How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 21 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 05-12-2010, 08:25 AM   #201 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

oh and could i add sand over then mineralized soil? like play sand :P
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:26 AM   #202 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

or should i either go for silica? ( pool filter sand, abit bigger in grain size, like 1-2mm
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:30 PM   #203 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheddar254 View Post
hey aaron,
great post! very useful! going to be using it soon! i would just like to ask some questions please!

at step 6 when putting the gravel over the mud wouldnt some of the gravel sink into the mud? thus causing a mixture thing?

and as for adding the clay? is there any sort of specific clay you must use or any?

thanks
I used pottery clay, the red stuff. I am not sure if the other clays have lotsa iron, but I can attest that I have great growth and have never dosed iron in my mineralized topsoil tank. Therefore, one can conclude that red clay has iron. You could probably find some at an art supply store, if there is one in your area.

Adding sand overtop is fine. I don't think it matters what kind, but allegedly playsand is more lightweight than other sand so it's less likely to sink. I didn't have enough sand, so some of the soil was exposed to open water. All that happened was the tank was cloudy for a few weeks. A couple water changes and filter cleanings and it is all good.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:19 AM   #204 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hey aaronT,

I am going to be trying this method with my 90 gallon tank, which I am going to be redoing now in the 5 week holidays we have here in South Africa during the Soccer World Cup. I am too lazy to go and look around for proper topsoils so i just dug some out of my garden and have started soaking it today! I will continue to post updates over the days ( weeks ) and will post pictures of the final product, so stay tuned

The Garden soil


Starting to rinse
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:20 AM   #205 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Ok, i walked my dog just now to the local art/ stationary supplies shop and i found this stuff called terracotta? It was in some weird language so i couldn't find out if it had a high iron content, it say moulding clay/paste at the back, heres a pic of it -

Funky clay


should i give it a shot its only R29 which is about $2 or $3

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Old 06-08-2010, 10:57 AM   #206 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Just make sure that it has no other additives that may harm plants or fish. That looks expensive for a very small package. I got my big block of pottery red clay at a local pottery studio. It was 25 lb for about $5.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #207 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Ok i have just started to lay it out to dry on a cut refuse bag, can some one please tell me if this is how its supposed to look?

Drying Out


Close Up
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:55 PM   #208 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

has anyone used earthgro topsoil? after i did the 4 rinse n drying i have more organics then dirt, is this ok or should i try a different brand.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:47 PM   #209 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by xpistalpetex View Post
has anyone used earthgro topsoil? after i did the 4 rinse n drying i have more organics then dirt, is this ok or should i try a different brand.
Thats what I used, and I dont really have any large amount of organics. I sifted mine through window screen.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:43 PM   #210 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hello! I live in georgia and was wondering if I can use the red Georgia clay that is so prevalent in this area? This is the kind of clay that makes our rivers turn red when it rains and will stain your clothes orange.

Can I use only Georgia clay since I wouldn't be using the type of clay you use for pottery? I would just be digging it up from the yard. Could I get away with only a 1/4 inch layer of pure ga clay with 2 inches of fluorite over that?

Also, assuming i can't use Georgia clay place of garden center topsoil, can I use silt from a pond? We have a cabin on a small lake that's being filled in with silt from erosion upstream (construction). There is a lot organic matter in this silt since the lake has basically become a bog. Would using this organic rich silt be preferable? It doesn't appear to be clay-based because it's dark brown and clay isn't common at our cabin.

The silt seems to be extremely low in nutrients and minerals, and seems to be primarily organic matter because sphagnum moss and pitcher plants grow well in it, and sphagnum moss and pitcher plants can not tolerate nutrients or minerals. I'm unclear as to whether it's desirable to start with soil that's mostly organic matter so that you'll end up with more mineralized media in the end, as opposed to substrate that is mostly inorganic to start with. This stuff is thick silty muck.
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