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Old 09-02-2012, 06:45 PM   #1 
Bettanewbie60
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Wrong soil?

Dang, I just bought a bag of Earthgro potting soil to start my NPT, and I think it's the wrong stuff. Obviously the ingredients are dependent on region, and for Georgia it says, 78-85% aged pine bark, sand, and perlite! Grrrr, I so should have read it while I was in the store!...I saw "Earthgro" and thought it was what I had read in most of the posts on Walstad NPTs...now, I realize it was the Earthgro top soil that folks were talking about. I'm frustrated.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:02 PM   #2 
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Same mistake with MiracleGro, as you already know lol ALL THOSE LABELS!!
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:07 PM   #3 
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Same mistake with MiracleGro, as you already know lol ALL THOSE LABELS!!
Yeah, I am just so excited to get this going...that may be my first mistake in trying a Natural Planted Tank...I'm not patient lol. I really want to give it go though...I guess I go looking for more/different dirt tomorrow.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:51 AM   #4 
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I bought MiracleGro organic choice garden soil to start mine...another user on here has recently set one up with it. And another user has used MiracleGro organic choice potting soil.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:27 AM   #5 
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I bought MiracleGro organic choice garden soil to start mine...another user on here has recently set one up with it. And another user has used MiracleGro organic choice potting soil.
Thanks...I have heard a lot of people saying Miracle Grow Organic also...wondering what is the difference in the garden versus potting...I'm assuming the garden doesn't have as much perlite etc. that I don't want. How was the garden soil with water clarity, prams etc?
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #6 
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i used the garden soil as well, I had no issues whatsoever with it, if you cap it properly you wont get any clarity issues, and I have never had any issues with my parameters. I think most people recommend the potting mix because it doesnt contain any animal manure. Honestly dont see it mattering.
Also, the potting mix doesnt have perlite, you need to get the organic kind of miracle gro and not the regular :)
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:40 PM   #7 
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The perlite shouldn't be an issue, however, the pine bark is what I would worry about.

The tank I used a no name potting soil with the perlite is going on 5 years and it has not had any issues. The only problem I have had with the perlite is the mess it makes when I pull a plant and/or replant-disturbe the soil and the perlite floats to the surface and looks ugly until I get it netted out. It will clog up a filter if too much gets sucked in-but that is an easy fix.

The pine bark might cause a toxic issue especially in smaller tanks since it won't be diluted...Personally I won't use pine, cedar, ash type species or grape vines in systems due to the sap, tar, toxic substance they can produce.

Top soil is a good choice as long as it doesn't have a lot of manure and pine bark and some will. Take a walk in the woods and dig your own soil...sift with a little clay and sand for your NPT...if you have access....
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:13 PM   #8 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
The perlite shouldn't be an issue, however, the pine bark is what I would worry about.

The tank I used a no name potting soil with the perlite is going on 5 years and it has not had any issues. The only problem I have had with the perlite is the mess it makes when I pull a plant and/or replant-disturbe the soil and the perlite floats to the surface and looks ugly until I get it netted out. It will clog up a filter if too much gets sucked in-but that is an easy fix.

The pine bark might cause a toxic issue especially in smaller tanks since it won't be diluted...Personally I won't use pine, cedar, ash type species or grape vines in systems due to the sap, tar, toxic substance they can produce.

Top soil is a good choice as long as it doesn't have a lot of manure and pine bark and some will. Take a walk in the woods and dig your own soil...sift with a little clay and sand for your NPT...if you have access....
Omgosh..thanks OFL..I just bought the organic Miracle Grow..and again it is mostly composted PINE bark! Sigh, I guess I will be exchanging this one too! In my area it seems pine is in all of them, and more than 50%...sigh. We live near the ocean, and my back yard is actually pretty natural, no furtilizers etc..but I worry cause it is mostly this black sandy stuff...sigh. I want to get this tank going, and I want to do it right. Any help you can give me OFL will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:17 PM   #9 
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I would give your dirt in your yard a try-What size tank are you starting with, what is your planed cap for the soil, finial stocking, type of lights, filter and list of plants....
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:31 PM   #10 
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I would give your dirt in your yard a try-What size tank are you starting with, what is your planed cap for the soil, finial stocking, type of lights, filter and list of plants....
Yeah, I figure I'm going to try my yard's soil. I have a 10g divided that I am going to keep two bettas in, a small grain stone for my cap, lighting will be part South facing window (two windows actually, one is west), combined the windows get about 6 hours of direct sunlight a day and I have blinds to adjust..and a florescent light that is only 4200k right now, I will change the bulb as soon as I can..I plan on using the whisper internal filter, but I need to find out how to use it without the charcoal filter media..still reading on that...I have a list of plants that I got from researching, but I also saw this package deal, maybe you can tell me if this is a good start

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...-lowlipack.htm

Thanks for all your input OFL...I want to succeed with this!
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