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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up the huge bag. decided I would wash it out in a tub on my lawn. All the wood/bark/saw dust floated to the top. I pulled it all out and threw it all over my yard.
once the water settled and all I had left was 2 handfulls of dirt.
What a great deal. 10 bucks to 2 handfuls of dirt.
Not going to cover a 100 gallon tank. Would probably do my 10 gallon nice.

I am not going to just throw some stuff in my tank and cover it without washing it out.

Someone remind me why I am, not doing the process with dirt from my yard?

I will give this one more try tonight with that reads as dirt inside. 2.50 for a huge bag. It better have some dirt in it. :angryfire
 

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Whats with all the washing ideas lately???
There are tradeoffs to using it and I feel like I covered most of them in this thread.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/low-tech-forum/86457-55-gallon-low-tech-soil-sub.html

Included is the transition timeline and parameters on the tank as it aged as well. Use potting mix not soil as the soils all have cow manure.
It's use requires a proper capping material and an understanding of do's and don't with regards to scape changes.

Since setting the tank in this thread >2yrs ago I've done several more and now use 2" firmly pressed and measured without problems. Cap should be 1" and hang on to spare capping materials for touch up of thin spots for a long tanking journey and many trimmings, the tank will last a long time with the 'bark' left in the dirt. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I read your thread monday through friday last week, which had me amped up on miricle gro. (That thread is a beast and covers lots of things.)

I dont even have my 100g tank yet, it been ordered. So I thought I would get going on getting this stuff soaking

My bag of organics looked nothing as nice as yours.


The bark I threw out was so big I have no doubt it would of floated out of my gravel.
I have read that it will be hit or miss depending on location. Perhaps I would have better luck with several small bags as you have. I dont know. It is really frustrating to want to try something and you cant find any of it to work out.
 

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Hang in there! Without the challenge it wouldn't be as much fun. (I wanna hit people that say that LOL)
Try the smaller bag as it's a cheap check to see if the batch is different and hope you get through it. One of the kids here messed up and used the soil so He got a large nitrate jump right away but is riding it out to see how long it will take to settle and be stable.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...es-tankapalooza-zoo-free-admission-56k-5.html
 

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I picked up the huge bag. decided I would wash it out in a tub on my lawn. All the wood/bark/saw dust floated to the top. I pulled it all out and threw it all over my yard.
once the water settled and all I had left was 2 handfulls of dirt.
What a great deal. 10 bucks to 2 handfuls of dirt.
Not going to cover a 100 gallon tank. Would probably do my 10 gallon nice.

I am not going to just throw some stuff in my tank and cover it without washing it out.

Someone remind me why I am, not doing the process with dirt from my yard?

I will give this one more try tonight with that reads as dirt inside. 2.50 for a huge bag. It better have some dirt in it. :angryfire
Don't wash, sift. Loses the big particle and breaks the lumps down. I just use 1/8" metal screen and rub the dirt through like a cheese grater.
 

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Don't wash, sift. Loses the big particle and breaks the lumps down. I just use 1/8" metal screen and rub the dirt through like a cheese grater.
That would look like this and I've only done it once.




Screened results


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I picked up 2 smaller bags or organic miriclegro last night and 1 big bag of generic top soil.
I will try sifting it out. I was too lazy to open it since it was dark out and I was beat from work.
I tried feeling out the bags for large wood, I could not tell.

I cleaned out my 10 gallon with a few new plants getting started, and threw in the miraclegro from the first test run. Covered with sand. Filled it up with a plate on the bottom. Must of got 5 gallons of water in and that damn tank leaks now, I will have to move up to my 20 or 29 now.
I used this tank for 1 week 3 years ago when I moved. Guess I can go ahead and try to turn it into an algae scrubber for my 180 fish only tank.

Any good ideas on how to seperate the soil from pool filter sand once combined?
 

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5g bucket and a spray nozzle on a hose might work.
sand will settle faster stirred up by the hose pressure and hopefully you can overflow the dirt out the top. So sorry to read about more drama on the project.
 

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I did the same thing as you the first bucket of Miracle grow I tried rinsing out, after that I just picked out the big sticks, threw it in the tank dry, wetted it with a squirt bottle and capped it with sand and had no issues.
 

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I did the same thing as you the first bucket of Miracle grow I tried rinsing out, after that I just picked out the big sticks, threw it in the tank dry, wetted it with a squirt bottle and capped it with sand and had no issues.
current question is how to save the capping materials

any ideas on that?
 

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Oh, missed that part... The only *relatively* easy way I could think of, would be too move the 10g tank too a place where it wont damage anything by leaking (porch, bathtub, driveway) fill it and siphon carefully the sand off the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess I will do the bucket and hose over another tank and see if I can get the overflow to pour the dirt into the next tank...

I have 4 more tanks just sitting in the garage. I am sure one of them has to be good. :icon_mrgr
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, missed that part... The only *relatively* easy way I could think of, would be too move the 10g tank too a place where it wont damage anything by leaking (porch, bathtub, driveway) fill it and siphon carefully the sand off the top.
Yup! it is sitting on my porch. I checked it this morning on my way out and it is slowly leaking away. I am glad I picked the 10 gallon to start with. I could easily lift it with the water in it and run out the door.
 

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I guess I will do the bucket and hose over another tank and see if I can get the overflow to pour the dirt into the next tank...

I have 4 more tanks just sitting in the garage. I am sure one of them has to be good. :icon_mrgr
Hope it works and LEAK TEST those tanks first LMAO
 

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I only tossed bark pieces bigger than a finger/thumb nail or stick pieces with a larger diameter of punch pencil lead.

I poured my dirt a few scoops at a time out on a piece of cardboard and shifted it around with my hands and pulled out the ones I saw out by hand.
 

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yeah... about that.
I get home and check out the tank. Giant crack across the front. water level is holding just below the crack.

On the bright side I can finally get rid of 1 tank. :thumbsup:
turn it into a paludarium
 

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OOPSS apparentl i did mine wrong. i used osmocote top soil and i didn't wash. i did a fishelss plant cycle for 2 weeks and then dumped shrimp in.. everyone is fine

i didn't know we were supposed to wash it
you don't some people just like to, personally i would rather mineralize it so it rots a lot less in the tank
 
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