Aquatic Plant Forum banner

221 - 240 of 593 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Just curious as to growing moss and pellia in a tank using MTS, and how it performs? I'm interested because I have seen the warnings about fertilizing the water column causing algae outbreaks if not done minimally and accurately. As i'm looking to set up a shrimp only tank, where for me large amounts of moss and pellia will be a must, I just wanna make sure that I shouldn't be looking at AS instead where dosing wont be an issue? If it is required.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
450 Posts
This article: http://amania.110mb.com/Chapters/Tech/sub-aquasoils_en.html

States not to use KCI (muritate of potash) in the soil as it kills bacteria.

Not saying that's the case as there are many articles and much info on the web that often conflicts, but the article is quite in depth and I thought it worthy of discussion.

What forms of potassium are available to plants via soil? K+ is not, correct?
I've seen and read that article before and found it quite interesting. That said, I don't think it's referenced well, making the task of checking the primary sources difficult to say the least. If you had read the article more carefully, you will see that he states that KCl will kill bacteria when used at a quantity of 5-10%. The amount of KCl used in mineralized soil is probably much lower than that overall. If you have it available, i'm sure that K2SO4 could also be used, but since KCl is more readily available, that is what is suggested.

Finally, K+ is the only oxidation state of potassium readily available and stable under standard (and aquarium) conditions...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi Aaron
Sensational thread by the way!!.
Aaron i am about to start , but i have 2 questions.
1)How deep can i have the mineralized soil, 2 inches or more?
2)What is total depth including the gravel and soil do you recomend ?

Cheers mate

Andrew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Also just another question :)

Does the soil have to be totally dry,before adding it back into the container before adding more water to it ?

cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
great thread...just started my own batch of MTS

however...it appears to me that the first step should be to dry it thoroughly and screen it initially (a large mesh) to remove the majority of the debris then move on to a finer mesh towards the end

i filled with water...scraped the surface of twigs and bark...and realized that the entire submerged top is more twigs and bark that could have been removed easily 10 mins before...

either way, exciting!....i think Im going to take soem liquid ferts and leave them to dry...take the solid that remains and sprinkle it across the bottom of my tank as well jus to get rid of it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
AaronT,

AaronT, I'm interested in knowing the purpose of the topsoil so I could have a better understanding of the purpose of the top soil. For example, if the top soil is just to hold nutrients and a filler it doesn't matter what kind of dirt it is. But I believe this and it may be based on my incorrect assumption, that the soil used is already supposed to have other nutrients that makes it good for the plants.

You see I've gone to the store multiple times and asked for a few different types of top soil for using in this recipe. I'm interested in a specific brand of top soil so I know what to get. (other then Nature's Pride bag of top soil which can't be found around these parts).

Aaron T, is there any direction I can be pointed in?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #227
I don't see the point in trying to keep all the minerals in the soil. Plants can take all the macronutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S) quite efficiently from the water column.
That's true they can. My reason is because I find it's the easiest way for me to keep a low-maintenance, high-tech tank with minimal algae issues. Again, that's just my preference. It's especially ideal in a planted tank using all rooted type plants such as Echinodorus or Cryptocoryne species as they are heavy root feeders.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #228
Just curious as to growing moss and pellia in a tank using MTS, and how it performs? I'm interested because I have seen the warnings about fertilizing the water column causing algae outbreaks if not done minimally and accurately. As i'm looking to set up a shrimp only tank, where for me large amounts of moss and pellia will be a must, I just wanna make sure that I shouldn't be looking at AS instead where dosing wont be an issue? If it is required.
I don't really see the reason for an enriched substrate if most of what you are growing will be mosses and liverworts. I would just go with Aquasoil or something else in that case.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #229
Hi Aaron
Sensational thread by the way!!.
Aaron i am about to start , but i have 2 questions.
1)How deep can i have the mineralized soil, 2 inches or more?
2)What is total depth including the gravel and soil do you recomend ?

Cheers mate

Andrew
Andrew,

Keep the soil layer between 1/2"-1" deep and the top layer about another 1.5"-2.5" on top of that.

The reason for allowing the soil to dry is that the mineralization of the soil takes place when it is just damp and exposed to lots of oxygen. It's not as important to keep submersing the soil over and over again. That is more if you are concerned about removing any fertizilers or other chemicals that could be in the soil. Otherwise, you could simply keep spraying the soil to keep it a little wet until you notice that it doesn't smell anymore.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #230
great thread...just started my own batch of MTS

however...it appears to me that the first step should be to dry it thoroughly and screen it initially (a large mesh) to remove the majority of the debris then move on to a finer mesh towards the end

i filled with water...scraped the surface of twigs and bark...and realized that the entire submerged top is more twigs and bark that could have been removed easily 10 mins before...

either way, exciting!....i think Im going to take soem liquid ferts and leave them to dry...take the solid that remains and sprinkle it across the bottom of my tank as well jus to get rid of it
Yup, that's probably not a bad place to start.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #231
AaronT,

AaronT, I'm interested in knowing the purpose of the topsoil so I could have a better understanding of the purpose of the top soil. For example, if the top soil is just to hold nutrients and a filler it doesn't matter what kind of dirt it is. But I believe this and it may be based on my incorrect assumption, that the soil used is already supposed to have other nutrients that makes it good for the plants.

You see I've gone to the store multiple times and asked for a few different types of top soil for using in this recipe. I'm interested in a specific brand of top soil so I know what to get. (other then Nature's Pride bag of top soil which can't be found around these parts).

Aaron T, is there any direction I can be pointed in?
Diana K had a great post about this several pages ago. What you are trying to achieve with MTS is a substrate in which all of the organics are broken down into mineralized nutrients (i.e. bioavailable).

Don't worry about brand names. Get the cheapest bag of topsoil Lowes or Home Depot has to offer. It's cheap because they don't add anything like fertilizer, peat, vermiculite, etc. to it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #232
This article: http://amania.110mb.com/Chapters/Tech/sub-aquasoils_en.html

States not to use KCI (muritate of potash) in the soil as it kills bacteria.

Not saying that's the case as there are many articles and much info on the web that often conflicts, but the article is quite in depth and I thought it worthy of discussion.

What forms of potassium are available to plants via soil? K+ is not, correct?
That's true. Using too much can inhibit the growth of good bacteria in the soil, however the amount we are using is pretty small. Using K2SO4 can cause issues too though. The sulfate could make it easier for hydrogen sulfide to form in the substrate, which is just as bad, if not worse.

I'm planing to try greensand in the next tank I set up. I'll let you all know how it turns out.
http://homeharvest.com/orgfertespoma.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Diana K had a great post about this several pages ago. What you are trying to achieve with MTS is a substrate in which all of the organics are broken down into mineralized nutrients (i.e. bioavailable).

Don't worry about brand names. Get the cheapest bag of topsoil Lowes or Home Depot has to offer. It's cheap because they don't add anything like fertilizer, peat, vermiculite, etc. to it.
Thank you very much Aaron.
I had spent my time reading so far the last 12 or 13 pages of this thread.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #234
FYI: For anyone looking for potash I found they carry it at Southern States if you have one nearby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi guys, great method and very informative thread!

Just a query regarding the final step of this method as I am putting together my first intensively planted tank and want to do it just right!

Is there a reason why the MSS is only meant to be 1/2"-1" deep? Also, does it need to be in its liquid form when you put it in the tank? Would the idea of letting it dry out and scaping the bottom of the tank with it not work?

The reason I ask is that I'm planning on having a full carpet in my tank so don't need to worry about what colour the substrate is... also want it sloping up towards the back but because my tank is so shallow (8") I would ideally just like to have a substrate completely made up of this MSS, sloping from maybe 1" at the front to 2.5" at the back. Any thoughts on this?

Also more of a general question - with mineralised substrate such as this, would having carbon in the filter be a problem in terms of taking nutrients from the plants? Do people generally use carbon media in planted tanks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
lets see...

1. you HAVE to cap it with something (pool filter sand, fine gravel, etc) if done correctly it becomes very light and airy...if you dont cap it...its not heavy enough to keep plants in the soil or keep the MTS out of the water column

2. you keep a thin layer (.5"-1") because you want it to have a good soil conductivity of water and O2. otherwise it will become anaerobic and will release toxic compounds as the few remaining organics in teh soil break down

3. you can let it dry out if you want...but its easier to handle if its moist

i did my tank in the opposite direction...dusted the bottom with nutrients...put my moist MTS in my tank and used a tool to pull it from the borders....then filled with moist pool filter sand

its easier to plant that way IMO then filled the tank SLOWLY

4. as far as using carbon in the filter...it doesnt hurt anything...its a personal preference really...a number of people do use it...a number of people dont
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
lets see...

1. you HAVE to cap it with something (pool filter sand, fine gravel, etc) if done correctly it becomes very light and airy...if you dont cap it...its not heavy enough to keep plants in the soil or keep the MTS out of the water column

2. you keep a thin layer (.5"-1") because you want it to have a good soil conductivity of water and O2. otherwise it will become anaerobic and will release toxic compounds as the few remaining organics in teh soil break down

3. you can let it dry out if you want...but its easier to handle if its moist

i did my tank in the opposite direction...dusted the bottom with nutrients...put my moist MTS in my tank and used a tool to pull it from the borders....then filled with moist pool filter sand

its easier to plant that way IMO then filled the tank SLOWLY

4. as far as using carbon in the filter...it doesnt hurt anything...its a personal preference really...a number of people do use it...a number of people dont
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi killacross - thanks for that, very useful! Will be investing in some fine gravel after all then!

Can't wait to see the fruits of my labours, can't believe it's taking this long though... what with preparing the soil and growing my UG carpet emersed I probably won't have fish in my tank until Christmas :-o
 
221 - 240 of 593 Posts
Top