MTS topsoil... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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MTS topsoil...

Could someone link me to a thread or website that does a step by step of how to make MTS topsoil. I have been reading and searching the forum but cant find the steb by step. From what I have read its a process of watering the soil, drying, and sifting multiple times. Also adding dolomite, and clay, but thats about all I can find. I dont even know what MTS stands for lol...
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 04:01 AM
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http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...on-talbot.html

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 04:18 AM
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MTS stands for mineralized top soil


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Much appreciated, thank you!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 12:04 PM
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crypt,

Just below aaron t's sticky on how to make MTS is another more 'illustrated' way of doing the same thing. I'm doing it currently for my 75G.. and some tips... are!

Don't buy topsoil that has a lot of wood chips.
Try to find organic soil, it's worth the extra 40 cents per bag.
DO NOT use topsoil that has any type of manure.
Heat lamps are your friend during the winter :P


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:08 AM
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crypt,

Just below aaron t's sticky on how to make MTS is another more 'illustrated' way of doing the same thing. I'm doing it currently for my 75G.. and some tips... are!

Don't buy topsoil that has a lot of wood chips.
Try to find organic soil, it's worth the extra 40 cents per bag.
DO NOT use topsoil that has any type of manure.
Heat lamps are your friend during the winter :P
I thought the organic stuff was actually what you don't want as we're trying to break down the organics.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:17 AM
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I thought the organic stuff was actually what you don't want as we're trying to break down the organics.
Organic in this application means no ferts or additives.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 12:51 AM
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Organic in this application means no ferts or additives.
From what I've seen sometimes yes and sometimes no. The miracle grow stuff I thought had lots of added organics which is just going to delay the mineralization right?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 02:07 AM
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From what I've seen sometimes yes and sometimes no. The miracle grow stuff I thought had lots of added organics which is just going to delay the mineralization right?

It may take an additional wet/dry cycle. But that's not a big deal. Right now I have done 2 wet/dry cycles on dirt out of my back yard and it could go straight into the bottom of the 75, but 3 wet/dry cycles seems to be the most common way of doing it.

The goal in mineralization is to make more nutrients available to plants more quickly. There will still be some organic pieces that don't get completely broken down, but will over time. That's why MTS works. It consistently gives plants good nutrients.

Just some 2 cents....

Note: MTS can be messy, so when you can mix water and dirt outside, then bring it inside to dry out otherwise it'll take FOREVER during winter.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 02:22 AM
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From what I've seen sometimes yes and sometimes no. The miracle grow stuff I thought had lots of added organics which is just going to delay the mineralization right?
No.
If it has no organics there is no mineralization to be had...
If there are lots of added organics the process takes longer but you will have a richer substrate.
But when someone says get the organic stuff, they mean no artificial chemicals and pesticides which could be harmful to the fish.
Obviously topsoil has "organics" it just might not necessarily be organic.


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 09:42 AM
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No.
If it has no organics there is no mineralization to be had...
I think you misunderstood. I mentioned that having more organics would take longer because obviously that's what we're mineralizing.

I understand that organic in most cases when referring to top soil would mean that there's no added chemicals. My main point in bringing up the issue and I should have been more clear, is that you probably don't want to go with some of the products that add extra peat, etc... I believe the Miracle Grow Organic products are like that.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 01:56 PM
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Just to throw this into the discussion, I don't think the Miracle Gro organic potting soil would work well for making MTS. It's got a ton of bark/peat and not much actual soil in it.

I'm sure it COULD be done... but I bet it would take a long, long time to actually mineralize it LOL

You ideally want a rich, dark soil to make MTS.





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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 01:58 PM
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Truvalue HW $2/40lb bag topsoil.

J


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:39 PM
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Truvalue HW $2/40lb bag topsoil.

J
Always remember, "topsoil" has no standard meaning. It could be partially composted sawdust, rice hulls, shredded bark, or actual dirt. I don't know how you can tell what you are getting unless the bag has an ingredients list.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 04:44 PM
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You could try a stone yard that sells topsoil. They may sell you a 5 gallon bucket or two.
Hoppy is right, I have purchased "topsoil" that is mostly peat, bark, glass, pebbles etc.
Other times it has been mostly dark dirt, which is what you want.


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