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How to Mineralize Soil Substrates?

Discussion in 'AquaScaping World Magazine Discussions' started by John N., Apr 10, 2008.

  1. JL1219

    JL1219 New Member

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    Yeah I read reviews and it's basically a cheaper alternative to aquasoil with the same valuable nutrients. I also read that aquasoil can degrade over time and lose texture. I'm gonna start first with plant fertilizer pellets, then in time move on to root tabs.

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    My aquasoil has stood up for years. Gets dusty when you rescape and move it around, but I haven't come across any substrate that doesn't...except maybe gravel.
     
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  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    Does it have a UBD or would that depend on how it was used eg heavily planted against a minimal planter tank.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    UBD?

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
  5. JL1219

    JL1219 New Member

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    What's UBD?

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  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I don't think so. Its dirt. It can be dustier if the bag is opened and then not put into a tank. As far as its lifespan, some of the nutrients are probably used up if you don't fertilize within a few months to a year. Others probably last years upon years. Its just physical wear that breaks it down a little. It has held up well for me. I'll know better in May when I rescape. The soil is over two years old and I will probably just add another bag and mix that in. It doesn't compact or become sludge. There was a version they introduced a couple years ago...or a reformulation....that had that problem. But ADA didn't continue it because of it.
     
  8. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    I just bung a 1:1 mixture of aquatic compost and moss peat in the tank and mineralise it in situ, a la my tutorial.
    ...Sure you get an ammonia spike but it's handy for cycling a tank, and there are other synergistic benefits as well. For instance, the decomposing organic matter in the mix gives of CO2.
    ...Oh and its dirt cheap:D
     
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  9. 1077

    1077 New Member

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    Many folk's still use dirt for substrate.
    Nice tutorial over at UKAPS .org on dirted tank's.or soil based tank's ,and their benefit's(look under tutorial's)
    Plant s been growin in dirt for eon's.
    I simply refuse to pay the $$ for enough of the commercial product's, when I can make my own much cheaper, and as effective, from plant's perspective.
    My three planted tanks are 80 gal,75.gal,and 55 gal and cannot afford what it would cost to do just one with Aquasoil.
    Dirt can become exhausted of nutrient's over time, so I mix cat litter/peat with the soil at a ratio of 70% plain top soil,20% plain Unscented cat litter (special kitty brand at walmart).and 10 % sphagnum peat with no additives.I cap this with sand/fine gravel or Black diamond blasting media 20/40 grit (Tractor supply).
    I also add Macro nutrient's and micro nutrient's once a week to the water at 1/3 of estimative index values for my size tank.
    I perform 50 % water change each week but couls easily go several week's without . (great for vacation time)
    I also source my hardscape Wood/rock's from area stream's.wood's,landscape stores.
    I purchase densified polyester foam from Walmart or hobby lobby and cut to fit material for my filter's.
    Once heard aquarium's described aptly as, glass boxes of water that we throw money into.
    I much prefer to spend the lion's share of my money on fishes/invert's and save where possible with exception of food's/filtration.
     
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  10. JL1219

    JL1219 New Member

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    1077 you have pictures?

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  11. 1077

    1077 New Member

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    Sorry no photo's.
    May try and get brother to take a photo or two,and then find someone at work to help me load them for view.
    I am blissfully ignorant to near all thing's computer related ,and have not had a phone of any kind for over a decade.
    Is with some degree of difficulty that I am able to communicate through this type of medium.
    Don't judge, I am an old dinosaur .
     
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  12. JL1219

    JL1219 New Member

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    Ha ha lol, no worries.

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  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to respond to the thread. DIY is definitely not my realm of expertise. Although, with enough knowledge and experience there are many good DIY options to get good materials. I think it takes some time to find those sources and how to do it, so again, thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    I don't hear many people talking about doing DIY substrates. It depends upon the planted tank keeper. Since there is a cap and a lot of layering, it is not the best for someone who rescapes every year or two. It is fantastic for a long term planting.
     
  14. JL1219

    JL1219 New Member

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    So what is the difference between cat litter and Laterite?

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  15. 1077

    1077 New Member

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    Not much.
    Laterite might contain some Iron.
     
  16. JL1219

    JL1219 New Member

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    I read that natural laterite is full of iron. But what is cat litter made of? Is it full of iron also?

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  17. 1077

    1077 New Member

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    That I use,is just clay.
    I dose CSM+B for iron.
     
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    JL1219

    This might seem like a silly answer but it would depend on the company that makes the cat litter.

    I have seen a sawdust mix, earthy clay mix, and sented crystals mix.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  19. JL1219

    JL1219 New Member

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    Thanks Keith. I'll stick with Laterite.

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  20. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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