Can I use this soil for a dirted tank?

  1. Dlondon95

    Dlondon95 Well Known Member Member

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    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

    Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

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    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_32 Fishlore Legend Member

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    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
     
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    Dlondon95

    Dlondon95 Well Known Member Member

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    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_32 Fishlore Legend Member

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    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

    James95 Well Known Member Member

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    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.
     
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    Dlondon95

    Dlondon95 Well Known Member Member

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    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

    James95 Well Known Member Member

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    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

    angelfish220 Well Known Member Member

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    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_32 Fishlore Legend Member

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    Dlondon95

    Dlondon95 Well Known Member Member

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    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

    Dino Fishlore VIP Member

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    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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