How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 13 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 05-05-2009, 01:27 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by disvegas View Post
Thanks Ingg for your input. One question for you and Aaron though, is there such as a thing as putting too much substrate? If I filled my tank with 1in to 11/2 in thick of substrate, would that be too much?
Keep it around an inch deep and you'll be just fine.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:44 PM   #122 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Why is it that I started with an entire bag of topsoil, now it seems like I have less than half?
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:31 AM   #123 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

That's because the organic stuff breaks down into minerals. That said, the soild would be denser that before.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:39 PM   #124 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hi Aaron,

what an Excellent writeup of this methodology, and great How-To instructions!

Since you said "It is still possible to use pressurized CO2 and high lighting with this method of fertilization.", I'm wondering if this would be a good substrate for an "El Natural" or Walstad-type setup? I know its recommended to allow the plain garden soil to be open to the air for a bit before using it in a Walstad-style tank. The reason cited is so that any organic matter in the process of breaking down will off-gas the ammonia before submerging it.

And, this goes in line with the consensus that using a soil layer that is too high in organics causes algae problems. So this method has me very intrigued!

That said, do you know of examples of folks using either natural lighting or moderate lighting and not supplementing CO2 with this substrate? How are their results? Has anyone been using higher light without CO2, and if so, how are those results?

This really interests me because on several of my low-tech tanks, after the initial year or more, I've been able to pump up the light and grow more light-demanding plants. Given this mineralized soil idea, this sort of makes sense to me now. Of course, the growth rate will not be the same as with CO2 added, but if carbon dioxide is the limiting factor, would the plants still get by without water column dosing in this setup.

This is really intriguing. I just KNEW there was a reason I hadn't re-set-up one of my tanks yet. I think I'll give this a try.

Thanks again for a great How-To!
-Jane
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:03 AM   #125 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hey Jane,

I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I know of several people who use this method on lower tech tanks and it works wonderfully.

Give it a shot and I think you'll be pleased with the results.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:36 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

What should the dimensions for the area of mineralized soil be if my tank is 48 inches by 18 inches?
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:41 AM   #127 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by hooha View Post
Aaargh! fyi, if you leave a container of mineralzed soil open, a cat _will_ use it as a litter box!!
Eeeeew! That's NOT a recommended form of fertilizer, it'll cause an ammonia spike for sure, LOL!

Guess he/she thought you were bringing the great outdoors inside, to help them have a more natural experience
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:48 AM   #128 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

What would be a total start to finish time for a 120gal, and how many lbs. should I need??


Thank you

Scott
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:44 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

I am trying this on a small 1.5 gallon tank. Haven't decided what the cap will be though.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:14 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by skonoski View Post
What would be a total start to finish time for a 120gal, and how many lbs. should I need??


Thank you

Scott
Start to finish time varies. In the summer months it takes about 2-3 weeks to mineralize the soil well.

I would think three 40 lb. bags of soil would be good. You'll want to use about 2-3 pounds of clay with that. I always eyeball the dolomite and potash. I just sprinkle it on until it covers the bottom like in the pictures.
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