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Old 04-23-2013, 10:38 PM   #1 
Mashiro
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NPT: Quality of Soil Play Any Part?

So, I'm thinking of turning my Aqueon 5 gallon into a NPT and I have a few questions.

Does the quality of the soil you're using matter at all? I'm pretty sure it has to be organic, but other than that is there a good brand name you can recommend?

Also, can I use that black aquarium sand at Petco as a cap?

Should I remove my filter after it matures?
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:44 PM   #2 
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Dont take my word for it. I'm am at around the same stages as you are but thankfully i have the help of my local aquarium shop to help me. Apparently ADA is like the good stuff in terms NPTs. I've currently got the ADA substrate and additives in my tank.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:53 PM   #3 
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Is ADA substrate like Eco-Complete?
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #4 
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http://www.aquascapingworld.com/thre...e-premium.945/

Did a bit of googling and this is what i came up with, seems to have quite a clear comparison between the two.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:24 PM   #5 
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I'm looking around a lot on Youtube for how-to videos and I see most people just using Organic Choice: Potting Soil by Miracle Gro.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:43 PM   #6 
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hmm, i reckon as long as you are not going to get high maintenance (strong light, CO2) and plant a lot of those, i dont think it should be necessary to get ADA or eco-complete. Seems to be what makes the plants grow the best though.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:41 AM   #7 
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Miracle Gro Organic Potting Soil ( not Mix!) is used frequently. It's only downside is that you really have to be careful moving or planting. It is easy to break the cap (easily fixed with more sand), or making it messy by pulling soil up (easily fixed by vacuuming). Capping with anything inert is fine. I have black sand on my three.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:59 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VJM View Post
Miracle Gro Organic Potting Soil ( not Mix!) is used frequently. It's only downside is that you really have to be careful moving or planting. It is easy to break the cap (easily fixed with more sand), or making it messy by pulling soil up (easily fixed by vacuuming). Capping with anything inert is fine. I have black sand on my three.
I think its the Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix (orange bag) that is generally recommended here, although it looks like several people have used the Miracle Gro Organic Garden Soil (green bag) with no apparent ill effects. I'd love to try Eco-Complete eventually, but with my current low-light/low-tech setups (and limited budget lol) I'm going to hold off a while and give the Miracle Gro a shot. Like VJM I plan on using black aquarium sand as the cap since I prefer the look of black substrate personally.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:52 AM   #9 
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Oh my gosh, you are so right! I got that completely backwards. You want Mix, not soil. So sorry.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:51 AM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashiro View Post
So, I'm thinking of turning my Aqueon 5 gallon into a NPT and I have a few questions.

Does the quality of the soil you're using matter at all? I'm pretty sure it has to be organic, but other than that is there a good brand name you can recommend?

Also, can I use that black aquarium sand at Petco as a cap?

Should I remove my filter after it matures?
1. Yes and no. Most aquarium substrate marketed as being best for planted aquariums actually have very little value. I have heard the ADA stuff is the best to start with, however it is not the end all of substrates. What actually matters is that you properly fertilize the water column and substrate. Any substrate will eventually become as beneficial as Petco Sand.

In my Evolve 4, I have Petco sand. And my Argentine Swords exploded in growth. I recently rescapped because the swords were so tightly packed. One section had roots at least a foot long. Odd thing is they are not getting taller. In my 30gal at home, I have CarbiSea Floramax, only because it was on sale 50% off.

2. Depends on what you use. The larger sized substrates, like Floramax, will just suck down the sand. But this is as designed. If you went with some sort of Miracle grow mix, yes. In fact I would suggest it.

3. Why would you ever want to remove your filter? It not only gets bad crap out, and keeps good BB in, it also creates water flow.
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