015, 05:05 PM
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Scotts premium topsoil is fantastic stuff. It isn't hot like miracle grow which is pure organic material with lots of nutrient release up front (ammonia spike)


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Scotts premium topsoil is fantastic stuff. It isn't hot like miracle grow which is pure organic material with lots of nutrient release up front (ammonia spike)

Is this organic?

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Originally Posted by tuffgong View Post
If you're not going to put fish in the tank you can pretty much use any organic soil.
Yeah, I was thinking of doing a planted tank only outside so if I screwed up, there would be no animals hurt.

The main purpose would be to get lots of plants to use in my different aquariums.

Since there are no fish in it and I don't care about algae, it would probably grow well under the sun and with lots of fertilizers.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 06:15 AM
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Is this organic?
It is a proper soil with some organics, some clay and some sand. It is not a pure organic substrate like miracle grow.

I'd guess the % organics are 30-40% and the rest is clay/sand which helps hold the nutrients in place for many years.

Miracle grow is 100% organic material, like chicken poop, leaves etc... It has a tendency to dump all its nutrients up front in the first few months then settle down over time. The initial ammonia spike can be deadly to fish and plants and cause algae which is why many people mineralize this particular soil.

Scott's topsoil and other soil like it does not need to be mineralized since it is not as "hot." It settles down in a week or so, and is ready to go and because of the clay content you don't need to mess around with adding back clay and sand to get a better substrate mix. The clay holds nutrients long term and helps prevent unwanted chemical changes in the soil.

I think the main reason people use miracle grow over other better soils is because of brand recognition and possibly a larger supply base across the country. While miracle grow can work, it is not the best soil for aquatic plants. It is much better suited for garden plants where different environmental factors make it a good choice.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 10:56 AM
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I found a bag of the miracle grow at Kmart. I would think if you mineralize the dirt you bought you can avoid the nasty spikes.
I am in the process of mineralizing right now...seems simple enough. wet down the dirt, let it sit. Then put it out in the sun to dry. I plan on doing that process 2-3 times and then mixing it with flourite and capping with black diamond blasting sand.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 02:21 AM
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I did a thread several months ago stating that MGOCPM was being discontinued. I got several bags of it for free from my local Home Depot as they phased them out. MG is definitely being replaced with Nature's Care from what the garden associate told me. There are still a few bag lingering around but it's the surplus bags.

I doubt if mineralizing MG is the same as Mineralized top soil that we put together ourselves. MG organic should be put directing in the tank for use. You can do a dsm and it will help with ammonia. Doing a dsm keep the soil moist and allow this ammonia a chance to release prior to flooding the tank. If your will flood from the start, you can sift to rid of the large pieces only, or what ever you'd like but minerializing it probably isn't the greatest idea. Why, I have accidental experience with it. Two years ago, I had bought (6) bag of it because I thought I was ready to set up tanks. I never did that year or the following year. I had already opened 4 of those bags and placed them in a large 50 gallon tub so that I can sift out the large pieces. I did a thread about sift MG after I had already started sifing. Wkndracer (I am sure the name isn't right) but he is the Dirt Fraternity starter. He chimed in on that thread and pretty much stated just dump the MG in, cap and plant. Sifting the MG and you will pretty much throw away 50% of your decomposible material. That shortens the life of the dirt. So I stopped sifting and mixed what I had back into the 50 gallon tub. That dirt stayed there for nearly 2 years. I periodically used it to practice laying out scapes from time to time. Earlier this year, I attempted to use the dried out dirt to start my 125g growout tank. That didn't go so well. The dirt had to be water logged because it was so dry. I was only willing to set it sit for 2 weeks in which only 1/2 of it become logged. I just couldn't deal with the awful smell of trying to water log it so I tossed it.

In my experience, drying out MG back fired and I wasted money in the process. I am not saying don't do it, I am just saying, there is a reason why no one mineralizes MG.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 02:19 PM
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Go to a garden supply place with a 5 gal bucket and buy a few shovel's full of regular top soil. Don't fuss with all that other stuff.
I have a 2' layer of topsoil from a dump truck pile in my back yard in my 38gal planted tank under Flouite.
I has been a year up and running great.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbone11 View Post
Go to a garden supply place with a 5 gal bucket and buy a few shovel's full of regular top soil. Don't fuss with all that other stuff.
I have a 2' layer of topsoil from a dump truck pile in my back yard in my 38gal planted tank under Flouite.
I has been a year up and running great.
2 feet! Just how many tanks you plan on setting up, lol. Just kidding. I am sure it serves another purpose. Way to make good use of resources you already have though. Dirt in any form has pretty good cation. I like the MG because it basically recharges itself over time. For a low tech or med level tank, this is a plus. High tech tanks would use the nutrients at a faster rate before everything has a chance to recharge.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 04:23 PM
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2 feet! Just how many tanks you plan on setting up, lol. Just kidding. I am sure it serves another purpose. Way to make good use of resources you already have though. Dirt in any form has pretty good cation. I like the MG because it basically recharges itself over time. For a low tech or med level tank, this is a plus. High tech tanks would use the nutrients at a faster rate before everything has a chance to recharge.
Two feet ???? No wonder there is water all over the floor.
Two inches works much, much, better.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
It is a proper soil with some organics, some clay and some sand. It is not a pure organic substrate like miracle grow.

I'd guess the % organics are 30-40% and the rest is clay/sand which helps hold the nutrients in place for many years.

Miracle grow is 100% organic material, like chicken poop, leaves etc... It has a tendency to dump all its nutrients up front in the first few months then settle down over time. The initial ammonia spike can be deadly to fish and plants and cause algae which is why many people mineralize this particular soil.

Scott's topsoil and other soil like it does not need to be mineralized since it is not as "hot." It settles down in a week or so, and is ready to go and because of the clay content you don't need to mess around with adding back clay and sand to get a better substrate mix. The clay holds nutrients long term and helps prevent unwanted chemical changes in the soil.

I think the main reason people use miracle grow over other better soils is because of brand recognition and possibly a larger supply base across the country. While miracle grow can work, it is not the best soil for aquatic plants. It is much better suited for garden plants where different environmental factors make it a good choice.
Hmm this is interesting info...I know that Diana Walstad had favored MCOG because being organic there wasn't a dump of synthetic fertilizers into the water column...do you have any data (even if it's just anecdotal) that shows that the top soil you use is not as hot? I just got a bag of MCOG a while a go unopened and would be interested in switching especially if there is clay in the TS for higher CEC.
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