Organic Dirts

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cichlidmac

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Hello all, it's been a while since I've posted but I,need some ideas. I'm going to dirt a 29g this weekend this tank will be a riparium.
I do not support Scott and therefore do not want to use organic miracle grow, however I have found other organic potting soils. I will cap with eco complete and some sand.
I'm just worried about the health of the inhabitants of the tank and I want to be careful about what's in the soil. Check out this link and look around at the other soils aswell and tell me what you think. Thanks in advance. www.groworganic.com
 
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cichlidmac

cichlidmac

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I'm interested in this one it's called happy frog. Here is the description.

Perfect All-Purpose Potting Soil for Indoor and Outdoor Containers or Raised BedsContains Mycorrhizae and Humic Acid To Ensure Optimal Root Development and Nutrient UptakeContains Earthworm Castings and Bat Guano For Increased Flower ProductionComposted Forest Humus Retains MoistureNo Fillers Like Construction Waste or Sewage SludgeFluffy, Well Aerated Mix With Perlite and Peat for Optimal Root DevelopmentAvailable in 2 cu ft bags


Are any of these ingredients bad for the aquarium?

May i ask why you don't support Scott?
They are a huge company that makes extremely toxic and dangerous products that poison our rivers and streams, but like most corporations money comes before morals.
 
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chevyguy8893

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The one concern I have with the nutrient list you posted is the bat guano. Since guano is used as a nitrogen source, from ammonia, for plants it will add to the amount of ammonia, therefore creating an increase in nitrates eventually. So, from what I am seeing, it wouldn't be safe to use.

It may be possible to cycle the soil over some time, but I am not completely sure. If you have the time to do it, you may want to look into mineralized top soil so you have control over what goes into the soil. As for their other products, I am not completely sure what effect some of the ingredients would have on an aquarium.
 

jetajockey

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I agree about using mineralized topsoil. Although a natural product would be fine to work with, you'd just want to let it run for a month or so to leach all of the ammonia (or mineralize it first), if it's not already. The organics are a nitrogen source but once mineralized will be in the form of nitrate, so you may have a nitrate issue initally also unless it's really well capped.

The problem with that particular one though is perlite, which is used as a soil amendment to loosen/aerate/improve drainage. The problem is that it is rather light and tends to float, which is why most people don't recommend it in a hydroponic/aquaponic setup.

The humus will also stain the water like tannins do for a while.

I suggest just going with the cheapest brand of topsoil they carry at the big box (don't get the kind with peat in it), add a few amendments like dolomite and potash, maybe a light sprinkling of your basic NPK and Micros if you have them, some clay to improve cec and keep everything bound together a little better, and then rock and roll.
 
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cichlidmac

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Ok thanks a lot for the advice! I was worried about the bat poop also lol. I'll check out top soils do you think capping with eco will hold it together?
 
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