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Old 09-12-2008, 12:46 PM   #31
ingg
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Another option...

http://store.seacorals.net/esaqsablaqsu3.html

Might be able to find black sand in local craft and hobby stores as well.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:23 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
"Step 7 Add the Dolomite and Muriate of Potash

Sprinkle a light dusting of both the dolomite and muriate of potash on the bottom glass of the tank. The bottom of the glass should still be somewhat visible."

In Step 7, could you use Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) instead of Muriate of Potash (Potassium Chloride - KCl)?

KCl is about 3 times more soluble in water at 20C than K2SO4. KCl's solubility is 34.0 g/100 mL and K2SO4's solubility is 11.1 g/100 mL.

Is this why KCl is used?
I suspect so. Honestly, I didn't develop this method, my friend Sean did a long time ago. Potassium is the one nutrient that seems to be limited using this method. The potash added initially is only to provide the plants with an initial potassium source for the first 3-5 months. After that period of time you may notice some older leaves on plants beginning to yellow and / or form pinholes in the leaves. This is the sign that it's time to dose potassium, but only a tiny little bit. I dose about 0.5 ppm / week and most of the time even less than that. That's all it takes, any more and you'll get algae. I didn't mention this in the article because I didn't want people to dose it too early or overdose it and get frustrated. Also, YMMV as my setups are all very high light and pressurized CO2 as well. Lower tech setups may not need this extra potassium dosing, though adding the potash initially is still advised.


Torpedobarb - Your LFS should be able to order the Flourite Black Sand for you. I've seen it online for a fairly cheap price. I'm using the Flourite Dark in my 75 gallon right now so it can be used.


Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier folks. I was on vacation during its inception. If anyone wants enough of the materials (potash, dolomite and clay) to startup a tank PM me and I'm happy to help out for the cost of materials and shipping.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:47 PM   #33
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Thank you for the great explanation, Aaron.

My local hardware store owner told me that the price of Potash has risen quite a bit lately. One of the main Potash mines, which is in Russia, got flooded. Canada has Potash mines too. When the Russian mine got flooded, the owners of the Canadian mines raised the price substationally.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:12 PM   #34
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My local hardware store owner told me that the price of Potash has risen quite a bit lately. One of the main Potash mines, which is in Russia, got flooded. Canada has Potash mines too. When the Russian mine got flooded, the owners of the Canadian mines raised the price substationally.
That's a bummer. I can't imagine it's terribly expensive still. It was pretty cheap to start with. Farmers are using bags and bags of it. One 40 lb. bag will last you 30 lifetimes for our purposes.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:45 PM   #35
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So far Potash was the most expensive thing I bought and it was less than $5 and it is way more than I'll need.

For those that have established tanks using this method, can you tell me if your water params changed from the tap water? I would like to keep my water soft, could I skip the dolemite?
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:53 PM   #36
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So far Potash was the most expensive thing I bought and it was less than $5 and it is way more than I'll need.

For those that have established tanks using this method, can you tell me if your water params changed from the tap water? I would like to keep my water soft, could I skip the dolemite?
It didn't change my water much if at all. The dolomite is a very slow releasing mineral.
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:21 AM   #37
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well... I guess I have had to stay in the rinse cycle now for days.. we just had a crapload of rain in the last few days. enough to where my backwater valve couldn't even stop it.. so we ended up with water in the basement. nice. we were able to keep it at bay before it got to the aquarium. will have to wait until I have some sunshine to dry it out.
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:16 AM   #38
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well... I guess I have had to stay in the rinse cycle now for days.. we just had a crapload of rain in the last few days. enough to where my backwater valve couldn't even stop it.. so we ended up with water in the basement. nice. we were able to keep it at bay before it got to the aquarium. will have to wait until I have some sunshine to dry it out.
You could dry it inside. Of course, I'd be sleeping outside if I tried that so YMMV.
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:19 AM   #39
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I would too! I would have to have a nice tent to sleep in with all of the rain we have had!

I am in no hurry to get this done. I am going to let it dry out tomorrow. wash it one more time and let it dry.. then sift it through the screen and ready to go.

how thick of a pudding mixture do I make? really runny.. or more like cake batter?
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:30 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torpedobarb View Post
I would too! I would have to have a nice tent to sleep in with all of the rain we have had!

I am in no hurry to get this done. I am going to let it dry out tomorrow. wash it one more time and let it dry.. then sift it through the screen and ready to go.

how thick of a pudding mixture do I make? really runny.. or more like cake batter?
More like cake batter.
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:40 AM   #41
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Dont eat it!
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:47 AM   #42
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Ewwww

If I tried to do something like that inside I'd have dog and cat paw prints all over the house and also would end up having to sift out cat poo...
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:25 PM   #43
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Nice Laura... real Nice... lmao..

I might be pudgy.. but I don't think I would eat it

I will just have to watch how much water I add to the dirt to get it to the right thickness.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:26 PM   #44
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Default Organic Valley Top Soil Question

I picked up a 40# bag of Organic Valley Top Soil for $1.29 at Home Depot. I looked at Lowe's $1.49 40# bag of Top Soil. It had sticks in it. That's why I purchased the Organic Valley Top Soil. I didn't see any sticks.

There is very little on the web about this product, but I found one site that said the following. Do I need to take it back and find some other brand of top soil? This article says that it was in 30# bags, but mine is in a 40# bag.

From: http://guiltygardener.blogspot.com/2...il-in-bag.html
"The absolute worst product labeled "Topsoil" I erroneously bought was from Home Depot. It was cheaper than the lovely soil I got from Lowe's. Organic Valley Topsoil is packaged in 30-pound bags for only $1.29, so I purchased two of them to hopefully finish planting my porch on a recent Sunday. Upon mixing and potting up my hoard of tender beauties, I did not notice that it was any different than the preferred Lowe's topsoil. This assessment of the so called soil that was now blended nicely and in a selection of pots was very short lived. The truth becomes apparent in the watering.

This is not topsoil, but black silt. Just because a soil is black does not mean it is good! Silt comes from the bottom of bogs and does not drain. When wet, silt is black slime. If you add a so called soil such as this one to a potting mix, the water will just sit on top of the pot and take a long time to filter through the pot to the bottom. Silt also has very little nutrients in it that are available to the plant. To state it quite bluntly ... this is not soil, but garbage that someone is making a good chunk of change through at least one retail store that is in almost every town in the USA."

Do you think that this is a bad product? There were several people at Home Depot buying this top soil to fill in places from the bad rain that we had lately.

Lowe's Top Soil: "The third bagged product that was wonderful quality was purchased at Lowe's Garden Center, fifty pounds for $2.50 before tax. Unfortunately I don't have the information on who actually bagged this soil. Lowe's being the highest quality of the big box garden centers, I would suggest you not buy soil at any of the others. All I can say about the packaging was it was white and labeled "Topsoil" It did contain a slight amount of sphagnum peat moss which was mostly used to prevent clumping from moisture taken on while in storage. A great buy and an excellent portion to potting blends for best results."

The Lowe's Top Soil that I looked at was in 40# bags and $1.49. It might be a different product than what is mentioned above, but I really don't know.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:32 PM   #45
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I'd probably check out Diana Walstad's El Natural forum over on APC for feedback on this one. I know I've skimmed through some threads over there debating the pros and cons of different soil brands.
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