Lake/pond mud - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Lake/pond mud

Has anyone ever tried to just go to a local lake or pond and scoop out a few shovels of "mud" from the bottom to use? I have a lake near by the house that I fish in all the time.It gets totally overgrown with invasive plants in the summer so it's gotta have something good in it.I'd imagine parasites may be an issue but I could always add it to the tank,fill it and dose the soil/water without plants or fish to kill parasites before I start up the tank.It's just a thought instead of going through the whole dry and wet method all those times and adding all the different ferts etc.I don't think I'd have much luck drying anything with over 2 feet of snow outside and temps in the 20's and 30's for the next 2 moths at least.
Any pro's cons etc is appreciated.Of course anyone who has tried it with success or failure-your experience is appreciated as well.
John
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 01:44 AM
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I did it for years before getting online and finding out about MTS. I figured the diversity of micro organisms was a good thing along with being full of nutrients. Although most of my tanks were non Co2/ low tech tanks, I grew nice plants.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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awesome!thanks for the fast reply.What brought me to think of this is I went to get free Lilly's while fishing in my canoe.I figured I'd just paddle over and pull them out with ease.Holy crap was I wrong! I almost flipped the freaking canoe pulling with all my might and never did get a single plant.So I investigated a shallow area further to see what the issue was and was using a crabbing net to try and uproot the Lilly's-still no luck at all but the black "suction" mud was deeper than I could ever imagine.I am definitely gonna try it out though.
Did you have to dose it first to kill parasites etc or didn't bother?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 01:54 AM
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I would leave it as is. I put down about an inch of it then capped it with a few inches of gravel. I also pulled mine from a few different bog areas for diversity. If you just want the nutrients you could boil it or bake it to kill anything in it.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:03 AM
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LOL I would not trust my local lakes or ponds for soil, knowing what is only 10 miles from me (rocky flats x-nuclear warhead production facility) I might end up bringing home a bucket full of plutonium.

Although I have used some in a kettle pond in my backyard.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
I would leave it as is. I put down about an inch of it then capped it with a few inches of gravel. I also pulled mine from a few different bog areas for diversity. If you just want the nutrients you could boil it or bake it to kill anything in it.
Brilliant! Why the hell didn't I think of that?Boiling it is cheaper than prazi pro no question! Thanks again!
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LOL I would not trust my local lakes or ponds for soil, knowing what is only 10 miles from me (rocky flats x-nuclear warhead production facility) I might end up bringing home a bucket full of plutonium.

Although I have used some in a kettle pond in my backyard.
You may get lucky and get super plants and 2 headed fish.Now that would be cool! Hell,if you get any 2 headed fish please pm me right away and I'll buy all you can produce
I always said I wanted to do a native species tank form Jersey.I just have to find small shopping carts and small rubber tires.I can provide the bottles and cans of beer though LMAO
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:14 AM
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Nice. I thought about an Illinois river biotope too. Maybe a lost flip-flop, a party cup, wads of old fishing line, Random rusty pieces, and a bobber and a car key for floaters. Plain sand bottom. I had to squash the idea tho when I couldnt figure out how to keep dead fish in it

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Nice. I thought about an Illinois river biotope too. Maybe a lost flip-flop, a party cup, wads of old fishing line, Random rusty pieces, and a bobber and a car key for floaters. Plain sand bottom. I had to squash the idea tho when I couldnt figure out how to keep dead fish in it
It's pretty sad actually how many people are just totally careless with garbage. Last time I went fishing there was a garbage bag full of smelly dead salt water fish thrown in to the lake.Why someone would go out of their way to catch a garbage bag full of porgy,bluefish,croaker etc and then drive them like 90 miles from the ocean to dump them in a lake is beyond me???People suck sometimes.All my fish carcasses and unused bait etc go in the garden soil.Free nutrients to later be consumed by me via tomatoes,peppers,squash etc.There's also a goldfish that is the size of my thigh and a koi that is about 26" in the lake as well.I've tried to catch them every time I go with no avail.I'd love to put them in my pond but then again,they've obviously been living in that lake a long time.They may as well just stay there.I may have to steal the flip flop idea if I ever do create it.LMAO
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:25 AM
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When I was doing a bunch of small container experiments using soil before I did a big tank, pond sediment was one of them. It grew plants well but along with it came a bunch of tubifex worms or something similar. I did bake some and use it with the same success but decided to go with mts instead because I didn't want to lug around a crapload of mud on a bicycle.

Instead of boiling it, just line an old pan with foil, pour your mud in it and bake it at 400* for a while. You can mineralize it that way, too. Just rewet and rebake it a few of times.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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When I was doing a bunch of small container experiments using soil before I did a big tank, pond sediment was one of them. It grew plants well but along with it came a bunch of tubifex worms or something similar. I did bake some and use it with the same success but decided to go with mts instead because I didn't want to lug around a crapload of mud on a bicycle.

Instead of boiling it, just line an old pan with foil, pour your mud in it and bake it at 400* for a while. You can mineralize it that way, too. Just rewet and rebake it a few of times.
Yeah but then dont I have to add the potash and all the other junk to do the whole MTS thing?That's kinda why I was thinking of cheating with the lake mud.But baking is a great idea as well.I have no clue what those tubifex things are either but I always see them when I go plant hunting locally.The only thing I regret is when I brought home around 20 snails I think were trap doors,and threw them in the pond.In a few weeks I lost about 6 koi from some parasite I suspect.It then cost me well over $300 to medicate and fix the pond.What a friggin nightmare!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:44 AM
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I ended up with red worms, bloodworms, daphnia, tubifex, several varieties of smaller worms, and a few kinds of seed shrimp looking things. The fish will eat any extras. I have some clay if you'd like it. I'd also use a "test fish" to make sure its safe to invest $ for fish.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Well,thanks Chad.I appreciate the very helpful advice.I'll let you know how it works out for me soon enough.I think I'll put piranha and exodons in the tank once I get it all settled etc.I'm gonna do it in the extra 55 gal I have on my front porch for a few months.I just heard they do well in planted tanks so why not try it out?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 05:55 PM
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oh I don't add ferts to my MTS tanks like people with high tech setups do. Since I don't run CO2 and have low/med light, MTS will last a long time on its own since plant growth is so much slower than in a high tech setup. Its just like doing a Walstad type natural planted tank but using MTS to cut down on early algae blooms. I hadn't even heard of the term mineralizing when I set up my first tank with MTS. I just happened to do wet/dry cycles because I wanted to offgas nitrogen and oxidize all the soil goodies.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 07:43 PM
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I imagine that it would work really well. If it is the dark-colored silty mud it is probably packed with nutrients.

It would be a good idea to cap it with 1"+ gravel.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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I imagine that it would work really well. If it is the dark-colored silty mud it is probably packed with nutrients.

It would be a good idea to cap it with 1"+ gravel.
Oh yeah its literally black ucky mud.I'd imagine if I stepped in it I would sink up to my waist in seconds and they'd have to call for a tow truck to pull me out.
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