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The Soil Substrate Or Dirted Planted Tank - a How to Guide...

Discussion in 'Substrate' started by Tim Harrison, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Tim

    I would not hesitate in using it in certain planted tanks but certainly not near water. From what I know about Mushroom Compost its extremely rich and in fact it can be too rich in some cases.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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  2. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    I think Diana Walstad used mushroom compost in one of her soil mixes. I suppose the key is to mix it with loam and or peat moss as a source of nutrients (I'd give 25 - 50% a go), and to only layer it a few cms deep. I'm guessing she used spent mushroom compost (SMC) which probably isn't anywhere near as rich as new mushroom compost.

    Generally speaking from what I can gather, good quality SMC is comparatively low in nutrients and high in organic matter which makes it good for aquarium use since it'll probably be relatively slow to decompose.
    This means there is less potential for toxicity from the rapid release of ammonia, and therefore danger of oxygen depletion, etc., whilst at the same time helping plant growth through the slow release of remaining nutrients, and CO2.

    As for salts...apparently the salts content of good quality SMC isn't high enough to cause any real problems, although I suppose it could raise TDS, which in itself isn't usually a problem either unless you're trying to breed specialist fish species. Also regular water changes tend to keep TDS from building up to harmful levels.

    But like Keith has said you should always proceed with caution to take in to account any possible unknowns that might prove harmful to tank critters.
     
  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Tim

    Last night I was watching a Mushroom grower of exotic varieties. All he used was a small open mesh bag with a mixed straw mix and only misted by hand twice a day. After two crops the bag/mix was replaced.

    If the mushroom compost is not sterilised after used before it is bagged and sold it will still contain the Mushroom spores.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Tim Harrison likes this.
  5. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes...I suppose when you weigh it all up it's probably less trouble to go with a tried and tested compost like John Innes or Miracle Grow:)
     
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