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Aaron T and others,
I just moved (again) and will be re-starting my 90 gallon planted tank. I want to do the mineralized soil process and bought 2 large bags of soil today, along with a block of pottery clay. I couldn't find dolomite or potash but did some online research about potash. I read that potash is mostly just ashes from burnt wood, and that the chemical value of potash from burnt corn cobs was the best. Can anyone throw the BS flag on that? Can I just grab ashes from my fireplace to mix into the soil? Thanks for any and all insight!
Rob
 

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I can't really give any advice on the fireplace ashes but my normal response would be to give it a try and see how it works. However, a 90g is a big tank to experiment with and if something goes wrong it's a big tank to take down and set up again ;)
 

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Muriate of Potash and just Potash are two different things.

You're looking for Potassium Chloride (KCL) or Muriate of Potash. Jeremy of Oregon Aqua (one of our sponsors) sells it at a very reasonable price.
 

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Potassium cloride is a mineral that is a salt substitute, and you can get it at any grocery store.

Here is the definition of potash:

Potash: A generic and commercial name for naturally occurring potassium salts. Its name is derived from pot ashes denoting the ancient method of leaching wood ashes for their potassium carbonate content and concentrating the extract in iron pots.

So simply putting ashes in your aquarium would do nothing but make a mess. It is a process of extracting the potassium from ashes and concentrating them in order for it to be used. Would you know how to do that? I wouldn't. Too much work any way! ;)

Potassium sulfate or potassium nitrate have always been the two most used by hobbyists
 

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You can easily find Muriate of Potash (KCL) at nurseries. It's pretty cheap. Works well as a source of Potassium for your plants too. Just don't let your let your fish mistake it for food and digest a chunk, it's lethal; KCL will stop the heart immediately. Dissolve it first.
 
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