Well composted horse manure for MTS? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well composted horse manure for MTS?

I have been thinking about taking a crack at making some MTS before we lose the heat around here. I have a craptonne (literally) of really well composted horse manure. Has anyone used it in their MTS? I was thinking about using some arroyo dirt (very, very little organic matter in it) as the base.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 06:45 PM
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Composted horse manure would be great for your garden plants.

http://horsemanurecompost.com/


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 07:09 PM
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Yeah I have a ton of it too. Neighbors drop it in a pile for me from their 6 horses and use the tractor to turn the pile. I wouldn't use it for a tank though.
Horse manure is great for leafy plants. Way too much nitrogen for flowering though. It needs other composted materials mixed in. Leafy material and whatnot for carbon etc. for balance.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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I use it like crazy in the gardens, but I was curious about MTS for the tanks, so I guess it's a no-go on that. :-) I've found as many different "recipes" as there are potential ingredients. I found one with horse manure, but I wasn't sure it would work well. Everything else I read would point to "no", but I figured I'd ask everyone here since there is more experience and knowledge.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 07:38 PM
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Composted horse manure can be made into manure tea which can be diluted and maybe used as a liquid aquarium fertilizer in small amounts. Watch how it improves plant growth, as well as, occurence of algae (which can happen even with dry ferts).

http://www.geocities.com/mastergarde...manuretea.html


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:30 AM
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Manure in an outside garden is great, it goes into dry substrate. Using manure in a wet environment my not be the best idea. Of course you can experiment with it to find out how it reacts but I haven't seen manure being used in tanks and I am sure it hasn't been used in soil tanks for a reason.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:43 AM
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High Desert - Yes, but I feel you'll still benefit from adding some dirt to the MTS mix. Then the other additives, potash, dolomite or Chicken grit, and clay.

This may help: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=154884
There is a link in it about some issues with horse stall bedding in compost on my thread. You will find all POOP is not equal.

If I can help PM me.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:50 AM
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...I am sure it hasn't been used in soil tanks for a reason.
Other than the "icky" factor there is no reason it can not be used as an organic fert.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 02:45 AM
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The power of POO!

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 03:02 AM
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I have heard more about worm castings being acceptable for aquarium use, but mostly not larger animal waste.

Yes, there is a big difference between stall cleanings and manure.

A horse in a stall may have any of many different materials as bedding. (around here, rice hulls and pine shavings are most common)
He urinates in the bedding. He poops on it. He spills water and food onto it.
Then the wet bedding, poop and wasted food (hay) are tossed in a pile to compost.
The high ammonia content (urine) plus the high carbon content (bedding) make this blend compost really fast. Turning it with a tractor, you might get garden ready compost in just a couple of weeks. I think I would compost it longer for possible aquarium use.

Straight manure, perhaps with a little bedding stuck to it, or maybe collected from runs with no bedding will have almost no urine, so the ammonia content is lower. Not zero, though. Horse digestion is not very efficient, and if they are fed high protein foods (alfalfa, grains) there will be plenty of ammonia to blend with the high carbon (dried grass) part of the manure.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I have heard more about worm castings being acceptable for aquarium use, but mostly not larger animal waste.
I add worm casings to my MTS to provide some organic content along with Oak Leaf mold. Forum Member Larcat also uses worm casings a log with a few others that post here.


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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
A horse in a stall may have any of many different materials as bedding. (around here, rice hulls and pine shavings are most common)
He urinates in the bedding. He poops on it. He spills water and food onto it.
Then the wet bedding, poop and wasted food (hay) are tossed in a pile to compost.
The high ammonia content (urine) plus the high carbon content (bedding) make this blend compost really fast. Turning it with a tractor, you might get garden ready compost in just a couple of weeks. I think I would compost it longer for possible aquarium use.

Straight manure, perhaps with a little bedding stuck to it, or maybe collected from runs with no bedding will have almost no urine, so the ammonia content is lower. Not zero, though. Horse digestion is not very efficient, and if they are fed high protein foods (alfalfa, grains) there will be plenty of ammonia to blend with the high carbon (dried grass) part of the manure.
The issue with stall bedding I mentioned has nothing to do with your observations and postulations.

It has to do with a study that found wood shavings compete with organic materiel for N, causing the the wood shaving / horse manure to be less effective for agriculture use than other compost sources.

I have the source quoted on Post#72 on my Toxic Ten Journal thread. I believe I've also cited studies that grade and rank POOP used in compost. Lamas, if I remember correctly were the highest ranked.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Luckily, all three horses poop out in the runs so there isn't the vile bedding issue. I was just curious if anyone had used ancient horse manure. I think I will stick to the tried-and-true recipes for my MTS. :-)
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by HighDesert View Post
Luckily, all three horses poop out in the runs so there isn't the vile bedding issue. I was just curious if anyone had used ancient horse manure. I think I will stick to the tried-and-true recipes for my MTS. :-)
I'd offer a little seasoned house manure to a MTS mix should not only work , it will work well as the organics will help the uptake of Fe.

A 1/4 layer of powdered fine compost will be less that 5% of the volume. If you do decided to try this please do a journal or at least a post on my thread. I think this topic has a lot of merit. I'd be very interested in your results.

I used fresh ingredients and created a "hot" compost substrate and was successful. I feel seasoned horse manue would be safe for you in low dose.

Best of luck.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 03:20 PM
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If you use a dirty substrate that comes with, or you seed a ton of nematodes, then feed heavily so you have plenty of waste for the worms to break down, add some snails to move the crud around--it's inside-tank-composting, the tank mineralizes itself.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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So, after some thought on this whole thing I'm going to give it a try. I am going to try to create a sort of "biotope" based on the stock ponds around here. Cattle and horses are disgusting and will stand and crap in their drinking water all day long. This I've observed over the years on the various ranches around us. There's one particularly vile pool that constantly has cow manure floating on it, but the emersed plants are really, really healthy. I can't help thinking it might be fun to do a plants-and-snails-only tank to mimic the stock ponds. I need to do some planning, but I already have a tank I use for tadpoles every year that I can stand to "sacrifice" for this project. I'll keep you all updated once I get a plan worked out.
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