I messed up big-time. I'm new to soil substrate tanks and I started with a 75 gallon, oops. I used organic potting mix (mgrow) with a little dirt from a frequently flooded area in my backyard. I did not mineralize. I made a 1.5 inch layer of dirt mix and an inch of pool filter sand for cap. I planted a bunch of plants and 4/days into the project it's a complete disaster. Obviously I messed up not mineralizing, I saw posts online where people skipped it and I thought that fish were the reason you did it (excess ammonia), not anoxic meltdown. The gas is everywhere under the substrate. I pulled most of the plants out and put them in a tank I have on a screened porch to hopefully hold them for a while since I lost half of them to melting. I drained my tank halfway trying to vac the dead plant material out and I have an air stone going with my canister filter shut off for now. It's almost 2 am and I am exhausted and feeling defeated. What I am wondering is if it could be saved. Should I just take the plants out and let the dirt run its course poking the hell out of it? Leave some in and just keep running air (I didn't do that until yesterday) Or should I take all the dirt and sand out and set it the sun, re wetting and drying? Or do I have to start completely over with new dirt and mineralize next time (I am guessing that's the answer but I have hope). I realize that I rushed and I knew better. I get really excited about this hobby and I got carried away. My friends and family don't get it (the hobby) and think I'm obsessed. I don't know what's wrong with being really into something like this rather than watching TV endlessly or some other waste of time. The bad part is they were watching my panic when i was pulling plants out when i realized what was happening and and had a ”told you your crazy attitude" anyway who cares...went off topic, I'm tired.. Any feedback and advice would be immensely appreciated. I'm going to bed.
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