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  • What is the best soil?

    "IF" I were to be planning an all-out plant focused aquarium, what would be the best soil for me to use?

  • #2
    I use a potting soil that has "organic" in the name. I know of some people who have used just plain top soil, but you have to know where it came from and that there are no pesticides or anything in it. As long as it has no chemicals or added enhancers it should be fine.
    __________________________________________________ __________
    Lori

    30G, 5G

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    • #3
      Avoid anything that lists vermiculite as an ingredient. I have used TOP soil with lots of success in the past. Notice that is TOP soil, not POTTING soil. Usually, top soils contain less additives.
      The old that is strong, does not wither.

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      • #4
        Miracle gro organic choice potting mix is the common soil to be used with an equal depth cap. It does release ammonia for a bit of time though, and needs to have the twigs and such taken out. Otherwise, making mineralized top soil will create a more complete soil mix for good plant growth, it seems to take a while to make though. If you did put together a dirt tank, using the dry start method works great for adjusting the soil to submerged life, and the plants grow great without algae and little maintenance . Without the dry start, plant heavy from the beginning with fast growing plants.

        I think there are other safe soil mixes that can be used, but only if the ingredients are known to be relatively safe. For example, miracle gro organic choice garden soil uses cow manure that is not safe for an aquarium.

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        • #5
          What size is the tank? I didn't want to spend a ton of money for the fancy substrate so I bought Organic Miracle Grow Choice as my substrate and topped it off with leftover sand that I bought from Home Depot

          I know of two nutrient rich soil needs to be capped:
          -ADA Aquasoil
          -Up Aqua Soil

          Nutrient rich soil that doesn't need capping:
          -Eco Complete
          -Caribsea Floramax

          For a smaller tank and if you don't mind using root tabs I favor:
          -Fluval Stratum (I like the look of the small balls)

          The following nutrient rich substrate listed above are the only ones that I've heard/read about...I know there are tons of them.
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          • #6
            The aquarium is less than 10 gallons, but with high light fixtures

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            • #7
              ADA Aquasoil doesn't need capping. It just needs a period of time to cycle the ammonia it leaches, after that, it's fine to use uncapped. I'd try MTS, thought I have heard of horror stories with it and high light.

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              • #8
                Thanks for correcting me about ADA Aquasoil.

                I do like the look of the circular black balls and looks very stunning in planted tanks. From what I read, it makes it easier for the plant roots to grab/attach themselves on.
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                • #9
                  I do like Fluval Stratum too.

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                  • #10
                    How long does the soil stay in effect?

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                    • #11
                      I used Miracle Grow Organic soil. Not the potting mix .
                      -Jonathan

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                      • #12
                        I use Dino's yard dirt, for my crypts! High clay content, they love it.
                        The old that is strong, does not wither.

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                        • #13
                          Currently I have Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix in my RCS tank; capped with black pea gravel. And, Flourite clay gravel mixed with sand in my high tech tank.

                          Depending on the product used, I'd say 6 months is the average time before root ferts will need to be used to avoid completely depleting nutrients. It really depends on how quickly the plants deplete what is available in the substrate of choice.
                          - Dena

                          All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
                          Walt Disney

                          The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
                          Socrates

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