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Old 03-31-2011, 12:06 AM   #1
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Potting soil?

Would it work if I used potting soil with a layer of gravel over the top?

The potting soil would be used to help the plants with nutrients

Anything I should know before I try it?
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevkev3321
Would it work if I used potting soil with a layer of gravel over the top?

The potting soil would be used to help the plants with nutrients

Anything I should know before I try it?
Sure it'll work, just read what's in your potting mix. I'm a day away from using peat moss under a layer of sand.

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:02 AM   #3
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Yay!

I was reading up on it and it said that your supposed to let the soil soak in the water for a while and do PWC's because theres alot of phosphorous in the soil and algae blooms rapidly

I'm also going to experiment with 6500k daylight CFL's, 2x 23w on a new 10g
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:15 AM   #4
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Check out the link in my signature, as well as this thread:

125g Planted Build Thread

We both started dirt tanks at about the same time. The answer is yes, of course it will work. Neither of us have seen an algae bloom and we didn't mineralize or adequately soak the potting mix. One thing you will see, though, is sufficient browning of the water for a few weeks. After daily PWC's, mine is finally clearing up nicely.

Make sure you use a very fine gravel or sand on top to weigh down the soil. If a gap is made in the gravel or sand, you're in for one **** of a clean up. The two of us have yet to see any growth in our tanks that makes us say, "Wow, this is working incredibly!", but I am optimistic and am waiting it out. One thing I've noticed is that as my new Rotala has massive leaf die off, new ones are growing quickly and are a beautiful bright green.

When you do the tank, make sure that you plant very heavily. You're most likely going to see ammonia levels rise due to the soil unless you have some very established filters running on the new tank. The plants will take up ammonia and help your tank reestablish itself. For this purpose, many recommend the addition of temporary floaters such as duckweed that have been shown to adequately take up ammonia from the water.

Keep us updated.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:19 AM   #5
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make sure soil is organic...
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:20 AM   #6
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make sure soil is organic...
^^^^. Fertilizers will wreak havoc. MiracleGro Organic Choice is what I and many others use.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevkev3321
Yay!

I was reading up on it and it said that your supposed to let the soil soak in the water for a while and do PWC's because theres alot of phosphorous in the soil and algae blooms rapidly

I'm also going to experiment with 6500k daylight CFL's, 2x 23w on a new 10g
I'm soaking my soil (in a bucket) for one reason, to compact the peat as much as possible. In 36hrs it total volume is more than halved and will add more tomorrow along with additional aqua safe water. I figure the density will be 4 - 5X that comes out of the bale.

Don't know about phosphorous content, but peat is pretty base and unlike some soils, is a natural product processed only to be useful in the market. Content list on it is, 100% peat and that's it.

Your lighting is perfect IMO, for a 10g.

Good luck!

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:47 AM   #8
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Yeah, I do recommend soaking. It just isn't a necessity.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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Okay thanks

It will be awhile until I get everything set up

I still need to make my light fixtures and build up so cash lol

But I'm looking forward to this
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:51 AM   #10
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If you don't want to go through the hassle of mineralizing top soil you could try something like EcoComplete, Flourite or Stratum($$$).
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