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DIY substrate.


metageologist
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Well I have this posted at the TPT as well but see to be getting little feed back, so I figured I would post here as long as no one minds as I didn't see a DIY section. Anyways,

goal is to attempt to replicate ADA soil as best as possible based on what info I have found on the net based on its composition. For this experiment I'm using the MTS process.

So far for the top soil I'm using fox farm s organic plant in mix, which is composed of bat guano and earthworm castings. I'm expecting a huge ammonia spike at the beginning. depe5uje.jpg

This will be the humus I will be mixing in. a3atepar.jpg

These will make up the base of the soil. Once these componds have become mineralized I plan to mix in powdered red clay in an attempt to give the mixture structure.

At the end of the process I plan to add the dolomite and potash as is standard practice before adding it to the tank. I still need to obtain my red clay powder, dolomite and potash but I hope to start the mineralization process soon.

Well that's it for now any input would be appreciated as long as it's constructive

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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Well finally located the clay powder at a local pottery supply store along with dolomite, and different potashes, now I just need to go place the order. I also found that they have other clays with other metals present so I may be blending those in as well to add trace minerals and metals. Except copper (to uncertain about actual Copper percentage to try)

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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Well I have begun the mineralization process. Used both of the bags above plus 40 lbs of topsoil for grit. This presses should take about a month.

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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I am very interested in this, please let me know if I can contribute any way that I can on your progress of your project. I encourage you and will support you in any way that I can in your efforts to develop a soil. Pm me please if your interested in what I have to offer.

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Good, stuff Man will like to see how this turns out. Must,be interesting to figure,all the stuff out.

-Chris

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Thanks for the support. Have you tried developing substrates in the past.

I have not but.. it is something I would peruse. So lets do it tougher 2 wallets are better than one lol. I would only get involved if I thought I could contribute to your efforts.
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I have not but.. it is something I would peruse. So lets do it tougher 2 wallets are better than one lol. I would only get involved if I thought I could contribute to your efforts.

thanks for the offer but it's not too expensive to purchase all the raw ingredients I figure the total cost will be about $100.00.

Good, stuff Man will like to see how this turns out. Must,be interesting to figure,all the stuff out.

-Chris

it is interesting to research it all, the hardest part is that the sellers of some compounds don't know the concentrations/percentages of the metals in there products. so I have to speak to the manufactures directly.

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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I have a question for every one any body ever work with powdered clay in any context? In trying to determine how many pounds to purchase. I'm currently thinking either 50 or 100#'s to mix with my other materials.

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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I'd get 100# and try a few different mix ratios. Are you going to fire/heat dry the substrate? Have you thought about how you are going to shape it? It would be so awesome to have a kiln baked soil that can be reactivated and reused, I have read that people do this with akadama soil. It will take some trial and error and there both necessary to have success.

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I'd get 100# and try a few different mix ratios. Are you going to fire/heat dry the substrate? Have you thought about how you are going to shape it? It would be so awesome to have a kiln baked soil that can be reactivated and reused, I have read that people do this with akadama soil. It will take some trial and error and there both necessary to have success.

I was actually thinking of baking a portion of the mix to see what happens.

as far as shaping it I haven't given it any thought as the goal is to develop a soil substrate that won't require a cap so it will occupy the tank bottom in its entierty.

as far as ratios go I'm basically trying to develop a clay matrix with nutrient inclusions, so I believe I will meet alot of the clay powder. so I will problem get the 100lbs.

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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I think screening it would be the best cost effective method for development. Keep cost down until you start getting desired out come, you will be working with test batches so forming it manually wont require much effort. You could bake off your test batches in your oven most ovens hit 500f degrees.

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So is your idea to sell this and use us as test dummies? Cause I got say... I would love to help out with a few tanks I am buying soon.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

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I don't have any plans to sell or distribute. I'm just trying to make a better substrate. Once this test is complete if it is or isn't success full I will gladly post and share what did and dint work and possible solutions to try either by myself or any one.

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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Well I have located my dolomite and potash at of all places a pottery store. I also ordered my 100lbs of red powdered clay with a 12% iron content. Also while I was there I picked up a little chromium and cobalt for trace metals unfortunately I had to buy half a pound minimum so I will have alot extra. post-143-140348135215_thumb.jpg

post-143-140348138093_thumb.jpg

I have also started my first drying day it's amazing I have reduced 140lbs of raw materials down to probably 120lbs after removing all the wood and other floating organics.vuteje4e.jpg

Have a gniess day. -Scott

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well just a brief update I'm on my third rinse and dry of the base materials. It's starting to look good it's nearly all granular at this point and I have gotten nearly all the wood and other undesirable materials out. All that remains is to mix the clay powder in which is finally in the state.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My powdered red clay is finally in. Thus stuff has about a 15% iron content so it will make the plants realy show off their red. Just need to finish mineralizing the soil they I will be ready to mix and test.

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