water garden soil mix ?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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water garden soil mix ??

Found this stuff in a garden store near me and wondering will this stuff work as a substitue for MTS it seems to be the exact same sort of thing with calcite and clay already added ?




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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 02:09 AM
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I'm not sure it's similar to MTS, but I'd give it a try.

I'd put it in a smaller container and keep an eye on water parameters for a few days first, though- sometimes those types of soils have ferts (like ammonia) added.

Where'd you find it? Chain store or mom n pop type place?





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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 02:18 AM
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Humus? Would that increase your ammonia concentration?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Found it at a place called garden gallery pretty big in ontario I am going to grab a bag tomorrow it is only $10 per bag so no great loss, I dont have a test kit but the first thing i shall do is a screening and see what we find

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 02:50 AM
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I wonder if calcite stone can raise pH...check that also.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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doesnt the dolomite that we add to MTS also have the ability of raising PH if i remember correctly and calcium based product will but that is also dependent on the level of co2 I believe. Thinking back to my reef days guys had calcium reactors where injected co2 would aid in dissolving the media both raising PH and adding calcium to the water and i believe ti was much more co2 than is injected into freshwater setups but i could be wrong never had a calcium reactor myself

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:32 AM
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I'd love to know if this works. Please keep us updated.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 01:42 PM
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I'd think it would depend on the percentage of calcite in the component breakdown. When doing a MTS base you generally just sprinkle a small amount of dolomite before capping it with your mud slurry. As suggested, a bucket and some water testing over a few days/weeks would tell you if anything's awry.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 02:15 PM
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Just by way of explanation, ponds are such relatively larger bodies of water (plus outdoor pond are replenished by rain water) that any leeching a substrate like this might do in a pond has much, much less chance of impacting overall water parameters than in an indoor, smaller, completely closed system like an aquarium.





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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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What sort of testing should I be doing, just the normal stuff ammonia,nirtite,nitrate ? Thinking I might give this stuff a go see what happens worst case i dump it all out and start over right we have all taken chances in order to test things.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 04:02 PM
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Yes, you'll want to monitor those, and also pH, kH and gH. Those last 2 I'd keep a really close eye on due to the dolomite content; fluctuations in water hardness can be really rough on fish.





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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 04:31 PM
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just an FYI for all of my pond plants I use plain old top soil from any store that carries it. I have tired a variety of pond plant soils and have gone back to top soil every time.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 10:15 PM
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yep, nothing beats good old dirt for water plants. my water lilies actually died back when i tried the scotts water garden gravel once.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Soil is in the tank along with a cap of ecocomplete and after 24 hrs here are the first test numbers

GH
120
KH
180
PH
6.8
No2
0
No3
20

I am currently using aquarium pharm test strips so no ammonia test (will pick that up shorty), half the tanks water was pulled from a fully cycled tank as well as the filtration came from an established tank and is teaming with dirty filter media hosting lots of bact.

I am new to watching GH & KH so no idea what the numbers should be hopefully somebody can chime in and give me an idea of what i should be looking for

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 10:52 PM
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You need to test your tap water too so you have a baseline to compare with. The concern will be if this substrate dramatically shifts your water parameters away from those coming out of your tap, as this could mean a dangerous water parameter shift for the fish each time you go to do a water change. [You have hard water, BTW]

I think you've also confused the test a bit by using water from another tank- I really think you need to put some of this substrate in a bucket with just tap water and test that, too.

ATM there's no way to be sure if that nitrate reading is coming from the substrate or the water you added from the other tank.





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