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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this stuff safe to use? I have heard that some potting soils can be toxic when put in a tank. I really want a soil type substrate that is nutrient rich to cut down on add in ferts (plus I like the look and it's more natural for plant root to grow in soil instead of gravel). I would most likely do a dry start with this also, using hairgrass instead of HC. Thoughts? Comments?


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Generally speaking, most of the people on this forum who don't mineralize top soil use the Miracle Gro organic potting soil for their dirted tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by mineralized top soil? Is that just the addition of ferts like root tabs, or something more complex?


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Excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by mineralized top soil? Is that just the addition of ferts like root tabs, or something more complex?


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I'm no expert, but as I understand it, top soil has little to no nutrients, so you have to mineralize it in order to provide it with the nutrients your plants will need. Here's a thread that talks about how to mineralize top soil:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=152027
 

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I don't know about the potting soil, but a lot of people (including myself) have had good results just up and using Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix straight out of the bag.

I believe mineralizing top soil actually breaks down a lot of the organics, and leaves it a little more stable (plus, they add some ferts).

However, if you are going low-tech, having a substrate with organic components that is slowly decaying (MGOCPM, for example), provides slightly elevated CO2 levels for the plants. No where near what you need for high-light, but it helps with the low-light plants/tanks.
 

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You may consider sifting the Miracle Gro soil too....there's lots of wood in it. Not terrible, but if you ever move anything around you'll get little pieces of it floating everywhere.

I just use one of the screen tops I keep around for my terrariums, nothing fancy.
 
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