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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasn't sure whether or not to start a new thread or add to the sticky so I hope I'm not being to redundant.

I am trying the topsoil method since I am going to have to tear down my tank and start over due to the horrible algae problem and I am slowly gathering the things I need.

I bought 2 40lbs bags of topsoil and have watered and dried over a period of almost 2 weeks. I then sifted the soil through chicken wire and through mesh so it now looks, feels, and smells like beach sand. Did I sift it too much? should I try to add some of the small rocks and barks that were in it prior to the mesh sifting? I'm just worried that I won't have the proper nutrients that these topsoils should have. Thanks for your help
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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I've seen the mineralized soil that Torpedobarb does. His has a texture almost like flour, real fine, powder like and black. When you are ready to add it to the tank, you should mix clay into the soil and lay down a thin layer of dolomite and potash. This will "enhance" the nutrients in the soil and will add to the soil's productivity. Leave out the organic material, this was the reason for all the sifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. The only thing is that the color of the dirt is brown and not black. I guess this has to do with the topsoil itself.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Most likely it is a geographical color difference. The topsoil I got here in FL was mostly sand (quartz). I was amazed when I saw the difference in my soil and the soil sample I got from Torpedobarb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have extremely high pH in my tap water so I'm hoping the dolomite won't be a problem. From what I've read, it seems like it shouldn't leach into the water and its purpose is to keep the acidity of the mineralized topsoil from dropping too much.
 
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