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Discussion Starter #382
Alright thanks Jeffy, I appreciate the quick feedback since I'm in the process right now.
Jeff is right. It's best to wait for it to clear. The soaking is really just to do water changes to remove any harmful chemicals such as pesticides that might be in the soil.
 

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Would aragonite be a good replacement for dolomite because I can't seem to find dolomite anywhere but my lfs has aragonite. Also since the 3M gravel is tough to find is there any others you'd suggest with a good CEC, preferably black thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #384
Would aragonite be a good replacement for dolomite because I can't seem to find dolomite anywhere but my lfs has aragonite. Also since the 3M gravel is tough to find is there any others you'd suggest with a good CEC, preferably black thanks.
Well, the 3M doesn't have hardly any CEC to speak of. The CEC in this case is in the clay you add to the mineralized topsoil. 3M stopped making the sand I used to use. Estes now makes one called ceramaquartz that is the same product, but it has limited distribution. Black Flourite would be a good cap, not the sand, the regular black one. The sand is too fine in my opinion.

Aragonite will also add carbonate hardness, which you'll want to avoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #386
Any cheaper black gravels with good cec.. If not could I just do an inert one and be good with the clay?
The only one I know of is the ceramaquartz. It doesn't have hardly any CEC though. Regular gravel is fine to use. You can also use Turface, Safe-T-Sorb or Soilmaster Select.
 

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Hey Aaron,

I have one problem. No store around my place has any topsoil at this time of the year. What i have with me however is MGOC, MG enriched potting mix. I thought of mineralizing these but due to the high organic content, it might take forever. Now, I had this ridiculous idea.. what if I mineralized ADA Amazonia Powder aqua soil? it just came to mind because they mentioned that Amazonia has some nutrients in it and I have seen shrimp bowls that only have that aqua soil and the plants growing fine.

What are your opinions on this? Is mineralizing the aqua soil a good/bad idea? Should I just mineralize the MGOC instead?
 

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Discussion Starter #388
I would just mineralize the miracle grow soil. You'd have to crush up the Aquasoil and it would be quite tedious. You could also pre-cycle the Aquasoil if you don't want to deal with the initial ammonia spike. Simply put it in a bucket and keep it wet and keep changing the water.
 

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I would just mineralize the miracle grow soil. You'd have to crush up the Aquasoil and it would be quite tedious. You could also pre-cycle the Aquasoil if you don't want to deal with the initial ammonia spike. Simply put it in a bucket and keep it wet and keep changing the water.
thanks aaron! based on your exp, how many wet to dry cycles did you have to do with MGOC compared to reg topsoil?
 

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thanks aaron! based on your exp, how many wet to dry cycles did you have to do with MGOC compared to reg topsoil?
Enough. Seriously, though I've never used MG soil as my Home Depot always has the topsoil. Do it until it doesn't smell bad when wet and exposed to air.
 

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This is a really good detailed write up. I've never heard of anyone using this method here in UK, I'm going to give it a try on a little tank and show it in a journal on the UK forum(UKAPS)

The thing is we are big on dosing over here and people are more likely to go for an inert substrate and dose the water column heavily with E.I.

Your pictures proves its effective and as they say 'there's more than one way to skin a corpse in a ditch' ...is that the saying?
 

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Discussion Starter #392
This is a really good detailed write up. I've never heard of anyone using this method here in UK, I'm going to give it a try on a little tank and show it in a journal on the UK forum(UKAPS)

The thing is we are big on dosing over here and people are more likely to go for an inert substrate and dose the water column heavily with E.I.

Your pictures proves its effective and as they say 'there's more than one way to skin a corpse in a ditch' ...is that the saying?
Oh my, not sure about skinning corpses....

Sometimes I do still dose in my MTS tanks, but not usually in the first 3-6 months. There are a few plants that I find do better with some ferts in the water column so it broadens my ability to keep more species that way.

Start the journal here too if you would and let us know how it goes. :)
 

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I will do Aaron. I'm going to get my current tank a journal here too.

Do you treat an MTS tank as any other height tech tank. In which you would perform weekly water changes, run pressurised co2 and have mid-high light(no direct sunlight)

I have tried to read though as many pages as possible on my tapatalk app but its a tedious job so I hope I'm not asking you something you have answered many many times.

Thanks
 

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I will do Aaron. I'm going to get my current tank a journal here too.

Do you treat an MTS tank as any other height tech tank. In which you would perform weekly water changes, run pressurised co2 and have mid-high light(no direct sunlight)

I have tried to read though as many pages as possible on my tapatalk app but its a tedious job so I hope I'm not asking you something you have answered many many times.

Thanks
I do mine, but you don't have to. I run med-high light and pressurized CO2. Water changes are more important in the beginning month or so. Doing frequent small ones is better than large ones as it will help the tank cycle faster.
 

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My ADA 90-P aquarium with a mineralized soil substrate
I LOVE this tank! What is the grass like plant? Would it still work for Corys, everything I've read on them says sand because of there sensitive barbells, but I'd think 'grass' would be just as gentle? Thanks! :)
 

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Hey Aaron or anyone else who can answer.

I am new planted aquariums an I am planning to swap the sand out of my existing tank for a plant friendly substrate. I would like to try MTS but I have a few questions.

I would like to try a few of the additives from the EHS soil method any thoughts

Azomite
soft rock phosphate
maybe sul-po-mag
peat, since this is going to be a non co2 setup the plants need a source of carbon, any thoughts?

I still plan to use the dolomite, murate of potash, and the clay.

Thanks in advance
 

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Hey Aaron or anyone else who can answer.

I am new planted aquariums an I am planning to swap the sand out of my existing tank for a plant friendly substrate. I would like to try MTS but I have a few questions.

I would like to try a few of the additives from the EHS soil method any thoughts are appreciated

Azomite
maybe greensand
soft rock phosphate
maybe sul-po-mag
peat, since this is going to be a non co2 setup the plants need a source of carbon, any thoughts?

I still plan to use the dolomite, murate of potash, and the clay.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or opinions
 

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Discussion Starter #398
I've used the greensand. I didnt' really notice it helped much. The potassium it offered still wasn't enough and I had to eventually fertilize the water column. I do run high light though so your low-tech setup might not show a need.

The peat won't last either. Just get plenty of fish and feed them well and you'll have enough CO2 for a low-tech setup.
 

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I'm returning back to planted tanks after many years of being away from it. After a bit of reading, and chatting with Sean, think I've convinced myself to use MTS over aquasoil. It'll be a rock/wood/sand front style scape. No stems. Pretty much crypts and Epiphytes...things that dont' need replanting on short time scales. ...though I am tempted to plant some marsilia minuta on the sand and sand/MTS transition and let it creep out over the sand in time. I don't want to do any major re-planting for years if all goes well :p Just trimming and a little thinning.

Does that all sound sane or recommendations otherwise?

Is this type of sand appropriate or should I look at courser sand?
http://greenleafaquariums.com/planted-aquarium-substrate/gla-nature-sand.html

Also, corys. Do they dig too much with an MTS type tank? I know loaches will.
How about MTS (snails)? Are they problematic?

Thanks!!
 
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