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Potting soil

 >>Can anyone suggest a particular brand of potting soil which is safe to use?

After much agonizing and label reading, I set up a Walstad type tank last 
summer using Green Thumb All Purpose Potting Soil.  Label says 
"Manufactured for TruServ, Chicago, IL 60631-3505, Sold Under License from 
Milwaukee Peat Co., Inc., LaPorte, IN 46350.  The common stores around here 
(Denver, Colorado, area) carry nothing but Scott and Schultz that list 
fertilizer additives and vermiculite and other stuff.  True Value Hardware 
Stores carry the Green Thumb (and some other brands that give some choice 
other than the common ones in the big garden centers).  The True Value 
stores are kind of an old fashioned hardware store with shelves crowded 
with all sorts of uncommon things.  The Green Thumb label lists soil, peat, 
and humus in that order and nothing else.  I did sift the soil once through 
a plastic collander with large holes (and even so had to keep banging it to 
remove soil clogs from the holes).

My tank is a 7-gallon All Glass Mini Bow and has a 14-watt light built into 
the hood that comes with it.  It's been a joy and my best tank.  Now 7 
months old and has never had a bit of algae - I've never even wiped the 
inside of the glass.  It has 6 White Clouds in it and no algae eaters 
except some snails that are there accidentally.  I am taking down two 
10-gallon tanks at home and setting up a 28-gallon bow front tank to 
replace them in the same way.  I know perfect tank syndrome won't strike 
twice but I can't help trying.

Ellen O'Connell
Parker, CO
mailto:oconnel4 at ix_netcom.com