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Hi Aaron,

I've read your entire thread and it's been very inspiring. My next tank is going to be using this method.

I have a few questions though:
I've just bought a bag of ordinary terracotta clay from an arts & crafts shop. I'm sure it's plain, ordinary clay but the colour is a bit paler (more yellowish) than the one in your first post. Do you think this is because of the lower iron content and if it is so, do you think it's still ok to use this clay? What do you think about refined clay, DAS clay or air-dried clay?

Thx heaps
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Hi Aaron,

I've read your entire thread and it's been very inspiring. My next tank is going to be using this method.

I have a few questions though:
I've just bought a bag of ordinary terracotta clay from an arts & crafts shop. I'm sure it's plain, ordinary clay but the colour is a bit paler (more yellowish) than the one in your first post. Do you think this is because of the lower iron content and if it is so, do you think it's still ok to use this clay? What do you think about refined clay, DAS clay or air-dried clay?

Thx heaps
The gray / yellowish clays are fine to use too. Good luck!
 

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That's good then.

One more question, Aaron. Do I need to wait 1-2 days each time I re-soak the soil? Or is it ok just to introduce water to the soil, stir it around really well, then lay it out on the tarp straight away to dry?

Thx mate :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
That's good then.

One more question, Aaron. Do I need to wait 1-2 days each time I re-soak the soil? Or is it ok just to introduce water to the soil, stir it around really well, then lay it out on the tarp straight away to dry?

Thx mate :)
Sorry I'm just responding now, this must have slipped past me.

The reason for the soaking phase is to "rinse" any fertilizers or pesticides or any other chemicals that might be present in the soil. If you're comfortable that those are in the soil you are using you can just wet the soil down again and let it dry. I would still stir it around a bit to make sure it all gets exposed to the air.
 

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Hey, great thread!

Has anyone used Miracle Grow Organic Choice as the base for mineralized soil? Or does it just have too much organic material? The reason I ask is because I have a bag lying around and I'm cheap. :D
 

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Knotty,

Has anyone used a non-inert substrate to cap off the mineralized soil?

For example, let's say you use AquaSoil, or Eco-Complete, or Fluorite as the substrate cap. Would this lead to never-ending algae woes?
It shouldn't pose a problem. I have my 75 gallon tank setup with Flourite Dark as a substrate cap and another with Soil Master Select as a substrate cap.
I would just be sure to do lots of water changes in the first few weeks and use plenty of stems, nitrogen will probably be pouring out. Easy on the light, heavy CO2 if possible.
 

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Would it make sense if I did a little less mineralized soil, like 1/2 or 2/3 the recommended amount, then a layer of gravel, then aquasoil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Just use the Aquasoil then. The nitrates don't last long if you don't use the Powersand, which would be replaced by the mineralized soil in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
Would it be a bad idea to use a layer of gravel. Im only doing it because aquasoil costs alot with shipping and everything.
If your reasoning for using the Aquasoil is aesthetic then yes it is a bad idea. Over time the two gravels will mix together and won't be very attractive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Would eco-complete be a good substitute for the gravel?
Sure, you can use any cap you like. Be forewarned that Eco Complete adds significant hardness to the water column.
 

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Aaron,

I've deicded to transform my bore-looking, bare bottom 150g discus tank into a planted one. And I would like to use your method for the mineralized soil as substrate for the plants. Is there a way to calculate the amount of topsoil/clay, say, per 10g? Thanks.


disvegas,
 
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