How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 53 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 03-30-2015, 05:38 PM   #521 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hi,i am using Miracle-Gro organic Choice Potting Mix and i was wondering.Do i really need dolomite or muriate of potash?What does the dolomite and muriate of potash even do?

I am starting a 20 gallon high planted tank. I am doing this technique because someone from another forum showed me a link to this thread and i think it sounds good,hard to do but it seems like it seems like it will have a good outcome.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:33 PM   #522 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

hello?hola?bonjure?
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:17 AM   #523 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Not necessarily. I didn't put any in one of my tanks and it's been doing as well. But I have hard water so dolomite isn't really needed, plus I do water changes weekly. As for potassium. You'll need to dose it one day or another eventually when you plants start getting little holes on lower leaves.
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:03 AM   #524 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hi. Informative thread. One aspect that has not been adequately covered is water changes on initial set up. I would assume that because the soil is already mineralised, there is no need for lots of water changes in the first month as one would do in a walstad/dirted tank? If this is completely incorrect, please provide a guideline to follow. Thanks
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:20 PM   #525 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Quote:
Originally Posted by mik778866 View Post
Hi. Informative thread. One aspect that has not been adequately covered is water changes on initial set up. I would assume that because the soil is already mineralised, there is no need for lots of water changes in the first month as one would do in a walstad/dirted tank? If this is completely incorrect, please provide a guideline to follow. Thanks
I doubt there is any kind of definitive guideline to follow.. water changes should be guided by water test results and perhaps by eye. by how the plants are growing. Im no expert but it seems to me the primary reason for mineralising the soil is to 'remove' or convert the less decayed organic matter from the soil which in turn lowers the risk of ammonia spikes in the early days as well as excess nutrients flooding the water column leading to algae blooms.

In my own tank I mineralised the soil quite thoroughly and tested the water daily for the first 18 days.. I saw no reason due to the results I was seeing to perform a water change - the plants after a week of doing nothing much exploded into life.. the fish, some of which were added on day 2 did fine. I had a filter in place and because of this on day 18 I saw a positive result for Nitrite - It wasnt huge, only 3ppm - but I did a water change then just to be on the safe side.. after that I continued to test the water and saw no reason to do a water change.

My routine now is to do a small water change every month, not because its 'essential' but because lowering the water level makes cleaning up easier - also I lose some water when I disconnect the external filter, empty it and give the pads a clean... I use water from the tank to do this. So, my water changes are around 10/15% once a month. and everything is ticking along nicely.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:55 AM   #526 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Hi guys I have one question can you use normal crushed red clay brick instead of pottery clay ?
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:20 AM   #527 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

AaronT,
After reading your article(and the 53 pages of posts)I cant help but to try my hand at it. I have never had much luck with in plants in my aquariums, or at gardening in general so I believe this will be a challenge. I've collected what I believe are enough materials to begin in a week or so. I will need to start with more plants than I have now. Wish me luck...
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:27 PM   #528 (permalink)
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Default Can I?

can i apply this process on NPT? Walstad?

do i still need the Dolomite & Muraite of Potash or just the MTS+Clay? for my NPT?
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:37 AM   #529 (permalink)
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Default Top Soil Source

Thanks for the great thread Aaron!

I went to a local landscape materials supplier with a tub and shovel and said I wanted 50 lbs of topsoil. Since the just sell it by the ton, they said take what you need! Free and easy to inspect to get the right stuff! It is in the washing phase now and will start the first drying soon. It is quite cold here in Colorado, so will do the drying cycles in the basement.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:32 PM   #530 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Well, the free top soil didn't work. Loaded with colloidal clay that never cleared. I tried two batches from different sources. I washed the second batch until all I had left was sand! Guess the clay in Colorado top soil isn't suitable for fish tanks. I picked up two large bags of Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil today and put one bag in a 30 gallon stock tank to soak and float off the bark chips and reduce the tannin. I plan to wash it 3 times and lay out to dry and start mineralization process, then wash the second bag and add to the first. I intend to do the wet/dry cycles for several weeks. I have the murate of potash, dolomite, and laterlite that I was going to used with the MTS. My water is very soft (snow melt mostly) with a PH about 8 from the crap they buffer it up with so it doesn't etch copper pipes and and pollute the river. (I call it crap because they started using it back in the 1980's without telling anyone and killed all my fish when my nice PH 7 tap water suddenly became PH 8 buffered enough to raise my 90 gallon tank PH to 8 with a 10 gallon water change.)

I assume I need to use the dolomite but probably not the potash as per the MTS recipe. Would extra dolomite be good? Should I add the laterlite to 5-10% of the volume of soil? Is the cat litter or equivalent necessary if I use the laterlite?

Thanks for any advice! Larry
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