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I'll admit I'm not the best about daily dosing. I would like it much better to dose say once a week during water changes, so I need a quick primer on soil.

I have seen organic choice poting soil at home depot, and I have no place to make mts, so this is what I'll use.

What kind of ammendments do you/should I add? I know oyster or egg shells are good for calcium. What about for iron to promote reds?

I know I'm supposed to put a layer of cap around the edges, but do I plant then back fill with the cap for support? Or just plant in the cap? Seems like I would want the roots to be in immediate contact with the soil.

How long will it take for the soil to go through its ammonia cycle?

Any other tips?
 

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Recommend using Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix NOT potting soil.
I have two threads that should be very helpful.
water parameters, setup pics and timelines are in both.
saw an ammonia spike and cycle on this tank
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/low-tech-forum/86457-55-gallon-low-tech-soil-sub.html

This dirt tank skipped the cycle and was safe from the first day
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...bum/131940-stainless-2-story-56k-warning.html

I don't care for adding shells or coral because you have no control over parameter shifts once it's in the system.
 

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What about the soil itself did you sift it? I sifted mine and not sure if I should only use the fine stuff or if there are minerals I'm missing out by using the medium size particle? Any help would be great.
 

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I never sifted the soil prior to today for a different purpose.
I removed any 'lumber' large chucks and leave everything else.
Did both of the tanks the same way in the linked threads in that regard.
The organics are the time release plant food.
HTH
 
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