Aquatic Plant Forum banner
561 - 580 of 596 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,630 Posts
I think the clay is there mostly to hold the nutrient ions for the roots to get to them easier. I don't think the iron in clay is accessible to the roots until bacterial activity make it accessible. But, I'm far from an expert in soils. Chelated iron is immediately usable by the plants.
hmm. Interesting hoppy! I simply sprinkled my clay into the tank so it slowly sunk into the substrate. Of course this tank is dirted already, but after about 2 weeks the clay began to give the ludwigia arcuata of which i sprinkled it around, an orange - red color tone to it. Of course this could be something else but i haven't changed a darn thing for months. Reason i added the clay is cause i did a little research (mostly on TPT) and people also had the same experience..

Also i must point out i'm not an expert to soils either. I merely test, and observe!

here is the thread i read, i focused on your post and the following post under you.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...rameters/960698-there-iron-rich-red-clay.html

p.s. (thought i might add) im not using pottery clay, i just got some red clay from the yard, dried it for a week in the greenhouse, and crushed it up to Very fine (under 1mm>) dust like sizes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hey Aaron, I will be using your guide for my first planted aquarium. The only question i have is would i be able to use pool filter sand instead of the black sand/gravel you used as a cap? I like the white look of the pool filter sand. i understand if it end up mixing with the soil it wont look so nice but was wondering what your thoughts would be?
Thanks,
Jordan Phelan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,436 Posts
With a soil bottom layer, when you use pool filter sand as the top layer, you don't get mixing of the two materials. You do have to be careful when poking plants into the substrate, and if you make a mistake and pull the plant back up, you can get some soil on top of the sand, but it migrates back to below the sand over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
First thank you very much for creating such a nice thread.. it took me on and off 3 days to go through most of the information.. user experiences and wonderful analysis..

Thank you Very much Aaron.

If my reply make any one angry kindly please accept my apology and dont want to dig a old thread intentionally. I saw a petco sale and wanted to try a 20gallon tank and to do a proper way.. went through many videos..and all decided to go Low tech.. first. Most of the videos says using Topsoil is old school and the plants roots digs deep into the top soil and its very hard to remove..and some just dumping any organic potting mix capping with some sand or gravel and adding water..

Saw another video using quikrete sand from home depot ..washing few times and adding to the tank. I want to do this proper and right way.. saw many replies ..many people trying different top soils.. every one posted the pics before trying and often forgot (i might have missed too.. sorry) to update their results if it worked or not.. i know its tough to expect everything and so nice of you guys spending your valuable time.

After all this years.. if any one have an ultimate formula..saying use this topsoil bought here.. use this clay..can be bought here.. use this dolomite.. it will really helpful and encourage more newcomers like me.. I live in Long Island , NY..and we have many nurseries around.. sadly most of them are whole sale..as a first step i will go around and ask about the topsoil that dont have any organic stuff or peat moss..and as much plain as it is..

can you please advise where i can buy lava rocks, dolomite (https://www.amazon.com/Dolomite-Lime-Dolomitic-Calcitic-Garden/dp/B0131MU8BO), Murate of potash and pottery clay in local stores..

Again thank you very much for such a in depth thread..and wonder why it kind of stopped in between..

Thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,436 Posts
Do I need CO2 unlike Walstad method? Thanks!
The need for CO2 is caused by having a lot of light, not from using a soil substrate underlayer. When plants are growing slowly they don't need a lot of carbon to use to make new plant tissue. The faster they grow the more they need additional CO2 for the carbon. And, the biggest cause of fast plant growth is ample light. If you ignore this need for more carbon the plants will not be very healthy, and unhealthy plants invite algae to take over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Do I need CO2 unlike Walstad method? Thanks!
The need for CO2 is caused by having a lot of light, not from using a soil substrate underlayer. When plants are growing slowly they don't need a lot of carbon to use to make new plant tissue. The faster they grow the more they need additional CO2 for the carbon. And, the biggest cause of fast plant growth is ample light. If you ignore this need for more carbon the plants will not be very healthy, and unhealthy plants invite algae to take over.
Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Hello! How to dose pottasium after initial source of pottasium is used? Can I dose the Muriate of potash that 100% water soluble? I read somewhere that we need to dose liguid dosage of Potassium (KH2PO4). What is the difference?

I'm finding hard to get red clay. Can I use gray clay which is available easily for me? Does that contain iron? Or can I use red soil (mix with little clay) that's commonly available in India? Is that one are you referring to laterite?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,738 Posts
Hello! How to dose pottasium after initial source of pottasium is used? Can I dose the Muriate of potash that 100% water soluble? I read somewhere that we need to dose liguid dosage of Potassium (KH2PO4). What is the difference?

I'm finding hard to get red clay. Can I use gray clay which is available easily for me? Does that contain iron? Or can I use red soil (mix with little clay) that's commonly available in India? Is that one are you referring to laterite?

Thanks!
You can use Muriate of Potash. KH2PO4 has phosphate in it.
You can dose small of amounts of chelated iron, no need for red clay. I'm not sure if plants can access the iron oxide in red clay anyway. You can use clay laterite as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Hello there,

Will all plants do well with this method? Unlike the Walstad Method which describes that the soil as substrate (without Mineralizing), and some plants would not make it, and we focus the plants that grow well?

Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,953 Posts
Mineralized topsoil is one type of substrate for planted tanks. It can be used for Walstad tanks, high tech tanks, any kind of aquarium where you want to grow plants. You can use any other technique you want: high light, low light, CO2, water column fertilization, substrate fertilization, EI, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
It always seems to me that soil & Walstad are one and the same and then I realize that it would work with any method.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,436 Posts
It always seems to me that soil & Walstad are one and the same and then I realize that it would work with any method.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
El Natural tanks are not the same as other tanks, where soil is used. El Natural uses soil that contains a lot of living things and other organic material. The breakdown of those organic materials and the activity of the living things generates CO2 for the plants. When you use a non-El Natural method for your tank you should be wary of organic stuff, and living stuff, in the substrate. You will probably be using more light, so faster plant growth, with CO2 being added to support that faster growth. The unknown stuff in the soil can cause problems for you, instead of being an asset as in El Natural tanks. In my opinion it is best to mineralize the soil - convert any organic nitrogen to inorganic nitrogen - when you are not following the El Natural method. Of course you might have a very successful tank however you do it, but the odds aren't the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
It always seems to me that soil & Walstad are one and the same and then I realize that it would work with any method.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
El Natural tanks are not the same as other tanks, where soil is used. El Natural uses soil that contains a lot of living things and other organic material. The breakdown of those organic materials and the activity of the living things generates CO2 for the plants. When you use a non-El Natural method for your tank you should be wary of organic stuff, and living stuff, in the substrate. You will probably be using more light, so faster plant growth, with CO2 being added to support that faster growth. The unknown stuff in the soil can cause problems for you, instead of being an asset as in El Natural tanks. In my opinion it is best to mineralize the soil - convert any organic nitrogen to inorganic nitrogen - when you are not following the El Natural method. Of course you might have a very successful tank however you do it, but the odds aren't the same.
I found that out by trying to combine the two. I used extremely rich, sticky swamp humus I collected mixed 50/50 with safe t sorb and a sprinkling of osmocote capped with bdbs. Medium lights and moderate co2 = endless algae problems.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,436 Posts
I found that out by trying to combine the two. I used extremely rich, sticky swamp humus I collected mixed 50/50 with safe t sorb and a sprinkling of osmocote capped with bdbs. Medium lights and moderate co2 = endless algae problems.
I try to forget my experiences with combining El Natural with my previous experience with CO2, fertilizing, etc. Those experiences have never been something I would want to remember.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Thanks for writing this article, Aaron!

I tried set up a nano tank with Mineralized Soil three weeks ago. I'm pleased with the overall results. Plants are growing like crazy. I had little bit of hair algae.

I used cheap potting soil, and sprayed water over the soil and dried. I repeated this process 4 times. They turned into airy powder like. Just sprangled MOP, no calcium and magnesium added as my water is hard water.

Plants used:

Ludwigia Depend
Sagittaria sp. Dwarf
Vallisneria
Backpack Carolinians
Ludwigia Palustris
Cabomba Caroliniana
Rotala Rotundifolia
Limnophila Sessiliflora
Hygrophila Polysperma "Rosanervig'
Dwarf hair grass
Frogbit
Etc.,

I use no filter, just DIY CO2 for now.

Here is the three weeks update video:


After seeing the amazing results, I plan to use Mineralized Soil for my 30 gallon aquarium.

Thanks!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I am collecting ingredients from Aaron's recipe so that I can put a soil substrate in my 6-gallon tank. I found a bentonite clay in the facial care and cosmetics section at WalMart. The Sky Organics Indian Healing Clay comes in a 16-ounce jar of fine dry powder for $9.97. The label claims it is 100% pure bentonite clay from Wyoming, 100% natural, no additives, chemical free. It sounds like a good product for the aquarium, and it will be easy to blend into the wet mineralized soil.

Is this an appropriate source of clay for the mineralized soil substrate? I read an earlier post about bentonite being extremely fine. Will this be a problem in the soil layer? Also, what about iron content? Are there other disadvantages to using bentonite clay?

Thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I am collecting ingredients from Aaron's recipe so that I can put a soil substrate in my 6-gallon tank. I found a bentonite clay in the facial care and cosmetics section at WalMart. The Sky Organics Indian Healing Clay comes in a 16-ounce jar of fine dry powder for $9.97. The label claims it is 100% pure bentonite clay from Wyoming, 100% natural, no additives, chemical free. It sounds like a good product for the aquarium, and it will be easy to blend into the wet mineralized soil.

Is this an appropriate source of clay for the mineralized soil substrate? I read an earlier post about bentonite being extremely fine. Will this be a problem in the soil layer? Also, what about iron content? Are there other disadvantages to using bentonite clay?

Thank you to all who have contributed to this discussion.
I kept seeing those products on amazon and finally ordered clay on ebay. It said carolina clay and it is really red in appearance. Is it 100% clay? I'm not sure but better than ordering those expensive products off Amazon. I also tried home depot, lowes, local stores and couldn't find a bag of clay!!

Omid

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,436 Posts
When I was playing with mineralized top soil I spent a lot of time looking for real clay, minus any additives. I did finally find some, but I don't remember where I found it. I think it was sold for pottery use. It was wet clay, of which I used about 10% of what I got. Soon, the remainder was a brick, which was very difficult to make into a powder! I solved this problem by using ADA Aquasoil!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,738 Posts
Have you guys tore down your mineralized soil tanks? It's interesting to see the pottery clay separate out from the soil so you end up clumps of 100% clay.

I'm sure you can use Safe-t-sorb or Oil-Dri for clay matter.
 
561 - 580 of 596 Posts
Top