How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 29 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 06-08-2011, 10:06 AM   #281 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Is this cheaper than using commercial bagged substrates? (they aren't cheap for large tanks when you need like 3" of substrate).

Thanks a lot of this, I will have to try this out when I do a planted tank again.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:20 PM   #282 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

I know I might have missed this question already but thought I would ask again. I live in southern Indiana and where I live I have a lot of clay below my topsoil and in my top soil. Can I just use the clay that I have in the ground instead of the potters clay.

Thanks for any help. I definitely plan on using this forum to get my 30 gallon up and running.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:01 PM   #283 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

The added clay is for iron content if I remember correctly, and to help control cloudiness by flocculating loose particles (I may have mis-used that term). If you want to depend on the clay from your natural soil, you might be better to just use the entire soil itself for this process without adding any purchased topsoil (about the top 6 inches or so if you have a clay to clay-loam type soil). I did this, but I still find my tank to be a little low on iron and very low on potassium. (I used Beaumont Clay in Chambers County, TX if that means anything to you...you can actually find out what soil you are looking at digging up and its properties by visiting USDA's "web soil survey" and selecting your area of interest and then generate a soil map for it).
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:10 AM   #284 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

CtxD2—Crider-Frederick silt loams, karst is what it says I have. That was a cool website. It told me more than I knew about my area. I plan on just using the soil I have. The only other question I have is that I sit right on lithic bedrock or limestone. Will this cause issue even after mineralizing my soil? Also if I do have issues with iron an potassium what would you suggest to increase both. Thanks for all of your help.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:09 PM   #285 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Silt loam sounds perfect. That mean s a nice mix of clay, sand and silt, but just a bit more on the silty side. The "karst" refers to the limestone parent material. The only issue I would see is that you might have hard water in the tank. Unless you are trying to grow some rare or finicky plants, that should not give you many problems. You can add a thin layer of peat (make this a first layer, below your soil) and that will help soften and acidify the water, or at least nuetralize some of the hardness.

Use the mineralizing process as described in the first post. If you find yourself getting a defficiency, you can find several sources of iron and potassium supplement in liquid or solid form.

Last edited by davemonkey; 06-17-2011 at 01:16 PM..
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:58 PM   #286 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Thanks for the help. I do have hard water so I am sure that might be an issue. Thanks for the help and happy planting.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:52 PM   #287 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

I've set up an aquarium with the mineralized topsoil recipe and the plants are doing wonderful but it has become poison to my shrimp and snails. In a smaller aquarium where I used the soil but not the dolomite lime or muriate of potash my critters are fine. Is lime or potash deadly for invertebrates? Anybody been able to keep invertebrates in a mineralized aquarium?

Eric
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:42 AM   #288 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

My shrimp and snails are fat and happy with MTS, KCL, and a hardscape of limestone rocks. Have you eliminated other possible causes for your problems with invertebrates?
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:54 AM   #289 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

I'm struggling with it. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, less than 10ppm nitrates, 76 degrees. The tank had a copper treatment a year ago, but since then it's been gutted, cleaned, new filters, new substrate, etc. so I don't think that's it. I've spent some time on Google and can't find what else might be poisonous to invertebrates. ATM I'm just doing my water changes and hoping that whatever it is will work itself out in time, and will try again in a couple months.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:21 AM   #290 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Quote:
Originally Posted by ungratefulyouth View Post
I've set up an aquarium with the mineralized topsoil recipe and the plants are doing wonderful but it has become poison to my shrimp and snails. In a smaller aquarium where I used the soil but not the dolomite lime or muriate of potash my critters are fine. Is lime or potash deadly for invertebrates? Anybody been able to keep invertebrates in a mineralized aquarium?

Eric
Hello,

I had the same problem a while ago, inverts kept dying, etc etc.

I have setup a mineralized aquarium (http://translate.google.com/translat...topic%3D154475) about a year ago, and only added any inverts after 6 months of maturation.

I am convinced that some ageing of the substrate is needed.

Good luck.
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