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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
Many plants...little time
Coltonorr's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,634
I threw everything in the tank yesterday.
I mineralized soil for about 4-5 is a time consuming process, not hard but time consuming for sure and dirty. I managed to dry the soil faster with a box fan and I would constantly stir up the soil and turn it over, and break up the bigger chunks

my trusty soil turner...

Then after 4 wet/dry cycles I sifted the soil through a screen...dusty is not the word!!!

I was left with a very fluffy pile of dust...aka nice mineralized substrate...

3 days before I planted I soaked ~2.25lbs of Malone Red clay in a 5 gal bucket filled about 1/3 of water to break it down.

I added the soil to the clay/water mix...then added a little extra water...I was shooting for a cake batter consistency...this was a little harder to judge the right amount because you want the clay to make up about 5-10% of the total mixture. I actually used a very small portion of the 120lbs of topsoil I actually mineralized. I would say I used maybe 1/4 of all the soil I actually sifted.

Ah...Cake Batter!

Sprinkled a layer of Dolomite and Potash...

Then I basically spread the soil across the bottom of the tank...the mineralized portion of the substrate is about 1/2" deep.

Capped the soil with pool filter sand...initially I was going to get black ColorQuartz but since my basement is dark, I figured a room brightening tan sand would look better.

My hardscape...nothing is set here, I like parts of it, and not others. This will change for sure!

Now planting...please be nice.ops:
Full Tank.

Some equipment...

These timers are awesome...they even account for daylight savings time.

Thanks for looking.
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