Humus/leonardite based substrate
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:14 PM   #1
fattboa
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Humus/leonardite based substrate


Hello,
Going to change my compost substrate. Heavy root feeders/plants in general not growing as much as they used to and I believe it compacted too much preventing root growth. The plants' roots would rather follow the pool filter sand "valleys" in the soil rather than the soil itself.

Probably going to use sifted and soaked Ace hardware topsoil/garden soil with an Oil dri cap. I'm going to add some humus (Perlhumus brand name) from Humintech. I'm wondering if using this instead of the soil is a good idea or not. This is in contrast to their directions (albeit for terrestrial plants)
http://www.humintech.com/001/agricul...perlhumus.html
I understand this is similar as mineralized topsoil but it appears to be quite nutrient rich? Any ideas?
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:22 AM   #2
SouthernGorilla
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Is the soil just ordinary topsoil? The compacting problem could be solved by adding sand, perlite, or vermiculate to the soil. No terrestrial soil is comprised of just organic matter. All garden soil has clay and sand mixed in as well.

I'm going to subscribe to see how the humus works out. I was thinking about using it for our twenty-gallon but got in a hurry and went with regular dirt.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
fattboa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernGorilla View Post
Is the soil just ordinary topsoil? The compacting problem could be solved by adding sand, perlite, or vermiculate to the soil. No terrestrial soil is comprised of just organic matter. All garden soil has clay and sand mixed in as well.

I'm going to subscribe to see how the humus works out. I was thinking about using it for our twenty-gallon but got in a hurry and went with regular dirt.
I have used one bag of Ace hardware garden soil and one bag of Ace hardware topsoil. Top soil has peat, composted forest products sand (not exceeding 10%). It also says it contains inorganic materials but does not list them. The garden soil is also made of compost/bark, sphagnum peat moss, wetting agent and slow release fertilizer. Also lists quite a number of polymer coated inorganic fertilizers.
I sieved/flooded/dried twice to hopefully remove all inorganic material. Even if some remain they are polymer coated so not very concerned.
I am aware of the inorganic fraction of soil but finding sand over here is an issue no matter how ridiculous searching for sand in a desert sounds like. It is loaded with carbonates. 20ish ml of 5% acetic acid (white distilled vinegar) added to a small amount of "agricultural sand" was enough to make it fizz for 24+ hours. So I'll probably use pool filter sand which I have some of now.
As for the clay, the nearest source of clay sand is 500+ kilometers away. Vermiculite however I do have and not looking forward for the golden flakes floating.
To be honest I am doubtful if I will notice the effects of the humus because I am changing the substrate + cap to something I have not used before. There is no way for me to attribute a positive impact on growth to solely the humus, which Im probably going to use 0.5ish kg at most. However I'll try but not in the near future.
Sorry for the long post.
Meanwhile, entertain yourself http://www.aquabotanic.com/?p=1833
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:36 AM   #4
SouthernGorilla
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You can buy clay online from ceramic supply stores. I just bought ten pounds of it myself. The red art clay comes as a dry powder that you can mix in at whatever proportion you want. The red in the clay comes from iron. I'm sure there are other minerals as well. Ten pounds was more than I needed. I guess I need to buy a bigger tank so I can use the rest.

That link you posted was very interesting. I'm not sure I have the patience to track down all those ingredients.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:21 AM   #5
fattboa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernGorilla View Post
You can buy clay online from ceramic supply stores. I just bought ten pounds of it myself. The red art clay comes as a dry powder that you can mix in at whatever proportion you want. The red in the clay comes from iron. I'm sure there are other minerals as well. Ten pounds was more than I needed. I guess I need to buy a bigger tank so I can use the rest.

That link you posted was very interesting. I'm not sure I have the patience to track down all those ingredients.
I live in Kuwait. There is no online ceramic supply stores or any other online store for that matter. I have to physically go around searching for things. The best "clay" I found was modelling clay from England but there are no claims whether it is a polymer or natural therefore I opted out of using it. I did find DAS terracotta but once again I think it is a polymer therefore not useful. I do not think clay in the substrate will make a marked difference.
I really want to try a substrate of nothing but this http://www.humintech.com/001/agricul...perlhumus.html capped with Oil dri.
I do not want to go the usual "dirt" route.
What do you think about a 100% humus/leonardite substrate? I am not finding any information regarding it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:22 AM   #6
SouthernGorilla
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That perlhumus looks interesting. I'd use it. I'd still want something more in the substrate. But that's just me.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:50 AM   #7
Diana
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About vermiculite in the aquarium:
Break it up REALLY FINE, otherwise it will not blend well with the soil, and you will have gold flakes all over the place.
Been there, done that. Not going to do that again.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
fattboa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernGorilla View Post
That perlhumus looks interesting. I'd use it. I'd still want something more in the substrate. But that's just me.
More in the way of nutrients? Perhaps topsoil or compost?
They list the nutrient content at 1.1% etc, which I assume is w/w% therefore 1.1 g of iron per 100g of soil. What type of iron? I have no idea, I assume its iron oxide? Unfortunately I do not know much about soils. The salinity may be an issue at 0.41%. So it looks like it has enough nutrients.
I think it may have enough nutrients like when compared to the popular Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix at 0.1%/0.05%/0.01%.
Although I am not entirely sure how tannin laden the water will be using this as a substrate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
About vermiculite in the aquarium:
Break it up REALLY FINE, otherwise it will not blend well with the soil, and you will have gold flakes all over the place.
Been there, done that. Not going to do that again.
I am honored that you are responding to my humble thread.
I think some oil dri mixed with the soil itself should avoid compaction instead of the troublesome vermiculite.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:17 PM   #9
Kosmonaut
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Hi Fattboa,

Did you buy the perlhumus? I am very close to buying a 25 kg bag and would be glad if you can share your experience...

Thanks!
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