African Violet soil = tea time

> Have you found that this type of potting soil colors the tank less.  I
> set up a small 30 gallon plant tank (my first) with potting soil from
> Meijer (a large all purpose store like K-mart or Target).  It has
> unfortunately turned the water tea colored overtime.  I have changed the
> water a few times but the color comes back.  I sespect this is normal,
> but thought it would go away sooner.  Any comments?
> buddy wiese
> Cloudy Ann Arbor, MI
Yes this, and probably most other humus-containing substrates will colour your 

I plant my plants in 'pots'.  Depending on the size of the plant, I use
a margerine container or ice cream bucket as the pot.  Fill the container
about 3/4 full with potting soil.  Dig hole in center and place plant roots in
soil.  Add more soil until container is almost full (about 1/2" from top).
Gently pull up on plant to ensure roots are facing down.  Add room temp water
until soil is VERY wet.  Add more soil until level is about 1/4" from top of
pot.  Cover the top of soil with aquarium gravel (this will prevent your water
from turning brown).  Slowly place potted plant in tank and build up gravel 
until level with top of pot...This method works great, just be sure that you
select a big enough 'pot' for the plant - for example a sword plant will be 
happy in a pot measuring 8"(l) x 8"(w) x 4"(h)...

Have Fun!

Torsten Tiedtke
in Lynden, Ontario 

"If there's thunderstorms in spring, it'll be a cold summer!"

				- Fraser McClung (spring 1996)
				  McClung Nurseries
				  Port Dover, Ontario