Darrell's (dw1305's) soil thread

castle

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I've been messing with soils from my garden, i live in a high clay and sand area; just about got a mix now that doesn't stir up mud too easily. Might be using it in my new tank; but will do a demo first in a 30cm cube.
 

zozo

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Tell us more my man! I live in high clay country. I can almost have a pond without a liner. :cool: Haven't bothered with baking clay in my oven I need to find someone with a pizza oven. They can get up to 800C.
You can make one yourself from the clay you dig up... :) And it's actually easypeasy. :D

Short nutshell tut.

Gather wine bottles, make a stand, from whatever material. Create a round platform, put a small wall 2 or 3 bricks high around it. Lay the empty glass (Wine) bottles (cap removed) in the round space you created in between the brick wall as much as you can. Then fill and cover with sand, perlite or terracota clay balls to make a flat bottom. Cover the sand again with a fire-resistant brick, that's the oven floor. The bottles below it, create insulation, there is no better and cheaper insulation than still standing air.

Now the platform (oven floor) is ready, then create an oven door (entrance) create an arch with fire-resistant brick and cement. Make sure its big enough for you to get in laying n your back. When this is done close it with some wood, then take wet sand and create a half a globe on top like a sandcastle.

Make sure to make the globe 10 inches smaller all around the floor. Cover the globe sandcastle with wet newspaper.

Now its time to dig up clay or loam, make it wet enough so you can mould consistent 8 inches loam balls. And start stacking these loam balls tight against the sand globe like building an Eskimo Iglo. Once reaching the top, use a terracotta pot or tube above the door as a chimney. Then start plastering the globe with wet loam mixed with hay as extra insulation and strength, 2 inches thick.

Leave it all to dry for a few days, then dig out the sand and you have a loam Eskimo Iglo... Then fire it up and slowly raise the temperature to the max. You will bake the oven from the inside out. After it baked for a day, it will be hardened enough to use as an oven. Only thing, if it ever rains in your region cover it with a roof.

Now you have a Loam oven, for pizza, bread, whatever you like to bake.. For a minimum of cost and a few days elbow grease. It's an ancient proven concept used since far before the middle ages.

You can even paint it if you want to go fancy on it. :)

Make sure you regularly inspect the inside for cracks, if you see any, dig up some loam and repair it. :thumbup:

Here is a dutch foto album of such a build, the pictures speak for them selfs, with the above.
https://www.natuurstoffen.nl/artikelen/fotoverslag-pizza-oven-bouwen/
 
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castle

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Tell us more my man! I live in high clay country. I can almost have a pond without a liner. :cool: Haven't bothered with baking clay in my oven I need to find someone with a pizza oven. They can get up to 800C.

This kind of stopped when I had to move, but I was doing the following:

20% dry soil which came from under a set of conifers, I then took 50% of a clay soil mix, this was about 2 feet under my top soil, and then 25% sand. I added 5% gravel too.

This was intended to be uncapped. I have a jar with it, which I can turn upside down, and the soil won't budge (S.Subulata loves it). However it's not suitable really, too much nutrients enter the water column.
 

rebel

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Yes DIY aquasoil is much harder than it looks. I've been ok with paying up for it although not that thrilled when it eventually breaks down. It's best for people who break down their tanks every 2 years for a complete rescape; which I think is not a bad idea anyways.
 
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