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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Im not sure if folks have touched on this yet here on this forum, but I wanted to share the results I had with this substrate in a test tank we had.


Mineralized soil is very inexpensive to make, it just is a long process to make it. AT $10 to fill a 120G tank, thats not bad for having a nutrient rich substarte that can last a decade.

It worked pretty well for me and our Florida hard water. I could not keep any soft water plants, but the end results were pretty good. Keep in mind that this tank has no real scape in mind. Its just a tank I packed as many stems as I could to see what would fare well and what would not.





 

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So, I have another question:

I am wanting to grow basically the following in my 46 bowfront with 2x55watt power compact 6500K bulbs:

Blyxa japonica
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Hygrophila difformis

Do you think that this substrate you mention and dosing with excel with have good growth?

Or, should I do diy co2? (My wife would kill me if I spent the money on a pressurized setup as I have 2 reef tanks already)

Thanks,

Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It would work very well. I would use DIY co2 with this large of tank. Excel will get expensive quick. Get two 2L bottles and always have one ready to go when the other gets exhausted.
If you can pack the tank full of plants right from the beginning.
 

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Thanks for that link! I definately plan to use this method with my next tanks...if I can convince the better half that more planted tanks are required.

On another note for Steven. I would think with a 46gal you would want at least two 2L bottles if you decide to go DIY.I would run them both at the same time changing them each offsetting weeks. It is cheaper,and provides much better results than just dosing excel from my experience. Make sure you test for KH before adding CO2 to your tank, if it's 3 degrees or under you have to buffer the water because it will cause a PH crash otherwise. Hygrophila difformis grows like mad with added CO2 be prepared for a lot of trimming.
 

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http://www.aquariumforum.com/f45/30g-bowfront-planted-4660.html Started that thread in the build sections. But it is bases off this thread.

I'm trying this mineralized stuff and can't seem to find Dolomite and the Potash stuff.

Where can this stuff be bought?

Do I really need to get some or will I be alright without it?

What about peat moss? I have read that it can help control PH if you put it on the very bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
You can use peat that is used for filter media in canisters. I find it works best.

Dolo is made by Estes, Potash should be found at local gardening store. Be sure your clay is also free of polymers. If you cant find any at these locations, let me know and I can see about sending you some :)
 

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I am very happy with this simple substrate

1" peat moss ($10 for a 3/4 yard bail)

1" play sand

1" pc select ($8 for a 50 pound bag) (or aquarium gravel).

Add each layer then add water until that layer is wet. Clean and level then add the next.

Plant the plants after the third layer.

Then fill the tank with water.

On one test tank kh has been 4 dkh and gh has been 9-10 dgh for over two years and neon tetras have thrived. Just sand resulted in kh an dgh rising over the years. (dkh hit 20+, dgh over 40)

plants have done really well with no co2 added.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That looks nice:) However I dont see a source of nutrients in your mix (NPK). Humic Acid from the peat is good though:)

Regards,
O
 

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So I went to a couple places today looking for the stuff I need and no potash could be found. However, I talked to a guy at one place and he thought Jersey Green Sand would work. Any ideas?

Google pulled up this - Greensand contains potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium and phos pho rus plus as many as 30 other trace minerals

Also the LFS had no idea what dolomite was. Yay for hard to track down things. Called Petsmart and they didn't know what it was either, but the girl thought crushed coral might work. It was $12.00 for a bag (forgot the size)

Tried mixing my clay in, and I think I got the wrong time. This stuff won't breakdown in water. Tomorrow I am going back to kick the lady that sold it to me
 

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Also Beaslbob, what is pc select? I might try your recommendation on the next tank I do.
It is a red baked clay used for infields and golf courses. It replaced soilmaster select which is no longer made. And the charcoal color is no longer made. It looks like dark red fine gravel.

I costs $8 for a 50 pound bag. I got a local supplier by emailing the factory.

see:

Pro's Choice Products

.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Soil Master Select,Turface Pro league are all high CEC substrates that work well. A little on the light weight side but will work.
 

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The article shows the mineralized substrate a gray color. I bought top soil and its a tannish color with a few sticks and rocks. Does it really become gray through washings and drying? o_O
 

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You will want to sift the rocks and sticks out. Both times I've done this it became a really dark almost black silt. very fine and soft. To sift the stuff out, I let it dry and used an old window screen. Small amounts at a time I rubbed acroos the screen (wear leather gloves, I got some wicked slivers the first time) most of the stuff you want will fall through the screen into your catch bucket or whatever, and toss the rest.
 

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You will want to sift the rocks and sticks out. Both times I've done this it became a really dark almost black silt. very fine and soft. To sift the stuff out, I let it dry and used an old window screen. Small amounts at a time I rubbed acroos the screen (wear leather gloves, I got some wicked slivers the first time) most of the stuff you want will fall through the screen into your catch bucket or whatever, and toss the rest.
Yea I was having a hard time breaking up the clumps and mixing because of the rocks and sticks. So I'm guessing you sifted before the wet/drying procedure?
 
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