Can I use this soil for a dirted tank?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Dlondon95, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Dlondon95

    Dlondon95Well Known MemberMember

    I got a couple new tanks today, a 5.5g, a 2.5g, and a 55g, and I want to use dirt in at least the smaller ones.

    I have some soil that I have used in a tank before, but not as the substrate. I put in in some terra cotta pots with amazon swords before. It is MiracleGro Potting Soil. Is it okay to use as a substrate? I'm assuming it will be okay considering I had it in the terra cotta pots for about a month with no negative effects.

    If it makes any difference, it the soil has been sitting outside for a few months and has gotten rained on several times.
  2. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    congrats on the new tanks!!!!!! MTS is getting you good :)

    Ive never heard of using miracle gro in tanks though....dont they add chemicals to that stuff? Ill be watching this thread to learn more
  3. Akari_32

    Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    Lots of people use that :)

    Make sure its not molded when you use it, or has any spiders! I found Black Widows in a bag of left over soil that I stored out side o_O

  4. OP

    Dlondon95Well Known MemberMember

    Yes, MTS is slowly taking hold on me. I'm up to 11 tanks now!

    The soil looks like it is brand new in the bag, no mold. I pretty sure black widows don't live anywhere close to me, so I'm good on that!

    Edit: Something I just thought I should mention. This is NOT the organic choice soil that a lot of people use. Just plain potting soil.

  5. Akari_32

    Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    LOL Black Widows were just an example XD

    Just make sure there are no fertilizers or pesticides in it, and it should be fine :) I'd also recommend going through it and taking out any chunks, like wood, rock, clay...
  6. James95

    James95Well Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't use regular miracle gro for a dirted tank. It contains pearlite and other fertilizers that aren't good for your fish. You may have gotten away with using a lesser amount in the pots, but using a large amount may have bigger negative affects.

    Instead, use the micracle gro organic choice potting soil. This is a much safer option. I know lots of people who have had success with this type of soil.
  7. OP

    Dlondon95Well Known MemberMember

    That's kinda what I was thinking.

    What about soil from my backyard? I've heard that many people use topsoil from their yard, but where whould I dig it up?
  8. James95

    James95Well Known MemberMember

    I don't know what the soil is like where you live, so I can't recommend doing that. If the soil has too much clay or lime in it the tank will never balance itself. You could end up with a very low or very high pH, algae problems, etc.

    Can you pick up a bag of organic choice? It's not too expensive. Lowes and Home Depot usually have it year yound.
  9. angelfish220

    angelfish220Well Known MemberMember

    There is another thread around here that says take a bit of your topsoil in a jar and water and see if it will settle within 24 hours or so, just to see if it will be too cloudy for a tank...
  10. Akari_32

    Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

  11. OP

    Dlondon95Well Known MemberMember

    I think I will just pick up a bag of organic choice so I know it will work out.

    I just got done setting up the 2.5g with pool filter sand. I figured the plants will do fine with such a small tank. I do plan on dirting the 5.5 and 55 though.
  12. Dino

    DinoFishlore VIPMember

    I have used yard soil for crypts here.
    My yard soil is high density clay, similar to what they have in their natural environment.

    I agree, avoid anything with perlite.

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