How to mineralize organic potting soil - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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How to mineralize organic potting soil

Help! I ordered my plants, they will be here by tomorrow or Wednesday latest, and it is doing NOTHING outdoors but raining (and COLD for KY) for the next 7 days. I have my soil on a canvas tarp outside (it's only a 12 gallon tank, so not much soil) but it's only been washed once and dried, and it looks like it is never going to be dry again. I've been told to wash and dry at least five times -- there is no way that is going to happen before the plants arrive. I can't do the substrate without the soil,and without the substrate I can't plant anything.

Can I just dry it in the oven and wash it, over and over again, or is it necessary to dry in sunlight rather than just baking the soil to mineralize it?

Please help me. I thought I had all weekend plus a few days to get this done, and now it is supposed to be cold and rainy every day for at least a week (in JULY!), and the plants are on their way. Or what can I do for my plants to keep them alive for a week?

I've got some laterite; will I be forced to use that instead? I was so hoping to try a dirted tank.

Thanks so much,

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 12:56 AM
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Hi, Robin and welcome! You actually don't have to do this drying process that many times. Many people these days dry it once, maybe twice. Just monitor your water quality and plant heavy from the beginning and be prepared for water changes. Give the set-up some time to settle in before adding livestock and you will be good to go!

Bump: And do not bake it.

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Hank!

Thank you! I hope to be able to get one more wash/dry cycle out of it then. The weather has been really strange for Kentucky. Not good tomato-growing days at all.
My plan is to get a big plastic tub, put my wet soil in it and let all the sticks and debris come to the top and drain it off until the water is reasonably clear of twiggy stuff, and then change the heck out of the water once it goes into the aquarium. I've got iron coming from Dustin's Fishtanks, but it is arriving with the plants.

He recommends using oyster shell or dolomite (a handful) in addition to the little lumps of iron clay.
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