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Discussion Starter #1
I just started a planted tank and was wondering if potting soil is bad. I already put it under my tank :-?. So my tank has potting soil with no fertilizer and a layer of sand over it. The thing is when I added the water some of the potting soil came out and settled on top. My filter cleared the water up tho. So is potting soil bad for my tank?
 

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I would Have to say that requalr garden potting soil is bad for the tank as it can contail chemicals, and roots, leavs, and other things that float to the surface.

I would Reccomend using miracle mud or some sort of freshwater nutrient
 

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From the little research I just did it says as long as there are NO additives it's perfectly fine to use, as SinCrisis has posted. :)
 

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if your worried you could try running lots of carbon in your filter so it absorbs as much gunky bad stuff as it can. otherwise, i dont think there's much you can do since its already added.
 

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ive seen a tank use soil, althouoght i dont know if its potting soil, but some kind of dirt at the bottom of the tank and the owner said that it made his plants grow really fast.

The dirt might just absorb all the poo and stuff so you might not have to gravel vac and just change the water. Also teh sand will inevitably sink into the mud anyway so any gravel vacing would just suck up all of your soil.
 

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Those interested in soil substrates for planted aquariums might wish to google "Diana Walstad" Her method suggests placing the plants in the soil before covering with gravel to keep clouding to a minimum. The method has been used successfully by many. I would submit however that soil eventually gives up all it's nutrients perhaps quicker, than substrates such as flourite or some of the other pricer plant substrates.:)
 

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My friend gave me a 45g w/rocks over soil ,well whrn i added water it was black and worms hatched, that marcide could not kill. I was onlt trying to soak the rocks to save tnem, but after what i seen i decided not to keep the rocks much less the dirt. I would certainly wait some time before i added fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I added the soil because I got some plants in there. There is so additive and it was bagged soil not back yard soil so I don't think there will be any bugs or anything. I vacum the top of the sand only, and I'm careful to only take up bag stuff like fish poop and that.
 

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I would Have to say that requalr garden potting soil is bad for the tank as it can contail chemicals, and roots, leavs, and other things that float to the surface.

I would Reccomend using miracle mud or some sort of freshwater nutrient
idk for sure, but i think aquakid is prly right.....even if it is ok, bet not to take chances
 

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i just set up a tank less than a month ago and a friend tought me cause hes been into fish tanks 4 a while. my tank has a layer of garden top soil that i bought at the hardware store. the soil has no fertilizers or anything in it and we washed it before we put it in the tank and then put gravel ontop.

This is a pic of my tank as it is now
http://imageshack.us
 

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Organic potting soil is aquarium safe, but I wouldn't think other types of potting soil would be. I know one of our members, tophat665, uses a mixture of play sand and organic potting soil in a few of his planted tanks.
 

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I have a tank that I set up over a year ago with the cheapest potting soil that I could find as the first layer in the substrate. I intentionally bought the cheapest knowing there would be no additives at that price. The top over that was well washed sand. The end result is that the root feeder type plants in that tank are doing great and the same plants in my other tanks are dieing. A proper cap of sand over the potting soil keeps everything in place so you don't get organic bits floating around the tank. When I plant, I open a hole with a finger and put the plant's roots into the potting soil. It is a no mess approach. In theory, this typ of tank does not need a filter and only needs a water change every 6 months. I can agree with the water change because my water stays chemically pristine without the water changes. I am not extreme enough to try it without a filter but all I run in that tank is a sponge filter. I am keeping some sensitive wild type goodeids in the tank and they are fluorishing.
 
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