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Aaron, your original post you were using 3M Colorquartz T-Grade Black Sand. I have found that this is no longer available? What are you using now a days?
 

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Aaron, your original post you were using 3M Colorquartz T-Grade Black Sand. I have found that this is no longer available? What are you using now a days?
Yes, that is true. It's such a bummer. It was and still is my favorite all time substrate choice.

I'm actually using Brightwell's cafe colored substrate right now. Our club did a group order and I wanted to try it out.

If I were to choose a cap for MTS now I would use Flourite Black. Not the sand, but the regular black one.
 

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Yes, that is true. It's such a bummer. It was and still is my favorite all time substrate choice.

I'm actually using Brightwell's cafe colored substrate right now. Our club did a group order and I wanted to try it out.

If I were to choose a cap for MTS now I would use Flourite Black. Not the sand, but the regular black one.
So it is safe to assume that this is what you would use for your skirt before putting the slurry mixture in as well correct?
 

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So it is safe to assume that this is what you would use for your skirt before putting the slurry mixture in as well correct?
Yes, and that step is really only for aesthetic reasons.
 

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Yes, and that step is really only for aesthetic reasons.
Why cant the black flourite sand be used if this is "more aesthetically pleasing" to the hobbyist desiring to use the MTS method (i.e. me for the moment)? Or can it and you recommend not for a reason that has yet to be explained....:D
 

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I'm actually using Brightwell's cafe colored substrate right now. Our club did a group order and I wanted to try it out.

If I were to choose a cap for MTS now I would use Flourite Black. Not the sand, but the regular black one.
Are you using strictly Brightwell or did I misunderstand and you are still doing MTS and capping with Brightwell? Sorry for all the short lame questions. Just trying to make sure I know what I am doing before I shoot myself in the foot and loose a bunch of new plants.
 

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Are you using strictly Brightwell or did I misunderstand and you are still doing MTS and capping with Brightwell? Sorry for all the short lame questions. Just trying to make sure I know what I am doing before I shoot myself in the foot and loose a bunch of new plants.
It's pure Brightwell. Honestly, I'm wishing I had used MTS as the Crypts just don't do as well as I"m used to.
 

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I love MTS as a substrate, combined with good lighting with decent PAR, and co2 nothing beats a beautiful planted tank with mineralized topsoil!!!

I'm currently debating on whether to go with MTS or Flourite when I set my 45 gallon long (48"x12"x19") back up. But as for right now I'm with MTS for my 30 gallon (36"x12"x19") rebuild, which was tore down because the stand started leaning back, which means it needs reinforced and that'll happen starting tomorrow and through the weekend.
 

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First, I'd like to say thank you for creating such a wonderfully informative thread. I had a question that I didn't see answered when I was reading through the 500+ posts, but thought I'd ask since it's winter time.

I know the soil is supposed to be left out to dry, but if it's indoors, would putting a heat lamp and/or fan combo on the mud help the process, or will it mineralize faster if it just naturally air dries?

Thanks again, and I'll have to post photos of my tank when it's ready!
 

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A heat lamp would work to dry it. It would likely dry quickly indoors anyhow though. The winter air is so dry.
 

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I am setting up my first dirted tank. And have a few questions, I have the mexican pottery clay needed. Although I could not find the Miracle gro organic "potting" soil. All I could find was the Miracle gro organic "top" soil.

Q1. After reading about some folks finding the top soil they purchased was not going to work I though I would ask if anyone has experience with this Miracle gro organic "top" soil?

Q2. Any thoughts on Azomite rock dust put down before the MTS?

Q3. In place of the Dolomite and Muriate of potash, would potassium carbonate and calcium carbonate work? I have both as a PH up for my aquaponics.

Q4. We have pretty hard water here, is there a large difference in GH/KH in the WC vs MTS/substrate? In other words would it be prudent to add the both K2CO3 and CaCO3?

Q5a. I make my own vermicompost "worm castings" they work wonders for the garden and potted plants. I have considered adding some to the PRE-minerlized topsoil, any thoughts on this? I feel as though it would leach out most of the nutrients.

Q5b. Adding fresh vermicompost (VC) to the POST-MTS. I have used both the fresh VC and aerated worm compost tea in the aquaponics with no adverse effect on the fish, the plants went bonkers, although it is a 200g tank.


This may have been the wrong place to post this but there some VERY knowledgeable people in this thread. Please point me to the correct place if needed.
 

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I am setting up my first dirted tank. And have a few questions, I have the mexican pottery clay needed. Although I could not find the Miracle gro organic "potting" soil. All I could find was the Miracle gro organic "top" soil.

Q1. After reading about some folks finding the top soil they purchased was not going to work I though I would ask if anyone has experience with this Miracle gro organic "top" soil?

Q2. Any thoughts on Azomite rock dust put down before the MTS?

Q3. In place of the Dolomite and Muriate of potash, would potassium carbonate and calcium carbonate work? I have both as a PH up for my aquaponics.

Q4. We have pretty hard water here, is there a large difference in GH/KH in the WC vs MTS/substrate? In other words would it be prudent to add the both K2CO3 and CaCO3?

Q5a. I make my own vermicompost "worm castings" they work wonders for the garden and potted plants. I have considered adding some to the PRE-minerlized topsoil, any thoughts on this? I feel as though it would leach out most of the nutrients.

Q5b. Adding fresh vermicompost (VC) to the POST-MTS. I have used both the fresh VC and aerated worm compost tea in the aquaponics with no adverse effect on the fish, the plants went bonkers, although it is a 200g tank.

This may have been the wrong place to post this but there some VERY knowledgeable people in this thread. Please point me to the correct place if needed.
1. - I've never used it. You're looking for dirt, not loamy type soil.
2. - I've never used it, but it can't hurt to try it.
3. - Dolomite and Potash don't raise pH. With your already hard water the only additive you need is the potash. The MTS and any other substrate does not have enough potassium. KCL is what you want. Do not use K2SO4 in teh substrate. It's fine in the water column, but could cause sulfide pockets if buried in the substrate.
4. - see answer 3
5. Yes, the vermicompost is fine to use. I would use it underneath the MTS when setting up the tank. A buddy of mine used it and it has worked well.
 

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Aaron, you deserve some type of internet medal of honor. Here we are 7 years after you first started this thread, and you are still answering questions. This is a great resource!

As you know, I am a Walstad guy. I think mineralized topsoil is an essential enhancement to the Walstad method. My longest running tank is now 4 years old and showing some signs of potassium deficiency. Do you prefer to use KCl or K2SO4 in the water to correct this?
 

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Humic acid is undecomposed organic matter in soil that has an acidic property. Chemically it is a mixture if random molecules. CEC refers to Cation-Exchange Capacity. This is the ability if the soil to lock up and later release positively charged nutrients. Humic acid has a very high level of CEC.
 

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Aaron, you deserve some type of internet medal of honor. Here we are 7 years after you first started this thread, and you are still answering questions. This is a great resource!

As you know, I am a Walstad guy. I think mineralized topsoil is an essential enhancement to the Walstad method. My longest running tank is now 4 years old and showing some signs of potassium deficiency. Do you prefer to use KCl or K2SO4 in the water to correct this?
Answering them slower than usual albeit....

Either one is fine for the water column.
 

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any thoughts on adding Humic Acid? I heard reference to it as a CEC. would it stain the water?
I wouldn't do it unless you are doing a black water biotope and want stained water.
 
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