Wonder Top Soil - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2004, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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While I was at Home Depot I picked up a bag of Wonder Top Soil(40lb for $2), and Play Sand(50lb for $4)...on the bag it says "Good quality topsoil with sand and low clay content", so I assume this would be an ideal additive? Should I submerge it for 3 weeks first? Is Plant Compost better?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2004, 05:05 PM
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Personally, I'd be a little terrified of using compost. Does the soil have manure or urea in it?

I'm interested in hearing from The Soily Ones on this.

Edit: oh, another thing, too. I picked up a bag of sand at a local garden center. When I got home, I just wasn't comfortable. It looked OK, kind of a nice brown color. So I got a glass, put a little muriatic acid in, and a pinch or two of sand. Certain elements in the sand began to bubble.
-bzzzt! No good!

Better check that sand...

James
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 12:59 AM
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Raul could have the same problem with his play sand. In most coastal areas play sand is going to be beach sand and could have a lot of carbonates in it. Here in Oregon the play sand is like flour. Not good at all.

Raul, I would submerge that soil for a MINIMUM of three weeks.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 02:33 AM
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Avoid the plant compost. The people that have had bad experiences with soil tanks used soils with a lot of compost type material in them. Oh, add some clay to the soil, wetland soils typically have some clay in them.

Sean

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 02:52 AM
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I also heard that using soil with urea was trouble. But, I believe you use urea to fertilize, Sean? But, you also have green water as a part of your tank cycles as well. Is the green water an unavoidable part of your fertilization routine? OT, I know, but not that far OT.

James
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 03:18 AM
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Urea is an ammonia compound. Don't use it unless your THE master underwater gardener.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 03:25 AM
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No, I'm not anywhere near doing that myself. But I am curious about it, and the control over K+ it gives you in your dosing by avoiding KNO3, and just how it is that Sean skirts disaster using it. His plant tanks are quite interesting.

James
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaverde
I also heard that using soil with urea was trouble. But, I believe you use urea to fertilize, Sean? But, you also have green water as a part of your tank cycles as well. Is the green water an unavoidable part of your fertilization routine? OT, I know, but not that far OT.
I get green water in one tank (the ten gallon) that I use Flourish on. My other tanks won't turn green even when I add green water from that ten gallon tank to them. It's not the urea, its phosphate, if I switch the ten gallon tank to my mix the green water fades.

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Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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So I should submerge it first for 3 weeks, then use it to cover a layer of laterite? Would I need to mix some peat in with the top soil? No, it's top soil...it doesn't contain any organic content. Sean, have you tried this brand of top soil?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul-7
So I should submerge it first for 3 weeks, then use it to cover a layer of laterite? Would I need to mix some peat in with the top soil? No, it's top soil...it doesn't contain any organic content. Sean, have you tried this brand of top soil?
No, I have never heard of it. peat=plant compost in my book, personally I'll always avoid them, but others have gotten away with using them.

The reason you are submerging it for 3 weeks is to, in a way, wash away the nutrient blast before it goes in your tank, you might want to change the water daily while you have it submerged. To ensure complete decomposition I have recommend, to others, alternate wet and dry conditions where the soil is allowed to completely dry out between soakings. You should be able to get the soil wet, leave it submerged for a couple days, and then stir it up and not get a really funky smell. I would mix the laterite into the soil after it has passed this test, layering is a waste of time IMHO unless you need it to measure your proportions.

Edit inserted:
Clarification:
Layering a cap of gravel over the soil is a good idea. I just meant the layering of the laterite and the soil would be a waste.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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