Vladimir Simoes Method - Substrates - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 03-05-2004, 05:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Vladimir Simoes Method

I got this off of the e-aquaria website and I thought it might be helpful...

The use of earthworm castings requires some prep-work but offers excellent results: lush, healthy plant growth.

Materials:

- A bucket for rinsing the castings
- Earthworm castings (without additives) - tap water
- a stove and pot for boiling the castings

Preparation: 1) Obtain 100% pure additive-free earthworm castings 2) Rinse the castings in your empty bucket - allow water to flow slowly thru. Turn the material over with your hand to distribute water throughout. Eliminate all that floats. 3) Boil the castings in a pot. There should be plenty of water so that the castings do not dry out. Boil 10-15 minutes, stirring occassionally. 4) Allow to cool. Deposit the castings back in your bucket, repeating step 2. Once again, eliminate all floating debris. 5) After thorough rinsing, the bucket water should become relatively clear. 6) Drain the bucket and place the castings in shallow pans or on sheets of cellophane in thin layers under the sun, allowing them to dry completely. The dried castings can be stored in ziplock bags for future use.

Usage: Earthworm castings should be used in moderation, and do not need to be completely dry for usage. They should be diluted with washed sand in a 50-50 ratio. The combination of earthworm castings and sand should approach 1kg of mixture for every 50 liters of aquarium water (for example, in an aquarium of 100 liters I recommend to use between 2 and 4 kg of earthworm castings). It is best to use the mixture as the first, bottom-most layer of your substrate. If you plan to build an extremely deep substrate, it can be used within the middle layers.
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've tried castings in the past as their composition seems ideal for planted aquariums. However, the result was less than impressive.

Why would they be any better than good old peat?
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art_Giacosa
I've tried castings in the past as their composition seems ideal for planted aquariums. However, the result was less than impressive.

Why would they be any better than good old peat?
Well, ya use what ya gots... the above technique was developed in Brazil I think, I could image a lack of peat bogs locally would make castings an attractive alternative. Good job on the translation whoever did that, the original babbelfish-translated email I saw a few months ago was downright funny

The castings in theory should supply more macros than peat, as they will break down faster. Also, castings should cause the lower substrate to go slightly anaerobic a little faster than peat alone, but I think the technique was developed a little more out of necessity than choice...

Jeff
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Old 03-08-2004, 09:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I'm considering making worm castings part of the Dangerous Understory in my substrate along with peat. And who knows what else...
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Art, that's weird...Enrinco's tank uses this mix, doesn't liquid fertilize, and his E.stellata is still pinkish! I mean that's got to be something from the substrate
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Old 03-09-2004, 05:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Some tanks in Brazil that use this method...


Rony Suzuki's 26 gallon

Enrico Monteiro's 30 gallon


Enrico Monteiro's 66 gallon

NO liquid fertilization.

Carlos
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Old 03-09-2004, 05:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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hi everione!

i have used this metod and with bad results.....
when you set up the aquarium many macro-nútrients (specialy PO4) get in the water, causing a BIG ALGAE INVASION!!!!!!!
i don't recomend.

besta regards: André Daniel Nóbrega
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul-7
Enrinco's tank uses this mix, doesn't liquid fertilize, and his E.stellata is still pinkish!
Well its not dead... I wouldn't call it completely healthy - the tank would seriously benefit from some water column ferts. The idea here is that in a very high light tank, iron is screwy and every little bit you can do to help is good... I'm not so sure the castings are providing the nutrients directly, what I think is going on is that the organic matter lowers the redox potential in the substrate, mobilizing the iron from a clay such as laterite... I say this because I don't think it really matters whether you use worm castings or not, peat, mulm, lignite, all that stuff should be just fine...

Re: too many macros... Worm castings (if slow release fert has not been added) are not that strong a fertilizier. You are very correct, lots of things can go very wrong, the idea of this forum was more advanced topics and this is definately one for someone with experience. Thats why a fine gravel of at least 2" is really necessary to slow diffusion from the substrate into the water column down. It also seems possible to add way to much OM, if the redox potential drops too low you favor the:
NO3- ->NH4+
chemistry instead of denitrification, also can promote excessive H2S generation... there's a fine line here which requires some experimentation to find...

Cheers,
Jeff
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Old 03-09-2004, 08:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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JLudwig, the point is if plants can survive for more than one year without any liquid fertilization, just relying on the substrate, then this the ideal substrate method. It's probably better than any commercial products available, since with Flourite and Eco-Complete you usually dose after the first 4-6 weeks. I bet that you can't get the same results Enrico gets, using just Eco-Complete and no liquid fertilization.

taslixado, the key with this method is to use really fast growing plants that use up nutrients from the water column(I prefer using Egeria densa) and not to fertilize for the initial 4-6 weeks. Then you can plant whatever you want! Did you dilute the castings with sand?
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Old 03-09-2004, 11:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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hi!

yes, a did it!

the bir problem is whan you move plants with realy greate roots.
is a completely disaster!

best regards!
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