How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 58 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 09-22-2020, 10:35 AM   #571 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Mineralized topsoil is one type of substrate for planted tanks. It can be used for Walstad tanks, high tech tanks, any kind of aquarium where you want to grow plants. You can use any other technique you want: high light, low light, CO2, water column fertilization, substrate fertilization, EI, etc.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:54 AM   #572 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

It always seems to me that soil & Walstad are one and the same and then I realize that it would work with any method.

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Old 09-23-2020, 08:17 AM   #573 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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It always seems to me that soil & Walstad are one and the same and then I realize that it would work with any method.

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El Natural tanks are not the same as other tanks, where soil is used. El Natural uses soil that contains a lot of living things and other organic material. The breakdown of those organic materials and the activity of the living things generates CO2 for the plants. When you use a non-El Natural method for your tank you should be wary of organic stuff, and living stuff, in the substrate. You will probably be using more light, so faster plant growth, with CO2 being added to support that faster growth. The unknown stuff in the soil can cause problems for you, instead of being an asset as in El Natural tanks. In my opinion it is best to mineralize the soil - convert any organic nitrogen to inorganic nitrogen - when you are not following the El Natural method. Of course you might have a very successful tank however you do it, but the odds aren't the same.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:38 AM   #574 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppycalif View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetGirl View Post
It always seems to me that soil & Walstad are one and the same and then I realize that it would work with any method.

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El Natural tanks are not the same as other tanks, where soil is used. El Natural uses soil that contains a lot of living things and other organic material. The breakdown of those organic materials and the activity of the living things generates CO2 for the plants. When you use a non-El Natural method for your tank you should be wary of organic stuff, and living stuff, in the substrate. You will probably be using more light, so faster plant growth, with CO2 being added to support that faster growth. The unknown stuff in the soil can cause problems for you, instead of being an asset as in El Natural tanks. In my opinion it is best to mineralize the soil - convert any organic nitrogen to inorganic nitrogen - when you are not following the El Natural method. Of course you might have a very successful tank however you do it, but the odds aren't the same.
I found that out by trying to combine the two. I used extremely rich, sticky swamp humus I collected mixed 50/50 with safe t sorb and a sprinkling of osmocote capped with bdbs. Medium lights and moderate co2 = endless algae problems.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:59 PM   #575 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by Weaveman View Post
I found that out by trying to combine the two. I used extremely rich, sticky swamp humus I collected mixed 50/50 with safe t sorb and a sprinkling of osmocote capped with bdbs. Medium lights and moderate co2 = endless algae problems.
I try to forget my experiences with combining El Natural with my previous experience with CO2, fertilizing, etc. Those experiences have never been something I would want to remember.
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Old 10-02-2020, 02:57 AM   #576 (permalink)
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Thanks for writing this article, Aaron!

I tried set up a nano tank with Mineralized Soil three weeks ago. I'm pleased with the overall results. Plants are growing like crazy. I had little bit of hair algae.

I used cheap potting soil, and sprayed water over the soil and dried. I repeated this process 4 times. They turned into airy powder like. Just sprangled MOP, no calcium and magnesium added as my water is hard water.

Plants used:

Ludwigia Depend
Sagittaria sp. Dwarf
Vallisneria
Backpack Carolinians
Ludwigia Palustris
Cabomba Caroliniana
Rotala Rotundifolia
Limnophila Sessiliflora
Hygrophila Polysperma "Rosanervig'
Dwarf hair grass
Frogbit
Etc.,

I use no filter, just DIY CO2 for now.

Here is the three weeks update video:

https://youtu.be/9keOUpyKnMA

After seeing the amazing results, I plan to use Mineralized Soil for my 30 gallon aquarium.

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:35 PM   #577 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

I am collecting ingredients from Aaron's recipe so that I can put a soil substrate in my 6-gallon tank. I found a bentonite clay in the facial care and cosmetics section at WalMart. The Sky Organics Indian Healing Clay comes in a 16-ounce jar of fine dry powder for $9.97. The label claims it is 100% pure bentonite clay from Wyoming, 100% natural, no additives, chemical free. It sounds like a good product for the aquarium, and it will be easy to blend into the wet mineralized soil.

Is this an appropriate source of clay for the mineralized soil substrate? I read an earlier post about bentonite being extremely fine. Will this be a problem in the soil layer? Also, what about iron content? Are there other disadvantages to using bentonite clay?

Thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:43 PM   #578 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latka View Post
I am collecting ingredients from Aaron's recipe so that I can put a soil substrate in my 6-gallon tank. I found a bentonite clay in the facial care and cosmetics section at WalMart. The Sky Organics Indian Healing Clay comes in a 16-ounce jar of fine dry powder for $9.97. The label claims it is 100% pure bentonite clay from Wyoming, 100% natural, no additives, chemical free. It sounds like a good product for the aquarium, and it will be easy to blend into the wet mineralized soil.

Is this an appropriate source of clay for the mineralized soil substrate? I read an earlier post about bentonite being extremely fine. Will this be a problem in the soil layer? Also, what about iron content? Are there other disadvantages to using bentonite clay?

Thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion.
I kept seeing those products on amazon and finally ordered clay on ebay. It said carolina clay and it is really red in appearance. Is it 100% clay? I'm not sure but better than ordering those expensive products off Amazon. I also tried home depot, lowes, local stores and couldn't find a bag of clay!!

Omid

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Old 11-24-2020, 07:35 AM   #579 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

When I was playing with mineralized top soil I spent a lot of time looking for real clay, minus any additives. I did finally find some, but I don't remember where I found it. I think it was sold for pottery use. It was wet clay, of which I used about 10% of what I got. Soon, the remainder was a brick, which was very difficult to make into a powder! I solved this problem by using ADA Aquasoil!
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:44 AM   #580 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Have you guys tore down your mineralized soil tanks? It's interesting to see the pottery clay separate out from the soil so you end up clumps of 100% clay.

I'm sure you can use Safe-t-sorb or Oil-Dri for clay matter.
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