Questions about mineralizing soil
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
FewestKitten896
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Questions about mineralizing soil


Is it better to mineralize top soil or mineralize miracle grow organic choice potting mix or just use miracle grow organic choice potting mix without being mineralized or does this even matter?

I don't need dolomite if I am mineralizing and I already have red clay for iron for any option.

Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:23 PM   #2
Monster Fish
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Go with the cheapest topsoil you can find. Don't bother with mineralizing miracle gro organic choice. It contains too much bark, twigs, sticks, and other material that takes too long to break down. Plus you end up with less soil to use after sifting.

Dolomite is only necessary if you have soft water. You can omit it if liquid rock comes out of your tap.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
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I had really good success with the miracle grow organic. I don't think its worth skimping on dirt and going with someone that might not work since its so cheap anyway. I have heard some contain chemicals to help keep the soil moist so that might not work out with fish or invertebrates.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:34 PM   #4
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I have done miracle grow before but never took the time to research the mineralized top soil process....just seeing what more people do and have better longterm success
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
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Both will last you a long time in low tech, low light setups. If you add stronger lighting and CO2, the plants will deplete the nutrients in the soil much quicker.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
Both will last you a long time in low tech, low light setups. If you add stronger lighting and CO2, the plants will deplete the nutrients in the soil much quicker.
I am running a little over 2wpg in my current tank and it seems to be running good. Just figured that mineralizing soil would be cheaper than buying a few large bags of miracle grow. You seem to only get a little under half a bag once you sift out all the twigs and leaves and stuff.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FewestKitten896 View Post
I am running a little over 2wpg in my current tank and it seems to be running good. Just figured that mineralizing soil would be cheaper than buying a few large bags of miracle grow. You seem to only get a little under half a bag once you sift out all the twigs and leaves and stuff.
It's cheaper but it takes a little bit of work to get the topsoil mineralized. I'm on my 9th wet-dry cycle and I'm almost done. A pro to mineralizing is that the nutrients are readily available to the plants from the start unlike with Miracle Gro Organic Choice where you need to wait for the organics to break down before the nutrients are available to the plants.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
It's cheaper but it takes a little bit of work to get the topsoil mineralized. I'm on my 9th wet-dry cycle and I'm almost done. A pro to mineralizing is that the nutrients are readily available to the plants from the start unlike with Miracle Gro Organic Choice where you need to wait for the organics to break down before the nutrients are available to the plants.
Do you add anything to it? I have been reading that people have their own recipes.
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:51 PM   #9
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To mineralized topsoil? I'm making my first batch but I'm planning to add dolomite, potash, some greensand, some worm castings, and fine peat moss to mine when I setup my tank. Oh and some clay.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
To mineralized topsoil? I'm making my first batch but I'm planning to add dolomite, potash, some greensand, some worm castings, and fine peat moss to mine when I setup my tank. Oh and some clay.
Ok, thank for the information. I think I might give the MTS a try. Going to try to find a nice week to do it.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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Well I started the whole process but had some questions, due to the the past 4-5 days of rain and clouds, my soil had been in the soak stage for a few days now. How beneficial are the additional items to the soil. Is it necessary to provide dolomite, postash, etc. I have checked out some information Tom Barr had said about the worm castings which makes sense but could one just add your run of the mill store bought root tabs under the soil. I am just thinking by the time I spend money on the dolomite, potash, worm castings, etc. then I could have bought a couple packets of root tabs. As much as I research and try to figure stuff out I just find myself asking more and more questions.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:02 PM   #12
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Dolomite: Some soil already has a fairly stable mineral level, so the pH won't crash, and it will offer Ca and Mg to the plants. This sort of soil will not need any supplement of dolomite, limestone, or related materials.
Potash is just fine to skip, then feed a fertilizer high in potassium. But if you can find it to blend with the soil that would be good.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:10 PM   #13
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In terms of the soil that already has minerals in it, are you referring to something along the lines of Miracle Gro. I just bought cheap ol' top soil which is hard to tell what exactly is in this.
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