Starting a Tank & I have floating substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Starting a Tank & I have floating substrate

Hello, I'm a new member and new to the planted tank world. I was offered an amazing deal for a 150 gallon tank with top and filter so I couldn't say no.

Anyway, I decided to go lowtech and purchased organic miracle grow potting soil but now after putting a bit of water in the tank I have found that instead of settling it is just floating to the top. It has been that way for about 24 hrs. Do I just have to keep waiting for it to settle?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 04:03 PM
drx
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Did you cap the dirt with gravel or sand? If not drain tank You want about 1-1.5 inch dirt and 1-1.5 gravel cap
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 04:22 PM
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Wow new to the planted tank world and already tackling a 150g? nice lol.

Personally I would avoid going the dirt tank route (too late now i suppose) especially since you are new to planted tanks. Using miracle grow doesn't necessarily make it low tech, it's just cheap dirt substrate that in my opinion, causes more trouble than it is worth. As Drx said, you will need to cap it with gravel or sand in order to keep the dirt from floating up every time you go to plant or replant anything. Hope everything works out with the dirted tank and looking forward to seeing some pictures. How much was the tank set?


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. The tank, base, glass top and canister filter was $100. And amazingly there are no scratches on it. I was going to do another poison dart tank but with such a quality aquarium with thick glass it seemed like a waste. I can build a cheap vivarium by getting thin glass and putting it on an old entertainment center for craigslist.

I'm actually a former organic farmer and I still sell plant starts so if I start over the substrate won't go to waste. What would be your go to that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg? I watched a couple videos from people lauding the potting soil method so I jumped for it...perhaps a little too quickly. I'm getting my sump now and draining the aquarium.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 03:10 AM
drx
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I like my dirted tank. Makes root feeding plants grow like crazy. But you do need to be more deprive on what fish you have in there as youndont want ones that borrow and whennplant something Its pretty much going to stay there as moving plants makes a mess.

For ulternitves there's kitty litter the really cheap stuff with out any dents or clumping agents . there's eco complty (little pricey) these all can hold onto nutrients well so your plants can use them. ads aqura soil(very pricey) is nutrient rich.

You could use an inert substrait like pea gravel ,pool filter sand, black dimonded blasting sand( depending on what fish you have anything that spends a lot of time on the bottom isn't good as this can be sharp)

Pea gravel and pool filter sand has the advantage of being really cheep. You will want to use root tabs under any of these

All three but the aqura soil should be rinsed very well befor going in your tank.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 05:19 AM
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did you sift the soil, miracle grow contains lots of pieces of wood and organics that would float and leach tannin. mineralize the soil, then cap the soil with a high cec substrate
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