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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Gravel?

I going to need some gravel for a 55 gallon? what would you recommend? need to be a smaller grain and can be river rock or black. If you could leave some links below.Also could some one leave a link for pool filter sand?
 

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I think it depends on if you want to sift/mineralize the dirt first, or just put it in straight from the bag. I've only done the latter, which one 50 lb bag would be plenty.

The gravel, 1.5-2" would be about 50 lbs, and I think it's up to you if you want less than that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I think it depends on if you want to sift/mineralize the dirt first, or just put it in straight from the bag. I've only done the latter, which one 50 lb bag would be plenty.

The gravel, 1.5-2" would be about 50 lbs, and I think it's up to you if you want less than that...
how do you mineralive it
?
 

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It's a process advocated by Tom Barr generally done with top soil, not potting mix. But you basically soak the dirt, let it completely dry out (generally laid out on a tarp or something), then repeat two more times.

Even if you don't bother doing that, but sift the dirt, I'm pretty sure MGOCPM has lots of bark and such in it, so you'd end up with a lot less... but I've never bothered so I'm not sure exactly how much less.
 

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It's a process advocated by Tom Barr generally done with top soil, not potting mix. But you basically soak the dirt, let it completely dry out (generally laid out on a tarp or something), then repeat two more times.
I think it's more complicated than that. Doesn't it involve adding clay and some sort of fertilizer/nutrients?
 

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Even if you don't bother doing that, but sift the dirt, I'm pretty sure MGOCPM has lots of bark and such in it, so you'd end up with a lot less... but I've never bothered so I'm not sure exactly how much less.
I've done a couple small tanks, one with sifted MGOCPM, and one with unsifted MGOCPM. The tank with the unsifted got a couple twigs and wood chunks on the substrate surface after a couple months. didn't really bother me, and that's about the only difference I noticed.

When I sifted the remaining MGOCPM, I'm guessing I had at least 1/2 a bag left of a 16qt bag.

Ended up with maybe ~1/2 gallon (probably less) of stuff (rocks, bark, chunks of wood) that I couldn't crush or squeeze through the mesh I was using. I imagine it could vary from batch to batch and maybe from location to location.

Also, one of the benefits of a dirted substrate is that the decomposing organics raise the CO2 levels slightly in the tank. I think this effect may be lessened (or lost entirely) if you mineralize the dirt. Not certain though.
 
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