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How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

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How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

Mensaje por Invitado el Mar Ene 12, 2010 10:56 am

Bueno encontre este proseso para minarisal nuestros sustratos para conventirlos en sustratos nutritivos como se hace en otros sustratos ntritivos que ya emos y tenemos en nuestros acuarios esta guia es un metodo facil y sensillo y nos ahorrara tiempo y dinero y aparte de que parte del hobbie es hacerlo nosotros mismos.

Using topsoil or potting soil as a substrate is not a new idea. Aquarists have been using this method to grow healthy aquatic plants for decades. However, this method does seem to pose some problems, namely algae outbreaks resulting from light intensity that is too strong. This is especially true when you first set up your aquarium with this type of substrate. The algae likely results from the excess nutrients that decomposing organic materials release in the soil. The decomposing organic materials are not bio-available to the aquatic plants. As the tank matures, the algae dissipate slowly as the organics in the soil finish breaking down.

Mineralizing the soil beforehand helps to speed the breakdown of organic materials in the soil. In turn the mineralized soil will help shorten the initial algae outbreak period that many aquarists experience when using a soil substrate. Soil mineralization occurs from exposing bacteria, enzymes and other soil microbes to oxygen in a moist environment. The microbes break down the organic materials in the soil into bio-available minerals. As an added bonus these new bio-available forms of nutrients are generally only available to plants and not to algae.

There are a few other components to the mineralized soil recipe. Clay provides a source of iron. The clay also serves to bind with the soil as a flocculating agent. When plants are uprooted or disturbed, the added clay will help the soil to settle back to the bottom of the tank. Adding Dolomite to the base of the substrate will provide plants with the necessary calcium and magnesium they need for healthy growth. The calcium and magnesium in the dolomite will also help to keep the soil from becoming too acidic. Lastly, add soluble potash for an initial potassium source.

It is still possible to use pressurized CO2 and high lighting with this method of fertilization. I have setup four tanks using this method and all of them have been high-tech setups using CO2 and high lighting. I rarely ever have to dose any supplements save for the occasional dose of potassium. Use caution when dosing and dose very little amounts at a time.


I’ve composed a list of materials and step-by-step instructions for those readers who would like to try the mineralized soil substrate method.

Materials Needed

• Cheap topsoil
• Pottery clay
• Dolomite
• Muriate of potash
• Fine gravel or coarse sand
• Large container for soaking soil
• Screen made from scrap wood and chicken wire
• Nylon screening material
• Large plastic tarp


Step 1 – Purchase and Rinse the Topsoil

Open the bag of topsoil and distribute in the container of your choice for soaking purposes. I use large Rubbermaid containers that are readily available from any mega-mart. You will want to use cheap topsoil and not potting soil. Potting soil has additives to avoid such as fertilizers, vermiculite and peat moss.
Fill the tub with water so the water level is a few inches above the top of the soil. I like to stir it around a bit to help break up any big clumps and evenly distribute the water. Let this soak for a day or two. Come back and slowly dump the water off of the top. Now add in more water so the soil is well covered. This water changing process helps to “rinse” the soil of any possible fertilizers or other harmful water soluble chemicals.

Step 2 – Allow the Topsoil to Dry

Pour the excess water out of the container as you did when changing the water. Lay out the large plastic tarp, preferably in direct sunlight. Dump out the muddy soil and spread it relatively thin over the tarp. Allow the soil to dry completely. This can take a day or two and depends greatly on how warm the temperature is where you are drying the soil. This part of the process could be done indoors. Though due to its messy nature, I suggest doing it outdoors if possible. When the soil is completely dry, add it back into the soaking container.
The drying process is the part that allows the microbes in the soil to begin mineralizing the nutrients. Exposing it to air oxygenates the soil.

Step 3 – Repeat the Rinsing and Drying Cycles

Repeat steps 1 and 2 three to four times. Repeating the steps is necessary to further mineralize the soil and remove any lingering fertilizers. The soil mineralizes the most during the time while it is still moist and exposed to air on the large tarp. By soaking it over again we reintroduce the needed moisture for this process to take place. When the soil is near fully mineralized it will have a very grainy texture. Another way to tell that the soil is ready is by smell. There will be virtually no smell coming from the soil once it is mineralized.

Mineralized Topsoil

Step 4 (optional) – Sift the Soil to Remove Debris

Screening the soil can help to remove any large organic materials that the short mineralization process employed thus far cannot remove. I have setup tanks where I skipped Step 4 and others where I used it. I have found that adding this step to the process helps to further eliminate algae issues after a tank is newly setup.
You can use a wooden frame with chicken wire stapled to four sides. Then place nylon screening material overtop. Place a few handfuls of soil on top and gently push the soil across the surface of the screen. Make sure to put a container underneath to catch the sifted soil. Below is a picture of the sticks, leaves and stones that can be removed during this step. The resulting sifted soil will feel like airy sand.

Screening Setup

Step 5 – Add the Clay

Now that you have a mineralized soil to use as the substrate, you will want to add in the aforementioned clay. Estimate how much clay you will need so that the resulting mixture of soil and clay is about 5% to 10% clay. If you prefer measurements I use about ¼ of a pound of clay per square foot of tank bottom.
To add the clay you soak it in a container of water to help emulsify it and make it easier to incorporate into the soil. A second option to add clay is to dry the clay in the open air and then crush it into a powder and add it to the soil. In either case you will want to eventually add enough water to the mixture to form a nice runny mud.

Mineralized Soil Mud with Clay Added

Aqui ya como pueden apreciar esta el sustrato terminado, le ponemos una capa encima de la gravilla que mas nos guste y listo, por una fraccion tendremos un buen sustrato rico en nutrientes para nuestras plantas y podremos hacer todo el que nesesitemos en el futuro intentenlo para que vean que divertido es.

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Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

Mensaje por APPR Admin el Mar Ene 12, 2010 12:14 pm

Nitido, eso es de APC porque yo lo vi antes de empesar a hacer los mios.

Mayormente eso es secar y mojar y volverse a secar. Yo lo hago en agua pero es mas o menos lo mismo.

pd: Por favor ponle link.

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Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

Mensaje por pandapr el Jue Ene 14, 2010 9:32 pm

bueno, hace tiempo que quiero hacer algo asi, lo unico seria conseguir los materiales o pedirlos. pero me imagino que todos se pueden conseguir aqui
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Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

Mensaje por aprendiz el Lun Mar 08, 2010 10:10 pm

el link es : [Tienes que estar registrado y conectado para ver este vínculo]
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Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

Mensaje por APPR Admin el Mar Mar 09, 2010 6:42 am

Eso se consigue aqui es bastante facil, lo unico que tienes que esepara a lo que se mineraliza.

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Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

Mensaje por Rubenmx el Miér Mar 10, 2010 9:03 am

Se me hace demasiado complicado... y no estoy completamente de acuerdo, lavar el suelo con agua nos conduce a que todos los minerales solubles se pierdan, al final nos vamos a quedar mayormente con arena.
Yo usaria zeolita en agua hiper fertilizada, la zeolita tiene una habilidad fantastica para absorber productos nitrogenados y despues liberarlos muy lentamente. Dejas la zeolita en esa solucion unos dias y despues la puedes usar en el acuario)
Dado que es nuestro macronutriente mas importante no me preocuparia mucho por los demas, recuerden que buena parte de la absorcion de nutrientes se da por las hojas y no necesariamente por las raices, si tienes dudas puedes usar los bastones de miracle gro o o de Jacob, solo recuerda no ponerlos muy cerca de las plantas
Para el caso del hierro esta la laterita... las arcillas tienen propiedades fantasticas que apenas estamos aprendiendo a usar.

Por cierto usar dolomita y sales de magnesio va a subir por las nubes la dureza del agua (el ph se vuelve muy alcalino y dificulta la absorcion de hierro). Recuerden que las sales de calcio son parcialmente solubles en agua, estas se quedarian en ese sustrato y el resto de los minerales se eliminarian; ademas si le ponemos una sal acida (el muriato de potasio es lo mismo que el cloruro de potasio), acido humicos (de la turba) etc, van a neutralizar parcialmente el pH pero tambien va a dar lugar a reacciones quimicas con quien sabe que resultado... cuidado con ese tipo de mezclas!!! affraid
Soy de la idea de que para la mayoria de las plantas los pH's acidos son preferibles, no creo que esto sea una maravilla pero seria interesante oir de sus experiencias con estas recetas
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Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

Mensaje por APPR Admin el Miér Mar 10, 2010 9:40 am

Ruben por eso yo hago el mio de otra forma. Tambien adiciono peat moss (turba) y es 50%-50% con barro rojo osea arcilla. Hasta ahora resultados muy buenos en todos lo que lo han usado.

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Re: How-To: Mineralized Soil Substrate

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