Easier way to mineralize top soil.. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Easier way to mineralize top soil..

after reading what i could find online...it seems you have to rinse and dry quite a few times... would it work if I just layed it all out (the top soil) on a tarp and moistened it with the hose throughout the day for a few days?

...could that work. It is my understanding that the bacteria need to break down organics in the soil..so im thinking that keeping it moist in open air will do the trick. Please offer any input..i might be totally off here.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 11:36 PM
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I stated my process in your other thread.

The process of soaking for several days is to remove possible harmful contaminants from the soil. If you are confident that the soil you are using is free from chemicals then you could go away with your method but you still need to repeat it at least 3 times to mineralize the soil as much as it could be. You also need it to completely dry out before adding water again. You can tell if the soil is done by the smell. Mineralized soil should have very little to no smell compared to fresh soil. I also noted that after sifiting the soil, it feels like really fine and "soft" sand

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 02:51 AM
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I spread my $1.17 bags of Home Depot top soil on a blue plasruc tarp to dry. When dry, I shovel it into a Tote Tub soak it & stir it, pour off the water speed it back on the trap and repeat 3Xs.

After the last get out I run it through a screen.

I store until needed.

I've done this for several of my tanks and some for friends We've all had great success..

Clay, Potashm, Dolomite are added just prior to use. In somme mixes I add peat to organic like worm casings based on the plants.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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thank you very much for the replies...they really help. where did you buy the potash and dolomite? ...do they sell it in small bags?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 10:12 AM
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The dolomite and potash are added as an initial source of calcium and potassium. Clay is the flocculating agent and iron source.

I skipped dolomite and potash since I already have hard water and I did not bother with these as I was doing low tech.

I dont know if they are sold in small quantities but there is a chemical supply near my place that sells potash by the kilogram.

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Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Clay, Potashm, Dolomite are added just prior to use. In somme mixes I add peat to organic like worm casings based on the plants.
I dont understand why there is a need to add organics like worm castings. Sure they are great sources of nutrition but I think it defeats the purpose of mineralizing. Its like removing the organics from the soil and then adding it back.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by specks View Post
...I dont understand why there is a need to add organics like worm castings. Sure they are great sources of nutrition but I think it defeats the purpose of mineralizing. Its like removing the organics from the soil and then adding it back.
I can share my thoughts on that.

Plants grow in Organic laiden dirt in nature. If you have every pulled a lilly out of a pond the stench will make you gag.

In our tanks we are bring to copy nature in a controlled manner We really don't know the level of organics in our source dirt be it bagged top soil or yard dirt. When we mineralize we in essence contral the level of active organic matter.. I feel controlled amounts of organic as natural and bennifical to plants. I adjust my mix based on those plants needs with Clay, Dolomite, Organic materiel, and peat.

I set up my 'Toxic Ten' tank (link in sig line) to show Organic material is not the Demon Beast people would make it out to be.

That tank today:



Forgive the Bad Cell pic
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