Is this soil ok to use? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Is this soil ok to use?

Hello!

I am probably going to set up my first Walstad type of tank, i have some problems choosing the right soil. My local plant shop have two alternatives with this information on the bag:

1. Quality Soil particularly suitable for indoor plants and window boxes. Nutritious and odorless. The earth is long time composted in 3 years, and are hand-pruned several times during this period.[censored]The result is a nutrient-rich soil full of microlife, ideal for your indoor plants and window boxes.[censored]Debio Approved for organic growers. Raw materials: 30% cow manure, 60% peat and 10% sand.

2. This soil is only soil, no fertilizer is added.

I hope someone can help me with some suggestions

Jnad
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Jnad View Post
Hello!
Raw materials: 30% cow manure, 60% peat and 10% sand.

2. This soil is only soil, no fertilizer is added.

I hope someone can help me with some suggestions

Jnad
50% composted tree barks and fines, 30% sphagnum peat moss and 20% worm castings would be a better choice in my opinion. Powdered clay can also be added to the mix if you like.

Manure tends to spike ammonia early on in a rather rich release.

About a 1.5" layer of the mix capped with 1 to 1.5" of fine gravel or coarse sand.

HopeThisHelps


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jnad View Post
Hello!

I am probably going to set up my first Walstad type of tank, i have some problems choosing the right soil. My local plant shop have two alternatives with this information on the bag:

1. Quality Soil particularly suitable for indoor plants and window boxes. Nutritious and odorless. The earth is long time composted in 3 years, and are hand-pruned several times during this period.[censored]The result is a nutrient-rich soil full of microlife, ideal for your indoor plants and window boxes.[censored]Debio Approved for organic growers. Raw materials: 30% cow manure, 60% peat and 10% sand.

2. This soil is only soil, no fertilizer is added.

I hope someone can help me with some suggestions

Jnad
Walstad says no cow poo, chicken poo is ok though.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 07:00 PM
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Jnad, I see you are from Norway. Are the labels of these products in English, or are they a translation?

There are 2 components to soil, and each of these can be further defined.

A) Organic matter. Leaves, animal waste, microorganisms, macroorganisms.

B) Mineral component. Sand, Silt, Clay, Rocks. These are particle sizes, and say nothing about their chemistry.

Organic matter such as leaves and manure continues to decompose, becoming fertilizer and nutrients for the plants, serving as food for beneficial microorganisms, and altering the soil chemistry. Highly desirable in the garden. Can work in an aquarium, but there are some cautions. The basic question in both garden and tank is: What happens to this stuff once it is in place?
If the results are bad, then do not use it in that quantity. Perhaps use less or perhaps none.

Mineral types of materials do not break down the way organic matter does. Rocks, sand and silt may be neutral in the water, do nothing, or they could dissolve and alter the water chemistry. This is especially noticeable if the rocks etc are of a limestone origin and the tank water is very soft and acidic.
Clay sized particles are active in the water, and clay is especially well thought of for garden and tank because of its cationic exchange capacity. This means it can hold fertilizers and minerals in a way that they are available to the plants, but do not get loose into the water column.
__________________________________________________ _____________

Product 1) Uses terms in a bad way, trying to hide or at least confuse the issue. (Maybe this is in part because it is a translation) In my opinion, based on what I see in the first post, this is a soil amendment, not a soil. It contains one ingredient that has been shown to create problems in aquariums (cow manure).
Product 2) Has too little info to make a determination. If there is any way of getting about a cup or two (quarter to half a liter) there are some tests you can do to see if it is useful in an aquarium.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Jnad, I see you are from Norway. Are the labels of these products in English, or are they a translation?

There are 2 components to soil, and each of these can be further defined.

A) Organic matter. Leaves, animal waste, microorganisms, macroorganisms.

B) Mineral component. Sand, Silt, Clay, Rocks. These are particle sizes, and say nothing about their chemistry.

Organic matter such as leaves and manure continues to decompose, becoming fertilizer and nutrients for the plants, serving as food for beneficial microorganisms, and altering the soil chemistry. Highly desirable in the garden. Can work in an aquarium, but there are some cautions. The basic question in both garden and tank is: What happens to this stuff once it is in place?
If the results are bad, then do not use it in that quantity. Perhaps use less or perhaps none.

Mineral types of materials do not break down the way organic matter does. Rocks, sand and silt may be neutral in the water, do nothing, or they could dissolve and alter the water chemistry. This is especially noticeable if the rocks etc are of a limestone origin and the tank water is very soft and acidic.
Clay sized particles are active in the water, and clay is especially well thought of for garden and tank because of its cationic exchange capacity. This means it can hold fertilizers and minerals in a way that they are available to the plants, but do not get loose into the water column.
__________________________________________________ _____________

Product 1) Uses terms in a bad way, trying to hide or at least confuse the issue. (Maybe this is in part because it is a translation) In my opinion, based on what I see in the first post, this is a soil amendment, not a soil. It contains one ingredient that has been shown to create problems in aquariums (cow manure).
Product 2) Has too little info to make a determination. If there is any way of getting about a cup or two (quarter to half a liter) there are some tests you can do to see if it is useful in an aquarium.
Hello!

Thanks for your answer.

Yes i have used the Google translator.

I have now bought the soil (only soil) with no added fertilizer.

This is the label on the bag of only soil product i have, hope i can use this soil:

Declaration

Product Type: Mixed culture medium
Application: Culture Medium
Composition: White Moss Peat (H2-H4). Parks and gardens compost Composted bark

Solids: 200 g/l
Organic content: 58%
Ph: 6,0
Electric Conductivity: 92
Total Nitrogen: 1800 mg/l
Density: 550 kg/kbm

Nutrients (mg / l)
Nitrate-N: 10
Ammonium-N: 18
Phosphorus-P: 35
Potassium K: 280
Calcium - Ca: 432
Magnesium - Mg: 165
Sulfur - S: 70
Bor - B: 1.5
Copper - Cu: 2
Iron - Fe: 120
Manganese - Mn: 9
Zinc - Zn: 12

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