Question Regarding Mineralized Soil Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Question Regarding Mineralized Soil Substrate

Hey guys, I'm working on my first planted aquarium. I'm planning to use mineralized soil as my substrate. Despite reading though a number of different threads on the subject, there are still a couple things that I don't quite understand.

The potassium carbonate, I gather, is to supply the plants with needed potassium, however, I cannot figure out what the dolomite is for. In fact I am wondering if it is something that I would prefer to avoid, as it seems (from my limited knowledge) that it could possibly increase the aquarium PH (I passed up some beautiful limestone rocks at the rock yard for this very reason).

I keep Cardinal Tetras primarily, which prefer acidic water. While I don't make any special efforts to lower the PH, I certainly don't want to introduce anything that could possibly increase it.

Also, regarding the appropriate topsoil. The threads I read suggested just cheap topsoil. That's what I got, but I was under the impression that it wasn't supposed to be so rich in organics.

The stuff I got is called EarthGrow Topsoil and suggests a 50/50 mix with native soil (I assume I'm to ignore that suggestion for my purposes). The bag says that it includes "organics and inorganics from one or more of the following: peat, forest products, compost, ash, sand or native top soil." Does that sound like the right stuff?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 10:16 PM
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Dolomite Ca & Mg, it gives calcium and magnesium to the plants, I use it in my dosing ferts, along with chelated iron, csm+b, potassium nitrate, flourish phosphate, etc....

Adding it to the tank before you add in the "mud" Dolomite puts in calcium & magnesium into the mineralized soil, then by adding it to mixed ferts for dosing will insure that the plants are getting the macro/micro nutrients they need to stay lush and healthy.

As for the soil itself, I use 100% pure organic topsoil, so it contains just soil and bark pieces added to it. I sift through to remove all of the bark from the soil, so I'm left with 100% natural dirt. The stuff I get is made by the garden shop I get it from, they own several farms here in Colorado, where it's nothing but natural dirt fields, no additive, no fertilizers, nothing. So I know I'm getting good quality topsoil.


As for mineralizing the topsoil, I just use first layer pure laterite and mix it into the topsoil, sometimes I may use flourite or flourite black planted substrate instead of the FLPL depending what I have on hand at the time.

15g Fluval Flex - Will be a planted shrimp tank
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
Dolomite Ca & Mg, it gives calcium and magnesium to the plants, I use it in my dosing ferts, along with chelated iron, csm+b, potassium nitrate, flourish phosphate, etc....

Adding it to the tank before you add in the "mud" Dolomite puts in calcium & magnesium into the mineralized soil, then by adding it to mixed ferts for dosing will insure that the plants are getting the macro/micro nutrients they need to stay lush and healthy.

As for the soil itself, I use 100% pure organic topsoil, so it contains just soil and bark pieces added to it. I sift through to remove all of the bark from the soil, so I'm left with 100% natural dirt. The stuff I get is made by the garden shop I get it from, they own several farms here in Colorado, where it's nothing but natural dirt fields, no additive, no fertilizers, nothing. So I know I'm getting good quality topsoil.


As for mineralizing the topsoil, I just use first layer pure literate and mix it into the topsoil, sometimes I may use flourite or flourite black planted substrate instead of the FLPL depending what I have on hand at the time.
Thanks for the reply.

I found another thread where someone mentioned that they've used the Earthgrow topsoil, so I think I'll go with that. Washing it should remove toxins anyway.

Again, thanks!
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