How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 27 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 01-19-2011, 12:23 PM   #261 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Thanks Lizzz.
I guess alternative, we can probably just mix up some fert with Clay, and roll up some small clay balls and push them under the substrate.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:15 AM   #262 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

From the number of post begging for brand names of topsoil, I'll add this:

Currently finishing the mineralization of a bag of EarthGro brand topsoil, from my local Home Depot. This seems to be exactly what Aaron tells us to look for, cheap ($1.33 for a 50 pound bag) and soil only. The stuff has some sticks and rocks, but nothing in excess. Because of it inexpensive natural, it has no added humus, peat, or fertilizer. It appears to be breaking down just as Aaron promised.

When you screen it dry, watch that you don't discard clay that has dried into small pellets. Half of what appeared to be rocks were actually small chunks of clay. Of course since we are to add more clay, it shouldn't be that big a deal if some is lost.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:16 AM   #263 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hi Aron, I was simply amazed by your article as I have been readvy up on DIY aquarium soil and found your methos both simple and effective. I am a beginner and have a coupleof tanks which aLL have plants. I want to try this method in one of my 20g tanks. Iam in the UK and cannot get my hand of some of these ingredience. can I use any type of clay. "DAS Air Drying Modelling Craft Clay"

thanks in advance.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:39 AM   #264 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickRS View Post
From the number of post begging for brand names of topsoil, I'll add this:

Currently finishing the mineralization of a bag of EarthGro brand topsoil, from my local Home Depot. This seems to be exactly what Aaron tells us to look for, cheap ($1.33 for a 50 pound bag) and soil only. The stuff has some sticks and rocks, but nothing in excess. Because of it inexpensive natural, it has no added humus, peat, or fertilizer. It appears to be breaking down just as Aaron promised.

When you screen it dry, watch that you don't discard clay that has dried into small pellets. Half of what appeared to be rocks were actually small chunks of clay. Of course since we are to add more clay, it shouldn't be that big a deal if some is lost.
Thanks for sharing your experience so far Rick. It sounds like you definitely bought the right bag of dirt. That's a good tip on the screening. I do use a fair bit of force when screening to make sure I only get out the leaves, sticks and rocks.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #265 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Quote:
Originally Posted by brechstylez View Post
Hi Aron, I was simply amazed by your article as I have been readvy up on DIY aquarium soil and found your methos both simple and effective. I am a beginner and have a coupleof tanks which aLL have plants. I want to try this method in one of my 20g tanks. Iam in the UK and cannot get my hand of some of these ingredience. can I use any type of clay. "DAS Air Drying Modelling Craft Clay"

thanks in advance.
Usually modeling clay is synthetic and should NOT be put in an aquarium.

Do you have any local pottery shops? I just asked my local pottery shop where they get their clay and they directed me to a supplier in the city that sells it in 10 lb. blocks.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:24 PM   #266 (permalink)
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Question Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Aaron,

Thanks for writing this great article and share it to the commiunity. I have been thinking about this for a while and atlast I collected all the things in the list that I can get hold off. I just want to make sure I collected the right items and also the process I am following is right.

I know you explained pretty clear but when I started the process of mineralizing right then the questions started hitting me for each and everything in the list below.
Cheap topsoil
Pottery clay
Dolomite
Muriate of potash

The Aquarium I am currently working on is 90 GAL (48 Lx 18 W). So please help me with the quantities if I am putting toomuch or too low.

Topsoil: I got the Topsoil from peterose. Usually this store sell them in tones but the guy let me fill the 5GAL bucket pure topsoil(Without any mulch/peatmoss mix) for free. I noticed minimal organic stuff in it. I started mineralizing the soil. During the process when I dump the muddy water, I noticed Fine soil(Creamy texture) is getting dumped with muddy water. According to my understanding this creamy texture soil is pure soil. When this creamy texture soil dried its turned out like soft powder. The soil sitting in the container bottom has sand like texture that you feel in the beach. The questoin I have is Do I need to keep this creamy texture soil along with sandy texture soil or just sandy texture soil or just creamy texture soil?

Q 1) Which texture soil do I need to keep?

Q 2) 5 GAL bucket Topsoil is that enough for 90 GAL Tank ?

Pottery Clay: I got 2.5 pounds of gray color Pottery Clay for 2$. Not sure whether that is the right clay for this project or not. see the Picture
Q 3) I am not sure also whether the picture helps or not. if Helps Is this the right pottery clay?


Dolomite: Not sure whether this is the right thing I purchased or not. Please see the pictures.
Q 4) Is it the right one? if so howmuch do I need to put in 90 GAL Tank?

Muriate of Potash: Not sure whether this is the right thing I purchased or not. Please see the pictures.
Q 5) Is it the right one? if so howmuch do I need to put in 90 GAL Tank?

I really appriciate your help on this
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:42 PM   #267 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

This weekend I did the First step of minerlizing the soil process in the aquarium and dumped the water and let it dry in the tank itself over the night and day. Today I thought of bringing the bottom layer upside to make the bottom layer exposed to air, I noticed the top layer is nothing but 1/4 inch of PURE SOIL and rest of the bottom layer is fine snad.

The Reason These Layers were seperated might be because of the additional water poured into the tank because of the rain and the way that I mixed/washed the soil when there was still half tank of water.

As these are separated, Do I still need to keep both of these different substrates(SOIL,SAND) or
can I throw away the sand and keep the Pure Soil and continue the process?
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:47 AM   #268 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Varma, wouldn't it be easier to wash the top soil in a bucket and pour it out on a big piece of plastic sheet, as suggested? The 90 gallon going to be difficult to empty and refill repeatly, what with its weight added to the topsoil.
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:28 PM   #269 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Rick

Thanks for your reply.

I live in an area where wind is heavy most of the time in my patio because of the landscape. drying the topsoil on the floor causes huge mess because of the wind and also I am afraid fine soil will be blown away by the wind which will spoil the purpose of topsoil. thats the reason I opted for tank.

I already emptied the tank couple of times so I believe with just soil and 5 inches of water above the soil is not that hard to empty out the water.

Once the minerization is completed I will move the soil to bucket and move the aquarium into the home. This is what my plan is. but If I have to follow the process and use only the sheet I have to dry this soil in my friends place.

Last edited by Varma; 03-21-2011 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:51 AM   #270 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Aaron,


Really Appriciate if you could confirm the bags that I purchased are proper bags. Please see the images attached on 3/17/11


Thanks in Advance
Varma
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