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Old 09-12-2011, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cooking soil?

Okay its gotten cold in ohio now and now that I want to setup another tank I can't seem to do the mts thing. I wanted to know if I soaked the soil then baked it in the oven would I be okay. Raising a couple of times?
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cooking soil?

Better to soak, rinse, and drain several times, and not use the oven. The point of the soaking and drying is to allow the beneficial bacteria to work in an oxygen rich environment. Baking the soil in an oven would kill them, and defeat the purpose of this step.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well even my oven only goes down to 170...didn't know that. Lol

Well it got a little warm today but I don't have the stuff to start. Go figure.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cooking soil?

With the oven I'd preheat it, turn it off, then after a few minutes of some cooling time then you can add the dirt, less than 100 degrees would be ideal. You don't want to kill off the good stuff in it.

Better bet would be to get a cheap dome shop light from the local hardware store, about 8 bucks with a nice incandescent flood light/heat lamp to help the drying process.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cooking soil?

As most folk I'm lazy and refuse to use the Search feature of this forum.

So someone please enlighten me - why do you need to make sure you dry the substrate. If the idea is to supply O2 to the microorganisms so they do their thing in an afterburner mode why not just wet the soil and spread it in a thin layer exposed to air + misting it with water every so often so it stays half-wet.

I suspect that the heating/drying cycle does something to the organics (reduces them maybe) or it helps the break down of something.

So what's the reason for wetting/drying again?

--Nikolay
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cooking soil?

Instead of trying to mineralize topsoil I use worm casings. The worms have taken the organics out of the soil and that is the idea behind mts.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cooking soil?

I've done all three methods, soak/dry method, boiled and bake method. I see no difference in the tanks (all 20g longs).
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