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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone come across Target's organic potting soil? I was at my local store this past weekend and noticed a 20 lb. bag in the garden section for only $7. The product isn't listed online, but it was definitely available at the store I was at. I know that any organic potting soil should be good to use as a dirt substrate for fish tanks. I'm just wondering if anyone has come across this at their local Target. I know that MGOCPM is already a good value at $5 per 8 quart bag, but that 8 quart bag translates to about an 8 lbs. The Target organic potting soil is obviously an even better value. Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone a head's up for future reference. I'll post a picture later to show you what it looks like. I would've picked up a bag myself, but it's too much for the 10g I plan on dirting.
 

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i saw some there over the weekend. I might pick some up to use for my terrestrial plants first and see what it looks like. If it's got less twigs and wood then MG I'll give it a whirl. Screening the MG is a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I'm going to take the plunge and buy a bag today. Someone has to take the plunge. It might as well be me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
By comparison, a 16 quart bag of MGOCPM (17.5 lbs.) sells for $8 on Amazon, and the 32 quart bag sells for $10. It's still a great value all-around, but this soil does give you more for less money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I picked up my bag. I won't have time to open it tonight, but I'll probably be able to do so tomorrow. I'll take a pic of the soil as well as the back of the package (with the ingredients) as soon as I can.
 

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Would you post the ingredient list?

If it's too high in compost/manure, you may have constant issues with ammonia spikes and/or algae blooms unless you go through the steps to mineralize it first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Would you post the ingredient list?

If it's too high in compost/manure, you may have constant issues with ammonia spikes and/or algae blooms unless you go through the steps to mineralize it first.
If I remember correctly, it has no manure. I'm not sure about the compost although I don't think this should be an issue. I'll try to take a pic of the ingredients tonight so that I can post it tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also, according to the package, the soil contains no synthetic chemicals and no manure. Here's a link to the company website: http://ecoscraps.com/soil/

The soil supposedly looks like this (haven't opened the bag yet), but I'm not sure if this is the garden or potting soil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It would be fantastic if the potting soil actually looks like the picture in the previous post. Now I'm really curious about opening it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One other thing I wanted to mention is that the 8 quart bag (7.5 lbs.) sells for $7 (plus $3.99 shipping) on the company website, but it's the 20 lbs. bag that sells for $7 at Target.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I opened up the bag last night just to see what the soil looks like. There are definitely little sticks in there, but from what I could tell, most of the bag is filled with dirt. It doesn't look like it will be difficult to sift. The soil does have little white rocks in there as well, which I've discovered is perlite. Does anyone know if it's OK to leave this in the soil? At any rate, I'm going to try sifting tonight, so I'll have pictures of the soil posted tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Anyone have any opinions as to whether I should leave the perlite in the soil or sift it? As I understand it, it's harmless to livestock and actually helps keep soil from compacting. The only real negative is that it may float to the surface if it gets loose. However, a sand cap should keep it down. I'd only have to worry about the perlite if I uprooted plants, and even then, it should be fairly easy to net out the stuff that floats to the surface, correct?
 

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Perlite should be harmless.

It might work it's way to the surface eventually (like empty osmocote balls or sticks from MGOCPM, etc.), but it might also get waterlogged, I don't know.

If it does surface, it should be fairly easy to remove with a vacuum or something.

Or, if you don't want to put it in, soaking the soil, stirring it up, and pouring off the floaties should help, I think...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Perlite should be harmless.

It might work it's way to the surface eventually (like empty osmocote balls or sticks from MGOCPM, etc.), but it might also get waterlogged, I don't know.

If it does surface, it should be fairly easy to remove with a vacuum or something.

Or, if you don't want to put it in, soaking the soil, stirring it up, and pouring off the floaties should help, I think...
Thanks for being a great resource. I'll sift the soil, and when I'm ready to start planting, I'll soak the soil with water and dump anything that floats.
 

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Or, if you don't want to put it in, soaking the soil, stirring it up, and pouring off the floaties should help, I think...
I'd probably try that.

Depending on what fish you're going to stock, I'd worry that some of them might try eating the Perlite and getting constipated?

Other than the Perlite, sounds good! I look forward to seeing how it ends up working out for you.

I've used Miracle Gro organic potting soil quite a few times, and it's got lots and lots of bark chips. Other than needing to skim the surface for the first few days to remove floaters and having to recharge my Purigen every few days to deal with the inital release tannins from the bark, the chips weren't really a problem.
 

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If possible, I would try to sift the perlite out.
I use it with sphagnum peat moss for my Flytraps. Best I can describe,acts like little styrofoam balls. They are basically there to provide spacing so the soil doesnt get too compacted and help with drainage.

When I first mix a new Perlite/moss mix for my traps and add water, the perlite on top will float. When the water recedes, and the top layer gets dried out a bit, they will kind of attach themselves to the surrounding moss. They wont float again unless I over water.

I suggest removing them just so you dont have the headache of them finding themselves floating about your aquarium

http://www.perlite.net/
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was going to sift my Target potting soil last night, but after opening the bag, it appeared to me that this wasn't necessary. I think I'm just going to "wash" it whenever I'm ready to plant but only so I can remove as much of the floaties as possible. I've attached a picture of the soil. Does anyone who uses MGOCPM care to compare how this soil looks in comparison to yours?
 

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