Dirty Work, In Need of Advice
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > General Planted Tank Discussion


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-18-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
ZedLepelin
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 5
Wink

Dirty Work, In Need of Advice


I have been spending a lot of time researching substrates and needless to say i've got questions. First a little info: I will be changing over my 55g to a 75g (48"x 18" footprint). The tank now contains hundreds of cherry shrimp, 7 Amano shrimp, 7 pygmy corys, 1 oto, 1 galaxy rasbora, 1 emerald rasbora, and 1 kubotai rasobora (yes I know its a dwindling fish stock). There are a few rotala, dwarf hairgrass bellum, micro sword, and a ton of sagitaria subulata. The main failing factors in this current tank were my inability to consistently dose fertilizer and using some rocks from a local creek that i believe leeched minerals into the water causing one algae issue after another. In the new tank I plan on using and own a pressurized CO2 made by ISTA, a Coralife 48" 54w x 4 t5 HO fixture (216w total), an eheim 2236 canister filter, and a closed loop with a submersible pump to run my co reactor, inline heater, and spraybar.

That being said i would like to try the mineralized topsoil method in order to keep the tank balanced with minimal maintenance, I read the notorious recipe by Aaron Talbot posted a few years back ( http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html ) and i have begun the process on some topsoil that was stored in my backyard it has very low organics, pretty rocky clay stuff. I have also read all of the post by umikazumi ( http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...neralized.html ) about a new recipe for MTS.

My Questions:

1. Is the pottery clay, muriate of potash and dolomite still considered to be beneficial ingredients?

2. Have the ingredients in Ukamikazu's recipe proven successful? I already have Azomite and plan on using some. The recipe seems pretty comprehensive but is all the fancy stuff worth it?

3. In a dirt setup is the high CEC gravel considered to be essential? I already own 3 bags of eco-complete I plan on using for a cap and I considered pool filter sand, more EC, or safe t sorb to mix in to make up the rest of the cap. If CEC is not essential than the PFS seems easier to work with but i'm not sure it will mix well with EC.

4. Will this low organic, rocky clay topsoil be suitable or is a more organic rich topsoil going to be more beneficial?


My plan: I plan on using the homemade MTS i am working on, mixing in laterite, finely crushed aragonite, azomite, Horticultural Charcoal, sul-po-mag if i can find it and possibly anything else that seems beneficial for a low maintenance system.

Any suggestions on keeping my livestock safe and the usefulness of my equipment would be greatly appreciated.


Hopefully I have'nt lost you by now with the long-winded post, please shoot my plan full of holes with your scientific reasoning and experience. Many Thanks in advance for help, this is obviously a confusing subject.

Last edited by ZedLepelin; 03-18-2014 at 05:50 PM.. Reason: misspelled name
ZedLepelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-21-2014, 01:56 AM   #2
ZedLepelin
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 5
Default

Is this too much information for a post, is it because im new to the forum, did I lose people, or is this a debatable subject? Surely there is a reason no one decided to help me out with some opinion/experience. *shrug*
ZedLepelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 02:19 AM   #3
Mizuhuman
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Mizuhuman's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 405
Default

Okay. I'll try to help and give some opinions, but keep in mind I have no experience with mineralized soil

1. Yes
2. Don't know
3. No, the high CEC stuff is not essential, but they won't hurt if you add it. I suggest not mixing the Eco complete and PFS together. It should be either all EC or all PFS. if you mix them together it will cause a real mess.
4. hmmm, I'm not so sure but I am assuming the more organic materials it has the more nutrients it can generate. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these

I'm sorry if I'm not a big help, but at least this is a free bump, right? lol
__________________
Mizuhuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 03:03 AM   #4
ZedLepelin
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 5
Default

haha thanks mizu, the more im reading the more ideas im getting. Im wondering if that MGOCPM would make it go through a big cycle and prevent returning my livestock. This Black Diamond blasting 20/40 blasting sand is starting to sound like a good buy, or activ-flora.. haha so many options.
ZedLepelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 03:06 AM   #5
Raymond S.
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 2,070
Default

Regardless of additional benefits that might happen/w the newer type MTS, I have read at least a few post on the original being great so why fix something which is not broken would be my impression.
People very regularly use just PFS for a cap on it also. In fact, they say it works best.
But of course what would you expect the ones who use it to say ?
As long as you know you'll be putting Osmocote+ into it in a year or so because it ran
out of nutrients and just like the idea of MTS in general, I'm sure you will be happy/w it.
I might speculate that others are not willing to co-sign such an extensive list of
substitutions for ingredients which you are proposing. Because following the directions
seems to work better in most cases/w other things as I'm fairly sure it would here.
Pretend I'm talking about someone else and see what you think.
My friend wouldn't follow the directions on how to fertilize his tank.
So now he wants to use MTS instead so he don't need to fertilize the tank.
But he won't follow the directions on how to make MTS either and thinks it will work out better this time...what do you think ?
Pick one of those list of ingredients and follow it. Organic top soil only cost $8 at Loew's.
I haven't read those directions for a long time but I do believe that leaving organics(undecomposed plant matter) inthe soil
causes ammonia to be formed as it deteriorates. The reason they tell you to sift it first.
I know it's a lot of options, but the fewer changes to an ingredient list or additins to it, the closer you will come to the results
they got by making what they did. 1 proven list of ingredients + 1 proven cap material = 1 proven substrate.
__________________
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...

Last edited by Raymond S.; 03-21-2014 at 03:20 AM.. Reason: more info
Raymond S. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 04:33 AM   #6
ZedLepelin
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 5
Default

Thank you, great points Raymond, I appreciate the straightforward answer. Out of curiousity what do you use as substrate?

My plan is finish the MTS I started, follow the proven recipe and add in a small amount of Azomite because I have it and I have heard good feedback about it. Then top it off with black PFS if I can find it, if not perhaps active flora or black diamond blasting sand sounds good. Is 1" of dirt and 1" or 2" of cap considered to be standard?
ZedLepelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 05:17 AM   #7
Raymond S.
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 2,070
Default

I recently heard a couple of people mention that less than 1.5" of cap is more
prone to having issues/w soil getting into the water and related problems.
I would like to say that all I use is fine gravel. As long as I eventually may need to use root tabs(never "needed" but always helpful as plants get nutrients both ways if planted of course) then why not just use them from the start and skip the fancy sub.
But one tank has a Flourite cap on the gravel but just because it was there in the closet. I never have wanted a fast growing tank anyway for lack of wanting o be locked into daily maintenance, or even weekly except for the Excel that I do use daily.
But also I plan on dopping that after that tank is established well. Just re-did the sub. Bought Laterite and(should I say this is part of the reason for my reply to your question?) didn't read the directions well enough. Just thought well if some is good then more is better. Burnt up all my plants/w iron as in way too much. So put in
plain fine gravel(see link) and had the rest of the Flourite that I had mixed the Laterite/w left over so used that on top.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=52570
But the other tank has Eco-Complete/w Laterite under it and it hasn't burnt the plants(yet). My tanks are off the beaten path to most anyway so don't be shocked at them.
I consider them both to be experimental or "work in progress" type as the built in filters and wall coverings are just that.
Don't know what Azomite is but Aragonite is high in Ph as far as I know(think).
If you add one extra ingredient, at east you will know what is causing a problem if it happens but how can you if multiple add ins are used.
__________________
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
DogFish
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,988
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZedLepelin View Post
.My Questions:
1. Is the pottery clay, muriate of potash and dolomite still considered to be beneficial ingredients?

YES, they are foundation of MTS. You can adjust based on the soil you use. Aaron's recipe is used with the cheapest Top Soil you can find. If you start with higher alkaline soil adjust as needed

2. Have the ingredients in Ukamikazu's recipe proven successful? I already have Azomite and plan on using some. The recipe seems pretty comprehensive but is all the fancy stuff worth it?
I've read that thread. The best person to ask would be Ukamikazu. I've not followed that thread since I posted on it. I don't know if his theories were ever tested in multiple tanks.


3. In a dirt setup is the high CEC gravel considered to be essential? I already own 3 bags of eco-complete I plan on using for a cap and I considered pool filter sand, more EC, or safe t sorb to mix in to make up the rest of the cap. If CEC is not essential than the PFS seems easier to work with but i'm not sure it will mix well with EC.
I've never understood the concern over CEC of the CAP. The roots of plants dig fast & deep into MTS and feed there. I use PFS, and YES I think it's the best CAP, after experimenting and reseaching gravel failure in friends tanks.

4. Will this low organic, rocky clay topsoil be suitable or is a more organic rich topsoil going to be more beneficial?

I use the cheapest Topsoil I can find at HomeDepot $1.17 a 40# bag. The thing to keep in mind is some Organics added to the MTS helps the process of nutrient uptake by the plants roots as that organic materiel breaks down. I ad a small bit of Worm Casing to the MTS when I set up the tank.

>>>Best advise, is take guidance from people that Actually use the substrate you are interested in. There are many people that go years without adding root caps to there MTS substrate. I just recycled 3 y.o. MTS into a new tank.

Don't over analyze it, we are talking about dirt. We kept aquatic weeds, that thrive in third world drainage ditches, fertilized by Water Buffalo POOP. This ain't rocket science.

Best of luck with your new tank.
DogFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 05:51 PM   #9
ua hua
Planted Tank Guru
 
ua hua's Avatar
 
PTrader: (47/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 2,307
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Don't over analyze it, we are talking about dirt. We kept aquatic weeds, that thrive in third world drainage ditches, fertilized by Water Buffalo POOP. This ain't rocket science.

Best of luck with your new tank.
After all this time all I needed to have a beautiful tank is water buffalo poop?

WTB: Water Buffalo poop(only third world water buffalo poop).None of that fancy American water buffalo crap either.

Pm me if you have any extra lying around.
__________________
All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death life is only a dream which is an imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ua hua's 90 gal. high tech
ua hua's 5,000 gal. water garden
ua hua is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 11:13 PM   #10
lochaber
Wannabe Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 1,934
Default

1.) - I haven't used this myself, but it seems to be a pretty commonly used formula with pretty good results. Although, I question the worth of the muriate of potash. That's basically KCl, and has a solubility about the same as regular table salt, so I doubt there is going to be much left in the tank after a couple water changes. Although, I don't think it's at all harmful, I just suspect it's actual usefulness.

3.) - I'm pretty sure that dirt, both the organic components (humus, peat, etc.), and the inorganic components (fine silt, clays) have pretty good CEC values, so I don't think you have to worry about 'adding' something with a high CEC. I also think a lot of concern over the CEC in substrates comes from people using a gravel-only approach, where something like safe-t-sorb, eco-complete, flourite, etc., has much better results then say, pea gravel.


As to MGOCPM, I've set up two tanks using it, and didn't notice any ammonia leeching in either one. However, I was doing a fishless cycle, and dosing ammonia at 5ppm (first tank) and 3ppm (second tank), so it's possible that it was leeching a much smaller amount that just faded into the noise.
lochaber is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dirt, eco complete, mineralized topsoil, substrate

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012