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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so I've been reading every thread available with regards to using MGOCPM and a sand cap. I just wanted to make sure I have all my ducks in a row:

- 8 quart bag should easily be enough for a 10g

- Sift MGOCPM (seems like more people choose to sift)

- Add 1 inch layer of MGOCPM to tank

- Add enough water to turn the soil into mud without having the water rise above the soil line

- Compact the soil using plastic glove or bag

- Wash sand as necessary to remove smaller, dust particles

- Add at least 1 inch of sand to cap dirt

- Using a plate or plastic bag, slowly add water so that it is about an inch above the sand line

- Plant all plants in the sand substrate

- Raise water level slowly

- Allow sand to completely settle before running the filter

Am I missing anything?
 

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Sounds pretty good.

I'd slightly change the filling/planting part, and put in the dirt already wet, then add the sand, and mist it heavily with a spraybottle to get it wet. Then plant, it's easier to do this without water. Continue to mist the sand and plants while you are planting.

Then fill when done.

I've done this with unwashed substrate and had crystal clear water from the beginning. I'm not certain, but I think the heavy misting helps wash the fines lower down into the substrate, so that they are less likely to get stirred up into the water column.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds pretty good.

I'd slightly change the filling/planting part, and put in the dirt already wet, then add the sand, and mist it heavily with a spraybottle to get it wet. Then plant, it's easier to do this without water. Continue to mist the sand and plants while you are planting.

Then fill when done.

I've done this with unwashed substrate and had crystal clear water from the beginning. I'm not certain, but I think the heavy misting helps wash the fines lower down into the substrate, so that they are less likely to get stirred up into the water column.
Sounds good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How wet should the dirt be when I put it in the tank? Does it need to be runny or just wet enough so that I can compact it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I'm not going to be planting until the end of next week at the earliest, should I wait to add the dirt and sand cap until then, or can I put the substrate in and let it sit until I'm ready to order my plants?
 

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I'd go with whatever feels easiest to work with. Going absolutely dry can cause some issues, since once soil drys out completely, it's sometimes slow to absorb water again.

Runny sounds difficult to work with, so I imagine anywhere betwixt the two should work fine.

Not sure if there is much point setting it up before hand, it might dry out and cause problems, or you'll have to keep it wet/damp, which is more effort.

Adding the dirt and cap doesn't take much time, it's usually the planting and such that eats up the most time when I build a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd go with whatever feels easiest to work with. Going absolutely dry can cause some issues, since once soil drys out completely, it's sometimes slow to absorb water again.

Runny sounds difficult to work with, so I imagine anywhere betwixt the two should work fine.

Not sure if there is much point setting it up before hand, it might dry out and cause problems, or you'll have to keep it wet/damp, which is more effort.

Adding the dirt and cap doesn't take much time, it's usually the planting and such that eats up the most time when I build a tank.
OK. I guess I'll hold off on putting it into the tank. Is it OK to sift the dirt right now and re-bag it so that it's ready to go when my plants come in?
 

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I am a month late but oh well. I started up a lil debate last year in regards to sifting miracle grow. Some do and some don't, but in all reality what it came down to what that you shouldn't. Two reasons. 1) you will end up getting rid of nearly half of your product. 2) you are getting rid of material that will break down over time that provides nutrients for the tank. The main reason why mgopm is the choice to use in premixed form unless you do the mts method.
 
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