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Mineralising soil in Scotland

AlecF

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Joined
15 Sep 2021
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138
Location
Edinburgh
By way of an introduction, my recipe for mineralising soil in Scotland.
1. Buy your John Innes No 3.
2. Your new aquarium arrives around now (September)
3. Soak the soil in a bucket
4. Spread the soil out on a tarp in the back garden to dry (in September)
5. Collect your dry soil in May the following year.
6. Add to the aquarium.
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
Or, for those annoying folks who are terminally impatient (no names, but you know who you are!), at step 3. they can mineralize by baking their John Innes #3 in an oven for 1 hour at 400-500Deg.F, or by boiling it for 10 minutes. Then they can let it cool and have their soil ready for their tank in September (yay!). :cool:

Cheers,
 

AlecF

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15 Sep 2021
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Location
Edinburgh
And then as a newbie be told that've done the wrong thing and killed all the good bacteria...
 

foxfish

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Guernsey
And then as a newbie be told that've done the wrong thing and killed all the good bacteria...
It would take around 6 weeks to get a healthily mass of bacteria once in a water filled environment so you will still be 10.5 months in pocket!
Besides that fact, if you are planning a fully planted tank, you can plant the day you fill the tank you just need to wait 4-6 weeks before adding any fish.
 

ceg4048

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Exactly. There are no free lunches. Also, fun fact, the same bacteria you need in your sediment and filter can be found next to any weed in your garden, so just grab a handful of the dirt ball and mix in with your mineralized project sediment. Another option is to go to you local LFS and ask for some of their mulm from any filter. The plants themselves are coated with the same bacteria, so inserting rooted plants by default gives you a bacterial inoculation (I guess that counts as a free lunch).

Cheers,
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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2,531
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Nottingham
By way of an introduction, my recipe for mineralising soil in Scotland.
1. Buy your John Innes No 3.
2. Your new aquarium arrives around now (September)
3. Soak the soil in a bucket
4. Spread the soil out on a tarp in the back garden to dry (in September)
5. Collect your dry soil in May the following year.
6. Add to the aquarium.

Just out of interest, what is the purpose of washing and drying the soil - or are you not intending to cap it with an inert substrate?
 

AlecF

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Thread starter
Joined
15 Sep 2021
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138
Location
Edinburgh
If you do a search on "mineralising soil" here there are good explanations of the benefits. Some see it as not required. Some prefer the best method, drying in the sun. I compromised and used the oven.
 

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