05-17-2009, 09:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Upton, MA
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
| | Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot
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!