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i have some miracle gro organic soil, and i don't know what substrate i need or if miracle gro will be right choice, i also have bought a large bag of gravel thats small about 2-4 mm in diameter at most, but i read somewhere you can't use that and it cost me a bit thanks
 

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Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix

MGOCPM (potting mix) contains soil and a large portion of organic material (55-65% by volume). Sphagnum peat moss, composted bark fines, leaves, twigs, wood chips etc. and "pasteurized poultry litter" (cooked chicken crap).

The "soil" mixes I've seen all contain cow manure.
Manure tends to spike ammonia early on in a rather rich release. Stay away from manure rich mixes.

About a 1.5 to 2" layer of the potting mix capped with 1 to 1.5" of fine gravel or coarse sand. Larger round gravels you just need a thicker capping layer. If the dirt mix is finding it's way into the water add more cap.

Read a bit before filling the tank and welcome to the forum.
 

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When you first add the soil and gravel you need to cycle the tank in order to establish a bacterial colony. During this time the parameters will be unsuitable for stock, newts are especially at risk because they are sensitive.

You should cycle your tank for 3 or 4 weeks with plants, then add stock slowly.

You should use fast growing nitrogen hogging plants to ease the cycle and to age the tank, plants like Java moss and Duckweed work great for this purpose.
 

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During the phase of the substrate useful tank life (supporting plant growth) when bacteria are breaking down the organic content contained within the soil base you will indeed benefit from CO2 release that is a byproduct of the process. Lasts from 7 to 10 months in my tanks.

The water column is the volume of water contained within the tank.
Floating plants or plants attached to rocks or wood depend on nutrients suspended in the water column to survive. It's just a tanking term.

A 55g tank here after adding substrate and decorations (rocks, wood etc.) when I filled it the water column was 43 U.S. gallons of water with the tank completely filled.

help this helps
 

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Yeah, bacteria would make Co2, but so would any other critter. They don't make enough Co2 to support a densely planted tank though.
My walsted style puddle is massively planted and is flourishing with no additional co2, nor are there any signs of deficiencies nutrient wise or co2. As long as the water surface isn't disturbed too much and water changes are small and minimal it'll be fine


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His is a large tank though, which are not normally used for Walstad style; as they're mainly smaller tanks or bowls.

I'm not saying there won't be enough Co2 for growth, I'm just saying not to expect as lush growth as with injected Co2, especially if you rely on nothing more than bacteria to provide the Co2.

Hope that clears it up.
 

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His is a large tank though, which are not normally used for Walstad style; as they're mainly smaller tanks or bowls.

I'm not saying there won't be enough Co2 for growth, I'm just saying not to expect as lush growth as with injected Co2, especially if you rely on nothing more than bacteria to provide the Co2.

Hope that clears it up.
Hoping this post clears it up for my point of view. 3x55g and a 40 breeder (and these are not the only dirt tanks here :smile:).
We are not talking about the speed of growth when the statement is:
"I'm just saying not to expect as lush growth as with injected Co2"
Opinions vary as does plant selection.
thanks i wasn't expecting lush grown i inject co2 into another tank and it does have its benefits, will i need a filter/powerhead for water movement

Potting mix, Flourite, 4x32WT8 and a sponge equipped power head. :biggrin:
Flooded 4/30/2009 update pics May 2012 still not dosing on any schedule.

Same water movement being no filter other than a single sponge equipped power head on all these 55g tanks.
No gas on any of these either, dirt works for me :smile:









**edit add on** the pictured HOB on the lower tank is used for mixing in GH minerals after water changes :icon_roll
 

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You're absolutely right, I made a mistake. I did mean it as a comment to the rate of growth.

"Don't expect as much growth in the same amount of time!" :hihi:

Question for Wknd, what are those vines growing on your light? I have that same plant but I have no idea what it is.
 
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