MTS and worm castings Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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MTS and worm castings Questions

New to the forum and have a few questions. I posted this over at APC but wanted to ask here as well. More people to learn from...

I am setting up my first dirted tank using AaronT's "How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate" and have a few questions, I have the mexican pottery clay needed. Although I could not find the Miracle gro organic "potting" soil. All I could find was the Miracle gro organic "top" soil.

Q1. After reading about some folks finding the top soil they purchased was not going to work I though I would ask if anyone has experience with this Miracle gro organic "top" soil?

Q2. Any thoughts on Azomite rock dust put down before the MTS?

Q3. In place of the Dolomite and Muriate of potash, would potassium carbonate and calcium carbonate work? I have both as a PH up for my aquaponics.

Q4. We have pretty hard water here, is there a large difference in GH/KH in the WC vs MTS/substrate? In other words would it be prudent to add the both K2CO3 and CaCO3?

Q5a. I make my own vermicompost "worm castings" they work wonders for the garden and potted plants. I have considered adding some to the PRE-minerlized topsoil, any thoughts on this? I feel as though it would leach out most of the nutrients.

Q5b. Adding fresh vermicompost (VC) to the POST-MTS. I have used both the fresh VC and aerated worm compost tea in the aquaponics with no adverse effect on the fish, the plants went bonkers, although it is a 200g tank.


I would like to do it right the first time, if there are any suggestions please let me know.


Bump: Truth be told I was not sure if I should resurrect this thread or start a new one.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=78143

Last edited by yalejohn; 01-19-2015 at 07:01 AM. Reason: made included link live
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-20-2015, 09:54 PM
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I think if you are going the full mineralizing route, the choice of soil in the beginning isn't as important, as any harmful fertilizers, manure, etc. will break down into more stable/less toxic compounds during the mineralization process.

I'm somewhat skeptical of the use of muriate of potash, since that's so soluble. I think it will be effectively washed out of the tank after a couple water changes. Granted, I don't think it would harm anything, but something that soluble is probably better used through periodic dosings then as a substrate enrichment. I'd probably avoid the sodium carbonate for similar reasons.

Dolomite is good because it's one of the least soluble carbonates, and it also acts as a source of both Ca and Mg. If you cant get a hold of dolomite, regular CaCO3 is probably the next best option (oyster shells, crushed coral, marble chips, etc.). A while back, someone on here had a elemental analysis of eggshells, and those looked like they might work, mostly CaCO3, but a bit of Mg and Sr as well. I don't know if anyone has done any tanks with them or not...

I think at least a couple people on here have used worm casings in dirted tanks, but it's been a while since I've read about them. I'm not certain, but I think they might have just put them in the tank and capped it, similar to how most use MGOCPM.
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