| | Be careful with potting soil
I haven't been doing this long, but I've made a crucial mistake and I want to share this with others that may not know better.
I recently set up a 75 gal. and used miracle grow organic choice potting soil for the substrate w/ a gravel cap. When I did this I figured I was doing the right thing for the aquarium. However I used too much and didn't mineralize the soil properly, and that's how it all started. The plants were growing great, and the fish were eating and swimming and happy..... Then I started noticing labored breathing from my angels. Then the tetras started getting sick. A few days later my angels started showing signs of septicemia. After doing a big water change I noticed "the smell". I did a little poking around in the forum and found out that I may have a hydrogen sulfide problem....... I had no idea how big. I started poking around in the soil with a skewer (after the fish were in quarantine) and the bubbles just kept coming. The smell was unmistakeable. For the sake of my fish, who I believe were poisoned by the gas, I drained the aquarium, salvaged what gravel I could, and tossed the rest of the substrate. My son who was watching tv in our living room began complaining of a bad smell. It literally filled my downstairs!! I've gotten everything back together now, but this could have been avoided if I had done a little more research and a little more planning.
Don't make the same mistake I did, take the advice to mineralize the soil properly, and be careful what soil you choose and how much you use!! For those of you with expertise in this area, I'm sure you know of ways to avoid this problem so if I'm not giving the correct information I apologize. I just don't want anyone to have to go through this.