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I'm setting up my first dirted tank, was planning to use this dirt. I sifted it to remove the wooden bits and noticed that it has vermiculite in it. Is the vermiculite ok to use? Anyone have experience with this soil ?
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I just added water to the bucket of sifted soil, it all floats. I think it's like coconut coir mostly. Similar to seed starting mix. I think I'll find something else.
 

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Most bags of container mixes are going to be similar. They aren't mineral soils like you'd find outside and are almost entirely organic material. (They technically aren't soil at all.) If you want something totally different, you'll have to get out of this product class.

Vermiculite and perlite is safe in the tank, but perlite will always float, so if they have a chance to slip through the cap they will. Speaking of, you are planning to use a cap on your soil, right?
 

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I used that very product myself when I started my tank earlier this month. I sifted first to try to remove some of the wood (processed forest product) and peat. yikes. Wasn't much left. I would not use it again. I have since read ingredients very carefully and reject "forest product" ingredients, since I don't want my bacteria busy breaking down wood. I did find a bag of something that listed worm castings first and other compost. Seems much more what we need.
 

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You don't want to use potting soils. They always have Perlite that floats or Vermiculite that as time goes by turns into goo. You want a composted mix..some sands mixed in. I see that sold as various garden soil additives. No fertilizer beads in them either.
 

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I used this stuff as well, all sifted I got 3 gallon sized bags worth. Wouldnt get it again, I just ordered Dynadirt from Home Depot for $10. It’s the only “dirt” I can find meant for aquatic plants. It’s essentially loam and sand, I’m going to mix it with my old AS and some STS when I redo my tank in the next few weeks
 

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Vermiculite and perlite are rocks and won't turn to mush.

I used this stuff as well, all sifted I got 3 gallon sized bags worth. Wouldnt get it again, I just ordered Dynadirt from Home Depot for $10. It’s the only “dirt” I can find meant for aquatic plants. It’s essentially loam and sand, I’m going to mix it with my old AS and some STS when I redo my tank in the next few weeks
I was not familiar with this product, but apparently it's reed sedge peat and sand. From a soil science perspective this is in no way loam and functionally going to be similar to if you mixed a soiless mix (miraclegro et al.) with some sand. I'm unclear what benefits the sand adds, but I'm not saying that it necessarily would be bad to use.
 

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I had used the product for my planted tank. All my plants grow health roots. It's annoying to see vermiculite floating one the surface when I pull the plant out. I have recently switched to Miracle-gro performance organic raise bed soil. They were made from similar material but no vermiculite. I bought it from Ace Hardware. I topped it with one inch of pool filter sand (also from Ace hardware. Their pool filter sand is much cleaner than that from home depot).
 

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Vermiculite and perlite are rocks and won't turn to mush.



I was not familiar with this product, but apparently it's reed sedge peat and sand. From a soil science perspective this is in no way loam and functionally going to be similar to if you mixed a soiless mix (miraclegro et al.) with some sand. I'm unclear what benefits the sand adds, but I'm not saying that it necessarily would be bad to use.
I was incorrect about loam, sorry. It’s just reed sedge peat and sand. Based on what I can gather, reed sedge is a more desirable form of peat as it’s a little more nutritious than moss peat and richer in humics.

In regards to the miracle gro, I had the garden soil version and not the potting mix. I actually just sifted what I had left of it which was 3 gallon plastic bags. After sifting it’s now a 1 gallon bag. What’s left is a nice, sandy and airy mix.
 

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Vermiculite will turn to goo in potted plant soils,but that its way of holding water and with peat developing bacteria coatings. Its does also dissolve eventually even if the internet articles argue that simple fact.
Last but not least- I think both have dust that's carcinogenic- especially vermiculite as one ingredient is asbestos.
For aquariums,I don't see any use for them at all.
 

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I was incorrect about loam, sorry. It’s just reed sedge peat and sand. Based on what I can gather, reed sedge is a more desirable form of peat as it’s a little more nutritious than moss peat and richer in humics.

In regards to the miracle gro, I had the garden soil version and not the potting mix. I actually just sifted what I had left of it which was 3 gallon plastic bags. After sifting it’s now a 1 gallon bag. What’s left is a nice, sandy and airy mix.
I don't really know that much about reed sedge peat, but Miracle Gro usually has extra additives for nutrition as well. I bet they both would work. I actually used the a garden soil version for my tanks as well. I couldn't say for sure if it's the same version because it seems like they have made a lot of changes to their organic line (and also I don't remember exactly what my bag said...), but I'm sure it's similar. The big advantage over the potting mix is no perlite to deal with!

Vermiculite will turn to goo in potted plant soils,but that its way of holding water and with peat developing bacteria coatings. Its does also dissolve eventually even if the internet articles argue that simple fact.
Last but not least- I think both have dust that's carcinogenic- especially vermiculite as one ingredient is asbestos.
For aquariums,I don't see any use for them at all.
I agree that I vermiculite doesn't bring anything to the table as a planted tank substrate, but I have never seen it turn to goo or dissolve an appreciable amount in terrestrial applications. As for asbestos, my understanding is the issue is isolated to contaminated vermiculite mined from a particular area prior to 1990. But it's good practice to avoid inhaling dust particles as a rule.
 

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I used black and gold organic potting soil. I dumped it in a large container, filled it with water, mixed and scooped out as much floating junk as I could. Took the mud that left and dried it as much as I could over a few days then dumped it in the tank. Covered it with play sand. Bam! Plants are growing like weeds in my lawn.
 

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That sounds about right. A good cleaning,but not exhausting it of the organics fuel.
I used to use potting soil all the time for my aquarium plants as far back as the 80's...I just used pots...never did try it under the gravels. Plus,I always used undergravel filters back then.
 

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That sounds about right. A good cleaning,but not exhausting it of the organics fuel.
I used to use potting soil all the time for my aquarium plants as far back as the 80's...I just used pots...never did try it under the gravels. Plus,I always used undergravel filters back then.
Lol I think we ALL used undergravel filters back then 😂😂😂. When I did dirted tanks I just baked my compost and added guano, mixed it with water to make mud and then layered crushed lava rock, laterite and coarse sand and then capped it with pool sand. I had wonderful results... Though perlite and vermiculite aren't necessarily harmful to the tank chemistry or fish themselves if you get enough of it floating around it can mess with your filters.
 
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