MTS reduced to sand?
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 > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Substrate


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-26-2010, 03:46 AM   #1
Fishly
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Fishly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Alabama
Posts: 796
Default

MTS reduced to sand?


I'm on my 4th wet/dry cycle for some MTS and it seems to be nothing but sand now. It isn't light and fluffy like people have said it's supposed to be, it feels like dry sand. When it's wet, it smells like wet playsand. I used a WalMart brand of topsoil since there are no gardening or landscape supply stores around here. Could that be the problem? Just in case it matters, here's what I did:
Put a portion of the soil in a 5g bucket, added water, stirred well. Poured out the water and as much of the dark brown sludge as possible. Put more water in bucket, stirred, poured out the water, and then spread the soil on a (new and clean) plastic shower curtain to dry.

Is it supposed to feel like sand at this point? Was I supposed to pour out the brown sludge (I thought it was peat, so I wanted to get rid of it) or was I dumping the good stuff? If I did mess this batch up, is there any way to salvage it? I only used about a fourth of the bag of soil, so I haven't ruined all of it. Still, I hate to think I did all that work for nothing.
__________________
My fish change their own water... from clean to dirty.

Cholla 55g * Silver 25g
Fishly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-27-2010, 02:41 AM   #2
dbosman@msu.edu
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: East Lansing, MI, USA
Posts: 2,710
Default

There's top soil here and top soil there and where it comes from will determine the composition. Walmart sources all over the place so a bag in Michigan isn't likely to be the same soil as a bag in California. For MTS you are trying to wash out the organics. What's left will be mineral material - sand. It should be a variety of sizes of particles though. If yours seems to be all the same size particles you may have a top soil mix that started out with a lot of sand in it.

If I can offer a suggestion, back up a bit and consider using the top soil as is. Call your tank a Walstad Method tank and save your self the work. ;-)
dbosman@msu.edu is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-27-2010, 02:49 AM   #3
Fishly
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Fishly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Alabama
Posts: 796
Default

I'm not sure if I want to do Walstad, especially since I haven't read her book. It seems a lot less straightforward than MTS. I was told that if you do it right, it works well, but it's easy to get it wrong. Am I mistaken?
__________________
My fish change their own water... from clean to dirty.

Cholla 55g * Silver 25g
Fishly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-27-2010, 03:58 AM   #4
Craigthor
Planted Tank Guru
 
Craigthor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (188/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dubuque, IA
Posts: 9,618
Default

you want the sludge at least some of it, you rinse it and soak it to remove the large debris then let it settle out befroe you dump the water out. If you keep dumping the sludge out you remove everything but hte heaviest particles, which would be the sand.

Craig
__________________
220g M. Bosemani 'Aytinjo' Paradise

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
Craigthor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-27-2010, 03:59 AM   #5
Craigthor
Planted Tank Guru
 
Craigthor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (188/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dubuque, IA
Posts: 9,618
Default

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html
__________________
220g M. Bosemani 'Aytinjo' Paradise

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
Craigthor is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-27-2010, 04:47 AM   #6
Fishly
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Fishly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Alabama
Posts: 796
Default

Okay, I'll try it again with another quarter of my soil.

Thanks for the help, guys.

Edit: A little off-topic, but how much clay, murate of potash, and dolomite would I need for five 10g, one 55g, and three 2.5g tanks (max amount of tanks I'm doing this year)?
__________________
My fish change their own water... from clean to dirty.

Cholla 55g * Silver 25g
Fishly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Tags
mts, sand, soil, substrate, topsoil

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may 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 02:28 AM.


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