Hi from a newby - soil question

Discussion in 'El Natural & Low Tech' started by Polly, 5 Jul 2009.

  1. Polly

    Polly Member

    Messages:
    158
    Hi, I'm new to the board and BRAND NEW to El Ntural approach so first post in this section.

    I'm loving the El Natural approach and eager to set up my existing Juwel 125 El Naturally :D It's desperate for a strip down so now's the time.


    I'm having trouble finding a suitable soil to use for the substrate and my back garden isn't suitable - it's mainly ash from the previous owners (welsh coal fires) and despite my adding loads of well rotted manure is still very 'ashy' :( It grows plants well enough but I wouldn't risk it in an aquarium ;)

    Most of the bagged soils I have found have some kind of wetting agent which at best would be pointless in this situation and at worst could be a problem for my fish.

    I've read about MIracle Grow Organic soil on American sites but has anyone ever seen it here? If it isn't available over here what is? that works and settles quickly in the aquarium - fish will have to go in ASAP :wideyed:

    I know I could buy something like ADA aqua soil or Malay/Amazonia or EcoComplete, but they don't really seem in the spirit of EL Natural and I'd much prefer to spend the money on loads of plants!
     
  2. Brenmuk

    Brenmuk Member

    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Peterborough
    I have had good results with John Innes seed and cutting compost the from the J Arthur Bowers brand - others recommends John Innes No 3 as well. See the thread below for a good discussion:

    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=304
     
  3. Polly

    Polly Member

    Messages:
    158
    Thanks for that.

    I'm off to go soil shopping again today - hopefully I'll find something I can use :)

    Plants come into the shop on thursday and friday so have to wait for the weekend to do this.

    I'm itching to get going!
     
  4. Bufo Bill

    Bufo Bill Member

    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    Hi, I'm new here too so good luck from one newcomer to another. I've had my tank set up for a couple of months and I wish now I had started a journal, having read through the forums here. Look forward to seeing your new set up.
    All the best from Bill.
     
  5. Polly

    Polly Member

    Messages:
    158
    Aww thanks Bill. I'm thinking I might start a journal as well - I've just set up a tank with CAT LITTER a few weeks ago and it's going great guns. It'll be interesting to compare how they develop.



    WOW! I got Miracle Gro Organic Choice! Had read about Diana Walstad using it but had never seen it locally in Wales. If it's good for her tanks then it should be fine in mine. Best thing is - no chemicals :lol:

    Itching to get going now - it's weird putting soil in a tank - hope I don't bottle it LOL I'll be picking through it really well to remove any big bits and snail eggs.

    Will be getting a big bag of Carbon just in case. All I'm waiting for now is the plants - they will be in the shop at the end of the week. Going to go early so I get the best choice ;)

    That thread was great, but I think I've read so much now that my head might explode :oops: need some time to get it all straight.
     
  6. Bufo Bill

    Bufo Bill Member

    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    Plant shopping in a shop full of fresh plants...it doesn't get much more exiting than that. I go round with a list, but sways end up with some extras. It resembles supermarket sweep really, but without Dale Winton.
    All the best from Bill.
     
  7. Polly

    Polly Member

    Messages:
    158
    BIG DISAPPOINTMENT with the Miracle Grow Organic Choice :( I opened the bags to sift thru them and allow the soil to gas off any ammonia and discovered it was full of uncomposted materials :? Bits of stick and lumps of wood I can cope with - and there were plenty of those, but there were lumps of uncomposted wood, straw and unidentified material :wideyed: I'm pretty sure that a lot of composting still needs doing with these bags :( which is fine for a plant in a tub or pot, but I don't want that going on under my aquarium.

    So John Innes No1 it is, the Levingtons one says simply Loam, Peat and Grit - and as it's for seedlings I'm hoping that I won't have to remove too many trees :D
     

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