Using old substrate as potting soil - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Using old substrate as potting soil

I've got a 75g I'm planning on tearing down. It has Eco-Complete (EC) as the primary substrate, with about 15 lbs of silica sand mixed in. The tank has what I believe to be an irrecoverable algae problem, so I ready to ditch contents, substrate included.

As I prepare to scoop this stuff out, I cannot help be reflect on the do-ray-me going down the drain. And as I ruminate on this, my wife is moaning about buying new potting soil for spring/summer planting.
DING! The light bulb goes on!
Can you use this stuff for potting soil? Recycled substrate that is (EC or otherwise)? And if so, is there any benefit to cutting regular potting soil with this stuff?

I know my house plants go insane happy when I feed them water change water. Is there any chance other plants will be happy with this stuff as a part of their potting soil?

Love to know your thoughts/experiences. Thanks!

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 04:24 AM
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Hmmmm......sounds like a good idea. It would be almost inert (compared to potting soil) so you would have to be up on your fertilizing if you used it alone. Cutting with regular soil would probably just give it excellent draining.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 04:28 AM
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I like the cleanliness and longevity of hydroponics... I am sure it would be a good substrate for that, lighter than gravel with a much better CEC and water holding capacity.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 12:41 PM
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Steve, I think that you need to put that substrate from your 75 in a lead container and bury it in some New Mexico desert.

I do use flourite as a bonsai soil amendment, as I like the looks better than garden variety turface. I'd think the unwashed EC would be a great addition to topsoil for ornamental plants.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbhil
Steve, I think that you need to put that substrate from your 75 in a lead container and bury it in some New Mexico desert.
LOL

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 01:30 AM
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It's the Nevada desert BTW.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 01:34 AM
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I thought Yucca Mountain was in Arizona.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2006, 04:29 PM
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The Chihuahuan Desert is in the very southeast of New Mexico.

Jim


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2006, 05:04 PM
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I'm sure glad you guys are not my naviguessers.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2006, 04:19 PM
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ANYWAY, Scolley...I bet it would make a GREAT substrate for my orchids! hmmm I may have to try it.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2006, 04:28 PM
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ANYWAY, Scolley...I bet it would make a GREAT substrate for my orchids! hmmm I may have to try it.
They might get that silvery shine.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2006, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
They might get that silvery shine.
Yuk, yuk, yuk. Good point thanks! For those that might not have caught it, my particular EC has some questionable content, and will not be considered anything but rubbish, and potentially toxic rubbish at that.

But the over all question about whether old substrate has value as, or in, potting soils is still a valid questions I think.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 05:06 AM
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If you are worried about the silver, then I would defiantly use some soil, 50-50 possibly. Walstead states that the soil will lock up heavy metals and release them over time.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Lump. It's too late now... the substrate has been spread across a part of the yard that is landscaped precisely to have nothing grow on it. You know, like where you see wood-chip mulch spread in around the base of trees sometimes. It's over the natural soil, and under the mulch.

Hope it doesn't hurt the trees. But from what you've said, that may not happen. Thanks.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
It's the Nevada desert BTW.
Sorry, Rex, but... New Mexico has: WIPP
"... WIPP, is the world's first underground repository licensed to safely and permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste ... Located in the remote Chihuahuan Desert of Southeastern New Mexico ... "
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