question about clay and potash/dolomite for mts - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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question about clay and potash/dolomite for mts

Hello,

I was hoping you could answer a few questions for me.
I bought dirt from a nursery (46L storage contain full) and it really does appear to be all soil, but also some Grey clay. All the bag stuff (even cheap) was about 70% non-soil. Anyway, soaked and dried about 15 times as I am waiting for dolomite. Found a commerical supplier who is sending me a free sample of powdered. So I figured on my 75 Gallon which is 48"x18" x approx 2" soil makes for about a cubic ft. of soil needed. I ordered C-red clay from anxer as c-red has more iron than redart clay. I got 2lbs. and received today. I thought 2 lbs. would be a larger bag. its fairly small. I don't think I'll have 5-10% clay. Should I get more, or is this enough. Also. How do you gauge how much potash and d0lomite to add to bottom?

Also, I've read about people adding horticultural Charcoal between soil and cap to further absorb and then release nutrients. Also have read of some people adding peat granules to prevent anoxic problems and buffer ph etc.

and was wondering if any ferts or root tabs should be added since my tank will be empty and started from the bottom up.

Lastly, lighting. already getting bba with 2x20w 6500k bulbs on about 12 hrs, but now have reduced that to 6 with daily water changes and it is helping with the problem, (as well as spot treating with peroxide)

I have a 2x54watt light ready to go when new tank set up is done. Will I have problems without a CO2 system? really trying to avoid that expense right now and diy isn't practical on a 75g.

Sorry so long winded, I'm new to this and spend most time googling everything.
Thanks for any help.

Oh, and lighting is t5 HO 54w
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 06:22 PM
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Yeah, I'd aim for the recommended 5-10% - clay is pretty cheap. Also, the recommended depth of MTS is 0.5-1.0", with a gravel cap of 1-2".

The MTS article has a picture of how much dolomite/potash to use - just ballpark it. They are a long-term item, but I would think too little is better than too much...maybe someone else can comment on that.

I believe the whole point of MTS is to avoid ferts...no?

One thing I've seen recommended for the planning stage is to determine what your goals are - CO2, no CO2? Fast or slow growth? Light levels?

Those answers will help determine what actions you should take, and help others direct you. Uh, last item would be to post in the appropriate forum - so ask lighting questions in the Lighting forum.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 02:55 AM
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I've used dolomite, potash, etc... in the past for my MTS setups with good results, but I'm going to try going with Azomite instead, and see how it goes. Azomite is a complete highly mineralized material that contains a broad spectrum of over 70 metabolically active minerals and trace elements.

http://www.azomite.com/index.php?opt...d=38&Itemid=11


This stuff pretty much has everything in it.....

45g Long - High Light Planted Tank / 30g - Plant Grow Out Tank / 100g Tank - currently resealing
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 03:19 AM
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Part of the goal of MTS is to mix the fertilizers and minerals into the soil ahead of time so there might be less water column dosing later. So add whatever you need to in the beginning. Make whatever sort of mix is right, depending on the soil you have. Some soils already have some nutrients.

You might run a test with a handful of your soil.
Put it in a jar of water (the same water you will be filling the tank with- tap, RO, a blend...) and shake it really well. When the water settles test the GH, KH and pH. Compare that to the tap (or whatever) before you added the soil.

Possibility A) If the soil is high in minerals the GH, KH and pH may rise over a few days.
Possibility B) If the soil is removing the KH then the KH and pH will drop over a few days.

Next question is what sort of fish do you want to keep?
If your soil is like A, and you want to keep hard water fish, then add a bit of dolomite, limestone, crushed coral or whatever to enhance the effect. The soil probably already has some of these minerals, but a bit more is probably just fine. Do not add much if any peat moss.
If your soil is like A, but you want soft water fish, add peat moss and test again. You do not want many minerals in the water for soft water fish. Try perhaps 25% peat moss + 75% soil. That is a lot of peat moss.
If your soil is like B, and you want hard water fish, then add lots of dolomite, limestone, coral sand or oyster shell grit (perhaps some of each).
If your soil is like B, and you want soft water fish then add peat moss, and just a little dolomite. The plants will need the minerals, but you do not want to use enough dolomite to affect the water very much. The softening effect of the soil may be just what you want to keep soft water fish.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
I've used dolomite, potash, etc... in the past for my MTS setups with good results, but I'm going to try going with Azomite instead, and see how it goes. Azomite is a complete highly mineralized material that contains a broad spectrum of over 70 metabolically active minerals and trace elements.
....
That is a journal worthy experiment that many of us would benefit from. I know I would be subscribed. Please share your results if to go forward with that .
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 04:46 PM
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Will do DogFish

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
I've used dolomite, potash, etc... in the past for my MTS setups with good results, but I'm going to try going with Azomite instead, and see how it goes. Azomite is a complete highly mineralized material that contains a broad spectrum of over 70 metabolically active minerals and trace elements.

http://www.azomite.com/index.php?opt...d=38&Itemid=11


This stuff pretty much has everything in it.....
Interesting stuff
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:59 PM
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coooool. I'm going to get some an try it out. Calling tommorow.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 02:05 PM
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Unrated, out of curiosity, how did you come accross Azomite? ...sorry for the hijack
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Razorworm View Post
Unrated, out of curiosity, how did you come accross Azomite? ...sorry for the hijack

I came across it in a Google search for mineralized topsoil, and in the results there was a mention of it for a new recipe for mineralized topsoil on Aquaria Plant Central (link below, PLEASE DON'T BAN ME MODERATORS)

http://www.aquaticplantenthusiasts.c...d-topsoil.html

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