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Old 04-15-2012, 02:50 PM   #1 
copperarabian
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What types of dirt to use in NPT?

I love live plants but even with root tabs they aren't as lush as I know some can be, I decided I'm going to redo the tank and add dirt. I'm not sure what to do though, so I have a few questions.

What types of dirt? I know they sell dirt for this at the pet store but is it worth it or just a scam to sell expensive dirt?

Can you use fertilizer dirt from the nursery?

Dirt from the backyard?

what brands of aquarium dirt are the best?
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #2 
kfryman
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Organic dirt, with no manure. Miricle Grow organic poting mix is what many use. You need to sift through it first as it has wood in it. Make sure the dirt is organic, and if it is make sure there is no manure.

The dirt must have no fertilizers in it, so if you fertilize your yard don't use it or if you use pesticides. I would recommend using dirt from your yard but not if you use those things.

What type of dirt is at the store?
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #3 
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Oh, yes, I'm thinking about this same thing for a future setup.

My question is whether the dirt gets covered with gravel or sand after being planted?
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:30 PM   #4 
Olympia
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Yep you can cover it up. Dirt, then sand/gravel (I think sand is better) and then planting. The plants need dirt on their roots, so it's fine to cover it :D
I'm thinking about doing one too :)
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:37 PM   #5 
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I like to use dirt from my pasture-its black gold with a little sand and native red clay sifted together....I also use organic potting soil and bagged top soil.

I like to cap the soil with either playsand, pool filter sand or small diameter gravel-I use half as much cap to soil-the cap is just to help keep the soil in place so you don't need all that much....

When starting a soil based tank-its important to start out with enough of the right species of plants, proper lights and trumpet snails to help aerate the soil to prevent anaerobic spots.

Read over this thread-it has some good info on plant list and how I set mine up...also more info and pic of smaller soil based tanks in my album
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=84915
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:44 PM   #6 
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Ah, thanks! OFL you must live in a good part of the country for soil/growing. Here we have lots of clay and rocks. :(
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #7 
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We have mostly red clay, rocks, sandstone and sugar sand in my area, however, in my pasture on the side of the hill where leaves and organic matter have decomposed for years and years...I have some awesome black dirt.....its so pretty when I sift it...I know sounds odd...laffs.....but I garden too and love the smell of the earth-fresh, clean and feels so nice in your hand...lol.....and not only grows great aquatic plants but beautiful veggies, flower and house plants too.....
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:17 PM   #8 
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That doesn't sound odd at all. I have a few spots around my condo where I've gardened for years and that soil is nice. Unfortunately I can't stop the grounds keepers from spraying chemicals (poison!! UGH!) so I don't trust the soil in my tanks.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #9 
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I wouldn't either.......I would go for a walk in the woods with a shovel and bucket....lol....
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:29 PM   #10 
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Wow, this is really helping me a lot :D I'll go out tomorrow and see if I can find any nice dirt, definitely not the backyard our gardener uses fertilizer because are backyard grass sucks lol I'll also scope out the local OSH and Lowels to see their items.

Why is the non organic dirt bad? Do they have pesticides in them? I do think organic items are better in general.
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