I am creating a Sealed one gallon glass bio jar
that will contain a few pond snails, lake water with some daphnia hopefully, and plants.
I was going to use about 1.5 inches of wetland soil, but after I sealed the jar and let the dust settle for 4 days, opened and placed a rock on the surface of the soil A LOT of stinky bubbles came out.
I had just done research into anaerobic layers and bacteria to see if it was something I could maybe work with. I knew anaerobic activity released smelly gas, but I did learn that they actually released a few toxic gases CH4 (Methane) and H2S (Hydrogen Suflide). I was hopeful because I later found there were processes, a few by anaerobic bacteria but the most beneficial in aerobic layers where these gases could be turned into harmless beneficial substances like H2O and CO2. However, they require 2 O2's for every one molecule of gas. And after seeing all that gas that was released....(assuming it was all H2S, smelled bad) I knew the plants wouldn't be able to produce double that in oxygen in order to break it down into something safe for the organisms in my jar.
So, I had to figure out what to use for substrate. It has to meet a few criteria though, based on the idea that no nutrients will be introduced after sealing, and the goal is to have the plants and organisms last the longest. In order to fit my criteria I will most likely have to use various different components. But ideally the total substrate combined should:
-Be as nutrient rich as possible
-Contain very long release (years) nutrients like colloidal rock phosphate 20% of it's nutrients are released between 3-5 years, longest slow release of a macronutrient I could find. I also looked into Muscovite or Biotite a kind of Mica rock dust because it's high in potassium although I am unsure of the processes that release that nutrient. I am also considering if soaking STS clay in the individual Seachem Macro nutrients, binding ammonium(N), Potassium (Phosphorus wont bind) to the clay would be an option for long release fert or something like it (because technically, it's always available to the plant just doesn't seep into water column) If anyone knows of very slow release ways to get nutrients let me know
-Little to no anaerobic layers, so be thin enough, coarse enough, or set up in a way so that the substrate doesn't go anaerobic
-I will include a small amount of organic matter from lake soil to provide food for microorganisms in water to start.
My idea so far is to somehow utilize the STS clay by soaking it in pure seachem nutrient products.
-Soaking STS clay in Flourish Comprehensive for example would yield a clay that could theoretically include:
NH4, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Mn2+, Zn2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, Na+
Although I'm not sure if any of one would be capable of being favored by the clay or not. They are all one +. So maybe not.
-Using Fluval Stratum
-Colloidal Rock phosphate
-Cap with untreated STS