Mineralized Top Soil Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Mineralized Top Soil Substrate

I am starting to do my top soil substrate. I am following this thread
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html
by AaronT

I dose every now and then when I have a chance to. This method for me makes it where if life gets ahold of all of my time I don't have to worry about my dosing schedule. Here is a result of topsoil with minimal dosing. roughly once a week on some ferts





I have my 2 bags of plain old top soil with no ferts added. I put one bag in a large tupperware container and put water in with it mixing it up and breaking up all of the large clumps. the water level is a few inches over the top of it. I will keep this updated as I go along.

this is going to be fun!
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post #2 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 12:45 AM
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Join the fun! I'm currently mineralizing mine also. I washed the topsoil in water twice and laid it out to dry on a tarp. Once it was dry, I sprinkled some water and made it nice and muddy again. Then, I let it dry and started the process again. I'm on my second dry/wet cycle. I'm thinking of doing it one more time and then laying it out in the tank!
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post #3 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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sweet. I am going to follow Aaront's thread to a T lol!

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post #4 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 02:34 AM
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Very nice photos
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post #5 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 02:59 AM
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Wow, this method sounds amazing!

I might do this for a 5.5 nano so that i don't have to dose it (other than potassium?)

Can you find all the stuff needed at a home improvement store? other than the dolomite which might be at a petstore.
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post #6 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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I looked for the clay at my local garden center and didn't find it.. I am going to order it online.

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post #7 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 05:20 AM
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you can get the clay at an arts store (i.e. "Michael's" around here). The Potash was difficult to find, the big stores (Home Depot and Lowes) don't carry them. I finally found some at a local nursery - you can do some 'phone shopping' beforehand. The dolomite can usually be found at an LFS that has reef supplies.

The mineralized setup works great for my nanos (2.5 gallon setups), going to try it on a couple larger ones and try to set up a large, high-light system like Aaron has going.

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post #8 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 05:59 AM
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http://www.marjonceramics.com/pages/products.html

You should be able to find everything you need there.

Clays can be bought powdered which will save you some time and energy (Raw Clays).

Everything else you need will be under Raw Materials.

Most everything you need will be under $2 a pound.
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post #9 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the helpful link! much appreciated!

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post #10 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 02:04 PM
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I second the art supply store!
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post #11 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 05:22 AM
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Ken, which tank are you doing this in?

I'm planning on doing this too, once I'm ready to restart my 46gal as a planted tank. Ingg already hooked me up with my "raw materials" (thanks again Ingg!!!! )

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post #12 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Laura.... I am going to do this with my 75 gallon. I am going to try to do this in a one day marathon! I am already getting the mixture ready to go. I will take the plants out and put them in a few different bags. the fish will go into a large tupperware container with a filter running on it. I will drain the tank and away we go!

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post #13 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooha View Post
you can get the clay at an arts store (i.e. "Michael's" around here). The Potash was difficult to find, the big stores (Home Depot and Lowes) don't carry them. I finally found some at a local nursery - you can do some 'phone shopping' beforehand. The dolomite can usually be found at an LFS that has reef supplies.

The mineralized setup works great for my nanos (2.5 gallon setups), going to try it on a couple larger ones and try to set up a large, high-light system like Aaron has going.
A caution here.

Most of the "clays" - all of them that I found locally except one loner product, actually - in stores like Michaels and Joanne's were not true clays, but man made polymer materials. When you see the self setting, etc, odds are it is polymer. Be very careful of what you are buying in those kinds of shops. Not that it'll do harm, but you want the iron content of real clay, which isn't in the polymers!

I went to a pottery supply store to get a block of real, pure clay.

For Potash, call around to Farm and Family, John Deere Supply, type stores. It is a pure form of a fertilizer used for farming. Bag will say like 0-0-60 or 0-0-50.


FWIW - All my tanks are going to mineralized soil. I personally feel it is every bit as good as Aquasoil, etc, and in some ways, better!

I've even begun to test the limits of those plants that are not supposed to fare well in it. Happy to be able to report that Tonina Fluviatilis is growing gangbusters, Belem is growing as well. Blyxa Japonica and Aubertii also doing well. Erio Type 2 is struggling. I slaughtered Ludwigia Pantanal in the past, need to try that one again. All plants that supposedly don't fare well in this substrate system (due to lack of water column dosing).
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post #14 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 12:36 PM
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This is a thread worth a sticky

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post #15 of 1072 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 01:25 PM
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Well, I'm convinced to give it a try. I have a 40 breeder that I plan on tearing down soon to rescape. This is a perfect opportunity to give this a try.
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