Correct soil / Osmocote? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Correct soil / Osmocote?

I went shopping to a big box store today and realized I didn't know what I was looking for.

Are any of these a good soil for a capped substrate? I looked for 'organic' in the name but I wasn't sure.








Also, are any of these what people like to call 'osmocote'?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:04 AM
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Organic Choice Potting Mix is the right stuff... the first bag, kinda clay colored border. I got the same stuff... from Home Depot as well.

Osmocote isn't sold much in Canada afaik. Some people in the SnS sell it in capsules though. Technically you could use any ferts as long as the numbers are good, for example the numbers on the front of the bags are the percentage (by weight) of nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium in the mix. The rest is listed on the back of the bag. Osmocote Plus looks like it's 15-9-12, released over a 3-6 month period (according to the bag).
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:12 AM
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Umm...becareful on those frets. Osmacote is time release. Unless those other are you may have one nasty spike.

One of the big reasons to use a "dirt" floor is to NOT have to use root ferts.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Umm...becareful on those frets. Osmacote is time release. Unless those other are you may have one nasty spike.

One of the big reasons to use a "dirt" floor is to NOT have to use root ferts.
Agreed. I doubt you will need any type of additional root fertilization for a year or two using MGOPS. That's the beauty of it. Dirt. Cap. Water. Plants. Enjoy.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Those ones I lined up because they had 'osmosis conducive coating' or something along those lines. I figured osmocote comes from those terms. They were time released, but I'm glad I will just be able to use the soil.

Is the NPK on the miracle grow organic choice potting mix of 0.1-0.05-0.05 going to be ok or will this leach unnecessary nutrients?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:05 AM
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0.1-0.05-0.05 is weaker than coffee grounds don't worry about it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:07 AM
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Those ones I lined up because they had 'osmosis conducive coating' or something along those lines. I figured osmocote comes from those terms. They were time released, but I'm glad I will just be able to use the soil.

Is the NPK on the miracle grow organic choice potting mix of 0.1-0.05-0.05 going to be ok or will this leach unnecessary nutrients?
Thus far I've done 3 MGOPS tanks, my 5 gallon leached like CRAZY, my 90 gallon didn't leach at all, and my 30 gallon was somewhere in between. I've come to the personal conclusion that it's hit or miss. The stuff in the bag is dirt after all, it's ingredients may vary.

Things I have learned doing MGOPS. Use an 1" to 1 & 1/2" and cap that with an 1" to 1 & 1/2". When filling the tank put a plate in there so as to not "break the cap" ...that gets messy. You don't need to clean it. Sifting out the little sticks is optional. If it does leach, from my experiences it's not toxic for the fish or anything, just unsightly. It will smell like dirt for a while, don't freak out. If you have the patience it's best to do a fishless cycle and get the biological filtration up and running a bit before adding fish. That said, you can add fish immediately but be prepared for multiple water changes in the first few weeks as the soil spikes things once in a while (I only recommend this if you plant HEAVILY from day one, if not do the fishless cycle). Take your time before planting and plan it out, you don't want to be re-scaping everyday. That said, you can move plants as long as your slow and patient. Oh...and the plants grow like they are on crack.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dax. I've had planted aquariums for coming on 20 years now but funnily enough, never with soil so this is a somewhat new experience.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:36 AM
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The dirt will stay fertilized enough for at least a year I'd guess. You can always add root tabs in later though.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 05:10 AM
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Thanks Dax. I've had planted aquariums for coming on 20 years now but funnily enough, never with soil so this is a somewhat new experience.
I got into it totally by accident. I've had aquariums for ever...then I decided to spoil an Angel fish I had and get it some live plants, like a couple...one or two.

Well, they were alive, but doing much, that led me to google...which led me here...then I stumbled across some of Plantbrains and many of the other people's tanks on here...it was all over then. I had never seen a seriously planted tank...was ignorant to how striking they can be.

So I ended up with Diane Walstad's book, read some of it, googled more, then did an small experiment with a 5 gallon I had laying around using MGOP...just to see if it was for real. To weeks later a plant that never grew an inch was growing out the top of the tank....long story short, few months later and this 90 gallon garden is in my basement...

Attachment 38414


Hey, it has fish too...almost forgot.

MGOP is amazing...some of my plants have literally doubled in size in a month. No Co2 (yet), no ferts, and stupid low lighting. Plus, I really have no clue what I'm doing...so if I can pull it off anyone can.

Last edited by Daximus; 03-05-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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