How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot - Page 60 - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 11-24-2020, 04:49 PM   #591 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

It would probably be ok, but I'm not sure what would be gained if it's mixed in substrate.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:14 PM   #592 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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Originally Posted by GadgetGirl View Post
It would probably be ok, but I'm not sure what would be gained if it's mixed in substrate.
Clay mixed in the substrate promotes plant growth by increasing the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil, helping roots to efficiently utilize soil nutrients.

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There are a few other components to the mineralized soil recipe. Clay provides a source of iron. The clay also serves to bind with the soil as a flocculating agent. When plants are uprooted or disturbed, the added clay will help the soil to settle back to the bottom of the tank.
I'm still not sure about the sodium vs. calcium question, though.

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Old 02-08-2021, 08:25 PM   #593 (permalink)
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Default Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

Does anyone here keep invertebrates? I've given this recipe a go and it appears to have created a toxic environment for my shrimp and nerite snails. Several batches have died, even after isolating one variable after another. Meanwhile, I'm keeping another dirted tank, utilizing the same tap water and many of the same plants, with zero issues.

I raised this issue on the El Natural forum, and Diana Walstad mentioned: "Many clays contain aluminum. The clay may be fine by itself, but when you mix it with an organic soil, the organic matter can solubilize the aluminum oxides and release toxic aluminum into the water. Invertebrates are particularly sensitive to heavy metals, which includes aluminum." She also was concerned about using solid potash.

I've spoken with two others who have used this mineralization method and cannot keep invertebrates in those tanks, despite being able to keep them in other tanks. It seems quite likely that something toxic is being leached from the soil substrate.

I'm very curious if anyone else has experienced an issue like this using the mineralization method suggested in this post.
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Aquatic Plant Central > General Interest Forums > APC Library > How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate, by Aaron Talbot

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