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I would avoid the U.S. penny, because it is made of copper and could cause copper poisoning., Nails are not a very good way to introduce iron either. In general it is not a good idea to have metals in contact with the water. If you don't want to shell out for commercial chelated iron solutions designed for planted tanks, you can always have soil under the gravel which will supply iron to the roots.
 

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Would it be possible to substitute crushed terra cotta pots (not used/glazed) instead of potters clay? I assume they would be high in iron due to the red color, and know they are safe in an aquarium, but really have no idea past that... Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #243 ·
Would it be possible to substitute crushed terra cotta pots (not used/glazed) instead of potters clay? I assume they would be high in iron due to the red color, and know they are safe in an aquarium, but really have no idea past that... Any thoughts?
You could always use Laterite, which is available in most aquarium shops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #245 ·
i just have a bunch of busted ones, that i figured i could use. Currently in my basic tank i use them as decoration...
I don't think it would do much for you. You need the clay for its flocculating abilities as well. There are places online to order just a pound or two of the powdered clay. If you're going to skip anything skip the dolomite and / or potash. The clay, and the right amount of it, is very key to success.
 

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just a FYI

I found both dolomite powder and potassium chloride (muriate of potash) at a Vitamin Shoppe. the pair for less than $10

maybe theyll have one near you

http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/content/en/stores/index.jsp;jsessionid=25240NTI1R1QWCQUC4YFAFQKCQL00UNE?intsource=header&tab_selection=vitamins
last question before i start my adventure :)... Vitamin Shoppe is quite closer than southern states, or a hardware type store...would these vitamins be sufficent, as long as theres no other weird ingredients listed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #247 ·
last question before i start my adventure :)... Vitamin Shoppe is quite closer than southern states, or a hardware type store...would these vitamins be sufficent, as long as theres no other weird ingredients listed?
I'm not sure that dolomite powder is the same thing. The potassium should be fine though. It's also sold in grocery stores as a salt substitute called "No Salt" or something like that.
 

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Hello Aaron,

thanks a lot for your description, we even have a translation of it in german: http://www.flowgrow.de/substrate/mineralisiertes-erdsubstrat-von-aaron-talbot-t4187.html

I used the search function and read some 30 pages of this thread to check if somebody has brought up my topic before but had to give up after I realized that there are 250 (!). So I'm sorry if you already answered the following question:

In your step 9 your write
Cover the mud with more of the same border gravel from step 6.
Doesn't the gravel sink into the mud and a result you have a mixture of mud and gravel which is not wanted? How do you avoid this effect - do you wait until the mud has dried so far that the gravel doesn't sink?

Denis
 

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Discussion Starter · #249 ·
Hello Aaron,

thanks a lot for your description, we even have a translation of it in german: http://www.flowgrow.de/substrate/mineralisiertes-erdsubstrat-von-aaron-talbot-t4187.html

I used the search function and read some 30 pages of this thread to check if somebody has brought up my topic before but had to give up after I realized that there are 250 (!). So I'm sorry if you already answered the following question:

In your step 9 your write Doesn't the gravel sink into the mud and a result you have a mixture of mud and gravel which is not wanted? How do you avoid this effect - do you wait until the mud has dried so far that the gravel doesn't sink?

Denis
Hi Denis,

No, the gravel will not sink into the mud. Most of it will remain on top as the mud is very thick. Once the tank is established the soil will naturally settle to the bottom whenever disturbed.
 

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Hi Denis,

No, the gravel will not sink into the mud. Most of it will remain on top as the mud is very thick. Once the tank is established the soil will naturally settle to the bottom whenever disturbed.
Hello Aaron,

thanks for your quick reply - OK, then the "thickness" of the mud must be high enough so the gravel stays on top, sounds convincing.

Denis
 

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i cant really get ahold of any potters clay due to the only craft shop in the area being hobby lobby and all they had were synthetic clays. but due to some local construction on drainage ditches there is some very dark red dirt. will this work as an alternitive and what if anything do i have to do to it to make it useful and safe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #252 ·
It might. Of course, you could always order some pottery clay online too.
 

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thank you tho another question is since the weather hasnt been very friendly lately ive ended up doin several rinses tho only one complete dry, i was wondering if drying and soaking it completely is needed any more, could i just keep it damp and constantly stir and turn it to make sure it is completely oxygenated? would this mineralize it or is the complete soak needed for more then dissolveing fertilizers and what not?
 

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Hello Aron,

I'am from Bangalore,India & have had NPT's for almost 4 years now. Since I read this thread of "Mineralizing Soil", I'am a bit curious to try this out. My only question is with the last part of the process where the slush of the mineralized soil is poured in to the tank.As another member here raised the concern of the top layer substrate sinking into the slush,even I have the same concern.So is it ok to add the mineralized soil as dry powder & then cover it with the top layer substrate of my choice?

Many thanks,
Ravi
 

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Discussion Starter · #255 ·
Hello Aron,

I'am from Bangalore,India & have had NPT's for almost 4 years now. Since I read this thread of "Mineralizing Soil", I'am a bit curious to try this out. My only question is with the last part of the process where the slush of the mineralized soil is poured in to the tank.As another member here raised the concern of the top layer substrate sinking into the slush,even I have the same concern.So is it ok to add the mineralized soil as dry powder & then cover it with the top layer substrate of my choice?

Many thanks,
Ravi
Ravi,

I find it a lot easier to add it wet. I've done it both ways and adding it dry is actually messier because the particles are so fine it takes a while for it to saturate and you get a lot of gas bubbles in the substrate. Trust me that the gravel will not sink into the mud.

-Aaron
 

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Thanks for that Aaron. Your last line - "Trust me that the gravel will not sink into the mud." convinced me to give it a try ;). Thanks once again. Will keep things posted.

Thanks,
Ravi.
 

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I'm having trouble finding dolomite. Is this a necessary ingredient, is there a substitute? I've tried several aquatic/marine stores/websites and can't find it.
The vitamin shoppe carrys dolomite pills. Vegetarians take them for a supplement. Just put them in a grinder to make them into a powder.
 

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instead of using Clay, Dolomite and Muriate of Potash, can we substitute with Iron powder, CaCO3, MgSO4 and K2SO4?
 

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instead of using Clay, Dolomite and Muriate of Potash, can we substitute with Iron powder, CaCO3, MgSO4 and K2SO4?
You can't substitute the clay, it's being used not only for the iron content but it flocculating ability. As far as the other substations, I know the dolomite should be the crystal form, and the potash I purchased is potassium chloride derivative, as apposed to sulfate. Thats as far as my chemistry skills though, so I'm not sure if that effects anything.
 
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