How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 45 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 04-14-2013, 10:38 AM   #441 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by Biomarine2000 View Post
Hello everyone. I'm in the process of setting up my first planted. It so happens to be a 47 gallon bowfront. I saw this post on how to make mineralized soil substrate on another forum and it sold me. I had done a ton of reading and this one just seemed to me the best to DIY. I love DIY. There is so much satisfaction in it. I want to thank Aaron for the awesome write up. I'll be sure to update on how the soil turns out. It's currently in my driveway drying. I don't know what kind of lighting to use yet or the plants ill have but I do know it will start out low tech.

Again, thanks Aaron for the great write up.
I'm glad you're going to give it a try. I think you'll be really pleased with the results. Also, welcome to APC.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:22 PM   #442 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hello all,

I want to make my first planted tank with soil, and I like this method a lot, but I'm thinking to make it with a twist, and I would appreciate your opinions: I want to add Laterite instead of clay, and also add some Vermiculite.

I also have a question regarding the clay and or slit present in my soil, I have rinsed the soil serveral times, but it seems to me that the slit is also behaving like a coloidal and it never settles down, so the water is always black-brown, and is a large % of the soil I got. I can feel the sand in the botom and is spongy like Aaron said. Should I keep rinsing it?

Thank you,
have a nice week
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:47 PM   #443 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by fbm224 View Post
Hello all,

I want to make my first planted tank with soil, and I like this method a lot, but I'm thinking to make it with a twist, and I would appreciate your opinions: I want to add Laterite instead of clay, and also add some Vermiculite.

I also have a question regarding the clay and or slit present in my soil, I have rinsed the soil serveral times, but it seems to me that the slit is also behaving like a coloidal and it never settles down, so the water is always black-brown, and is a large % of the soil I got. I can feel the sand in the botom and is spongy like Aaron said. Should I keep rinsing it?

Thank you,
have a nice week
Laterite is fine to use instead of clay. It is clay. I would crush it up into a powder and mix it dry with the soil. Isn't vermiculite those little white balls in potting soil? They would get uprooted and float all over your tank. I would leave that out.

It sounds like your soil is ready. Once you add the clay you won't have that issue and also remember you'll be capping the soil with a much coarser gravel or sand.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:32 AM   #444 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hi All, I just find a place That sell The Dolomite if any one needs it. go to www.pawtasticpet.com Thay sell The Estes Ultra Reef Dolomite its under saltwater gravel 50lbs $17.99 I just order same. Thanks
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:42 AM   #445 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

I just wanted to mention that I followed Aaron's method and finally setup the tank a week ago.
I can't comment on the growth of my plants because for totally different reasons I had a set back and they melted(growing back slowly) and I am also still waiting for the proper lights to arrive so currently just keeping the plants alive with minimal light. But for a start after setting up the tank and filling it up I got 0 clouding, and the water came out crystal clear. Mineralizing the soil certainly has it's good sides. I even moved a few plants afterwards and it didn't manage to make a mess at all. It's like the soil isn't there. And even with my current 0.3W light there's new growth already. I can't wait to see what happens when I get a bit more light in there.
My water stats(Gh, Kh ) didn't change much at all so far either so the dolomite is staying put at the bottom I guess. And I've got no ammonia or nitrIte at all readable but my filters were cycled prior to putting the soil in.

Good luck to all. I loved the challenge and don't regret the hard work prior.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:20 AM   #446 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hi. I love this thread! I see that you can use LAterite instead of clay, which I like because I stock that in my store... I'm new to planted tanks, but have been keeping fresh and reef tanks for 15+ years. So, I have bare topsoil that is rinse/drying as we speak and when it comes time to make the "mud", what can be used in place of Dolomite?? I am doing up a 125 for Discus or Angels (haven't decided yet) and want to get the tank filled within the next 2 weeks. Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:46 AM   #447 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hey Aaron thanks for the awesome thread. I'm getting ready to set up my first planted tank and plant to use the MTS process for it. One question I have is about the soil. Instead of using topsoil I was wondering if I could use the silty mud stuff thats on the bottom of the lake at my cabin. The plants in the lake go crazy in the stuff and grow big and fast. Could I take some of this stuff and mineralize it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:03 PM   #448 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hello, Aaron. Thanks so much for this ultra-helpful post. I'm a newbie trying to be extra careful. I'm getting ready to set up my first planted tank and have a few questions:

I'm not so good at eyeballing things. Would it be best to measure ratio of clay to topsoil by weight (scale) or by volume (measuring cup)?

Is it okay to mix topsoil with leaf mold (product description says: produced by a very slow breakdown of leaves from trees and shrubs into a rich humus....long slow composting period...screened to ensure consistency and size-1" 3/8" This product is rich in beneficial microbes....)? Since its already humus would it cause algae blooms, or would it bind to minerals and make them more available to plants?

Do you think this substrate would work with a dry start method?

Thanks again for providing this information!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:12 PM   #449 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

What size tank are you setting up s2b?

It's okay to add a very light dusting of the leaf mold to get bacteria started, but in general organics are what we're trying to minimize with this process.

Yes, it can be used to do a dry start method.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #450 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

I'm setting up a 6.5 gallon long for a betta and a few shrimp or mini corycats. I want to do a SE Asia biotope (I know, corys are South American, but I love them so!) with cryptocorynes and prevent melt.

In chapter VIII, Diana wrote that "Investigators have repeatedly shown that aquatic plants grow much better in sediment or soil than in sand [31,32]. Aquatic botanists may use fine-textured inorganic sediments containing mostly silt [27] or terrestrial soils rich in organic matter [28]. For example, 6 species of submerged plants grew 2 to 7 times faster in a mixture of sand, horticultural soil and leaf mould (equal parts) than in pure sand [28]. And one investigator [33] used a 3 parts soil and 1 part leaf mould to successfully grow ‘difficult’ Cryptocoryne."

I wondered why, so I did a little research and learned that one of the causes of melt is the sudden decrease of CO2 when transitioning from emersed to submerged, and leaf mold will release lots of CO2 into the water.

I'm considering mixing 1 part leaf mold with 3 parts mineralized cheap topsoil in Sean Murphy's soil method. Then I'd do a DSM with a gradual increase in water level over a month or two so the crypts have time to get used to pulling CO2 from the substrate.

Does this sound crazy? It's all theoretical based on bits of information from different sources. I don't plan to set up the tank until mid/late July so there's plenty of time to change or tweak it.

VAL
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