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Hello! This thread has definitely been helpful to me but at the same time it made me more anxious about the soil I am about to use. I've read the whole thread but I am not sure that my soil is suitable so it would be a great help if you shared your opinions. This was a cheap soil that I bought for my plants. Unfortunately I couldn't find an english translation so I ll try to do it myself:

Peat, Compost (natural/plant residues), organic fertilizer.
organic matter: 65%
dry matter: 30%
Ph 6.7
Ability to restrain water: 65%
N: 20 -35 mg/lt
P2O5: 495 - 800mg/lt
K2O: 1600 - 2300mg/lt
 

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Hello! This thread has definitely been helpful to me but at the same time it made me more anxious about the soil I am about to use. I've read the whole thread but I am not sure that my soil is suitable so it would be a great help if you shared your opinions. This was a cheap soil that I bought for my plants. Unfortunately I couldn't find an english translation so I ll try to do it myself:

Peat, Compost (natural/plant residues), organic fertilizer.
organic matter: 65%
dry matter: 30%
Ph 6.7
Ability to restrain water: 65%
N: 20 -35 mg/lt
P2O5: 495 - 800mg/lt
K2O: 1600 - 2300mg/lt
Welcome to APC!

If I understand this, your soil will be primarily peat - 65%. That would not be an ideal soil. But, usually the cheaper the "soil", the better, because it will not have added nutrients making it too rich. Can you photograph the bag and show it to us?
 

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Hello again! Thanks for your reply. I was mostly concerned about N because I wasn't sure how much % it contained. Didn't think about peat. This is a general soil and can be used for plants and vegetables in pots and gardens. It contains organic fertilizer and it provides good soil aeration.
Here are some pics. Unfortunately it says it is based on peat and compost from vegetables and manure. So I guess it wont work :(
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ed/8e/f5/ed8ef5b73a44cf93d373c0a1439503cc.png
https://media.adeo.com/media/671529/resize/600x600
IMG_20201124_194935.jpg
 

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I forgot to say that I also have a bag of cactus soil. It contains peat too, river sand and N, Cu, Zinc. It comes from a local provider though and doesn't say anything about quantities or %. I wonder if it is better than the previous one. For some reason every soil in Greece (and Europe generally) seems to be very high on peat for some reason.
 

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A little peat is fine but I don't know what the % in your bag. Peat doesn't have nutrients but helps hold on to nutrients and water in the soil.
 

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Ok I can't believe how hard it is to find a decent and plain soil!
So I keep looking for some suitable one. I just happened to find a seller who provides huge amounts of soil though. I ll ask if I can get a smaller quantity (if it's what I need):

1. This one is called "earth soil" and it's screened (I wonder if it is top soil). It looks like somewhat reddish to me I don't know if it contains too much clay. They say they dig about 1-1.5 meter to get it and they screen it with 20mm.
https://www.xomatexniki.gr/images/IMG_3015.jpg

2. Soil + Compost 50-50 percentage
https://www.xomatexniki.gr/images/IMG_2903-2-e1512394346219.jpg

What do you think it's better?

If I can't use any of these my only option left is to buy Sera floredepot which is soil for aquarium plants but I don't know if it is going to work with this method.
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/i2rEHxUJcHQ/maxresdefault.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #548 ·
It is hard to know for sure, but I agree with mistergreen. Both 1 and 2 seem to be based on natural topsoil and this is a good thing.
 

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I think we mean "topsoil" to be the top foot of dirt, never 3 to 4 feet down in the ground. Again, trying to remember what Ms Walstad has posted - the best soil is not what you get digging deep. And, also from memory, we can sometimes get too picky when it comes to soils, because almost any soil that has some organic materials in it will work well. The exception is bags of "soil" that have fertilizers added, or manure added, making it much too rich in nutrients for aquarium use. I suspect it is time for me to read "the book" again!
 

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Hello again! Thanks for your reply. I was mostly concerned about N because I wasn't sure how much % it contained. Didn't think about peat. This is a general soil and can be used for plants and vegetables in pots and gardens. It contains organic fertilizer and it provides good soil aeration.

Here are some pics. Unfortunately it says it is based on peat and compost from vegetables and manure. So I guess it wont work :(

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ed/8e/f5/ed8ef5b73a44cf93d373c0a1439503cc.png

https://media.adeo.com/media/671529/resize/600x600

View attachment 64593
Hi, really surprised to see the Greek soil brand! I assure you that I have used peat based soils, the ones sold for gardenias and plants grow fine. I have also bought the cheapest generic soil for plants at a fytorio and used it last time on a 30 cm cube but what I did before use was to sieve it in order to remove little twigs and whatnot. This really helps with any algae outbreaks from the excess organics.
 

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Hi, really surprised to see the Greek soil brand! I assure you that I have used peat based soils, the ones sold for gardenias and plants grow fine. I have also bought the cheapest generic soil for plants at a fytorio and used it last time on a 30 cm cube but what I did before use was to sieve it in order to remove little twigs and whatnot. This really helps with any algae outbreaks from the excess organics.
Hello! Good to know that peat soils work just fine. Finally I was able to get the simple soil with compost so I'll use that. It seems ok but I'll definitely sieve it just in case. I was a bit concerned with the one I had because of the fertilizer. :)
 

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Regarding the cap, I believe it's recommended the grain size be around 2-3 millimeters. The sand I'm wanting to use is finer than that so to compensate I would use a much thinner layer of it. Maybe only half an inch. That should be okay, right?



Also, I'm considering using dirt from my backyard. I think it would be considered pretty silty. When I wet the ground puddles seep into it very quickly, so it doesn't hold onto moisture very well which makes me think it's low in organic matter. When it dries it can become very hard. When using a tiller it sometimes sounds like I'm scraping rock, but it's just hard dirt. Does it sound like there might be any issues with this type of dirt?
 

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Has anyone had experience using this Dynadirt Aquatic Planting Soil? Manufacturer mentions "trace amounts of time release fertilizer" in one of the q&a responses. I've had success with Miracle-Gro Organic in my first tank, just wanting to try something different on a new tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #554 ·
Dynadirt seems to be intended for pond plants in pots. I suspect that it is more fertile than optimum for aquarium use.
 

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I agree with Michael.

Pond plants basking in sunlight have the aerial advantage. They are not limited by CO2. Thus, soils designed for them will be more fertile than ordinary potting soils designed for house plants. Ordinary, submerged aquarium plants are shade plants. They cannot use the extra nutrients, which will then only cause algae and many other problems.
 

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Is Kitchen compost (made of kitchen scraps) or leaf mould mixed with sand or gravel (50:50 ratio) a good aquarium substrate? So we know exactly what's in the soil and where it came from. My neighbour is making his own compost out of leaves, kitchen scraps. It's well decomposed by bacteria, and earthworms. Is it worth giving a try when I setup my next tank? Thanks!
 

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Is Kitchen compost (made of kitchen scraps) or leaf mould mixed with sand or gravel (50:50 ratio) a good aquarium substrate? So we know exactly what's in the soil and where it came from. My neighbour is making his own compost out of leaves, kitchen scraps. It's well decomposed by bacteria, and earthworms. Is it worth giving a try when I setup my next tank? Thanks!
Go for 15% compost, 15% peat, and the rest sand & gravel. You can put in clay too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #558 ·
I've used compost successfully, but I put it through several soak and drain cycles and mixed it with 50/50 with a clay-based high CEC substrate. Examples would be Safe-T-Sorb, plain cat litter, and Turface.
 

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I've used compost successfully, but I put it through several soak and drain cycles and mixed it with 50/50 with a clay-based high CEC substrate. Examples would be Safe-T-Sorb, plain cat litter, and Turface.
Thank you! soak and drain is to remove excess nutrient or remove fertilizer? I am sure it does not have any added fertilizers. Can I use grey clay usually?

Do you think I need to mineralize (soak and dry) the compost?
 
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