Soaking the Soil? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Soaking the Soil?

I'm thinking that since it's so cold outside here, that wetting and drying the soil outside won't do any good; it'll just freeze. Abd the wife would have a fit if she saw me boil dirt . How about putting it in a 5 gallon bucket and soaking it for 3 or 4 weeks? Maybe putting in an air bubbler to keep the water moving? Whatca all think?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 05:12 PM
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just use it straight from the bag. mineralizing is over rated.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 05:17 PM
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just use it straight from the bag. mineralizing is over rated.
I agree.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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That's interesting. All I've been reading about lately is ammonia spikes, but I suppose reusing the same tank water and sand filter would help with that. I might try it that way. The plan is also to mix in bit of dried and crush red clay, or perhaps a bit of Wal-Mart Special Kitty litter in too. Then top it with the black diamond. Would any of that lower or raise the PH?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Profector View Post
That's interesting. All I've been reading about lately is ammonia spikes, but I suppose reusing the same tank water and sand filter would help with that. I might try it that way. The plan is also to mix in bit of dried and crush red clay, or perhaps a bit of Wal-Mart Special Kitty litter in too. Then top it with the black diamond. Would any of that lower or raise the PH?
Shouldn't. I read about the ammonia spikes as well before I did mine, but I never experienced anything like what I read about. I'm sure some people have, but I simply did not. I think it helps to plant heavily right from day one...this might be what kept me from seeing anything. Lot's of stem plants and floaters in the beginning. And as you stated, if you can jump start it with already existing bacteria I don't see how you will have an issue.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:09 PM
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I just soak mine in a rubbermaid tub for about a week, removing the big debris that floats to the top every evening. I mix the stuff up after each surface skimming using a paint mixer attached to my drill.

It worked like a charm and I came away with what I believe to be mineralized topsoil. The whole process took me two weeks the first batch that I made. Unfortunately, I've researched a bit and found out that many people are infact having just as much success with miracle grow organic potting mix straight from the bag in the bottom of the tank.

I may have wasted time, but atleast I had fun making the stuff!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CAM6467 View Post
I just soak mine in a rubbermaid tub for about a week, removing the big debris that floats to the top every evening. I mix the stuff up after each surface skimming using a paint mixer attached to my drill.

It worked like a charm and I came away with what I believe to be mineralized topsoil. The whole process took me two weeks the first batch that I made. Unfortunately, I've researched a bit and found out that many people are infact having just as much success with miracle grow organic potting mix straight from the bag in the bottom of the tank.

I may have wasted time, but atleast I had fun making the stuff!
The end results are going to be pretty much the same whether you use MGOPM or MTS, but I think the major advantage to MTS is if you ever want to move or remove plants.

When I had my MGOPM tank setup, even though I tried to get all the large chunks out, each time I moved plants I ended up with small pieces of wood all other the place and stayed there until they were manually removed.

Once I went through the MTS process the dirt that I was left with was all very fine and sand/silt like. I recently removed several rather large crypts which had large root structures and all I noticed was a slight puff of dirt/clay which cleared in a few seconds. What did extrude through the coal slag cap was gone the next morning, I believe that because the dirt was much finer than the coal slag that it settle back down to the bottom.

In the end though people have been happy with both, I just had bad results with MGOPM, which could have easily been user error but Im not sure.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 08:15 PM
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you can use other organic soil brands that arent full of wood chunks.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 06:02 AM
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I started to mineralize mine when I realized it was just too annoying, and I did this during the summer when even then temperatures get down below freezing where I live. I ended up just throwing some in my nano tank and capping it with the substrate that came with it. I let it cycle for a week before adding some plants, then added fish 2 weeks after that. Never had an issue.
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