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Philosophos

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If I remember correctly, their product is just a rebrand of soilmaster select.

Check out it's analysis; it's all oxidized. I'm almost sure that'll drop out the bioavailability some. It's mostly just micros and trace anyhow; all you're really getting is some iron and magnesium. No real NPK to speak of.

It'd probably make a nice substrate in terms of texture, and it is cheap. You could probably use it with some mulm or mineralized soil in a light layer under everything to get it started.

Personally, I'd opt for aquasoil. Great stuff all around, and they don't gouge you much on the markup. It costs perhaps twice what it would be to try mineralizing and then firing akadama or other bonsai substrate your self, which could be a rather large headache to perfect.

-Philosophos
 

ricoishere

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Philosophos;39011 said:
If I remember correctly, their product is just a rebrand of soilmaster select.

Check out it's analysis; it's all oxidized. I'm almost sure that'll drop out the bioavailability some. It's mostly just micros and trace anyhow; all you're really getting is some iron and magnesium. No real NPK to speak of.

It'd probably make a nice substrate in terms of texture, and it is cheap. You could probably use it with some mulm or mineralized soil in a light layer under everything to get it started.

Personally, I'd opt for aquasoil. Great stuff all around, and they don't gouge you much on the markup. It costs perhaps twice what it would be to try mineralizing and then firing akadama or other bonsai substrate your self, which could be a rather large headache to perfect.

-Philosophos



Thanks for these comments. I'm leaning towards Sechem black topped off with Black colorquartz. Recommended in a thread on GWAPA. I'll have mind made up by Thursday!
 

VaughnH

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Flourite, black or otherwise, like SMS, has no nutrients to speak of. It is very similar to the SMS or the version you asked about. The advantage of both Flourite and SMS is their high CEC, which helps the plant roots get to the nutrients from other sources. I was very happy with the SMS I used, and I used it once with a mineralized river silt lower layer. That setup was the most effective substrate I ever used for growing plants.
 

VaughnH

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Gilles;39022 said:
Is that river silt some sort of clay?

My condo is right beside the levee for the American River. So, I can walk over there easily, and do so almost daily. During my exploring I noticed a bank of the river that sticks out into the river, because of the meandering nature of the river, and it is almost entirely made up of deposited silt from the river. If the river is low, as it usually is, you can get down that bank right to the water line if you wish, but doing so just shows you that the whole bank is virtually the same type of dirt.

It is a reddish dirt - lots of clay I assume - with a high fine sand content, and a lot of black specks of organic debris mixed in. Since Tom was, at that time, promoting the use of Delta sediments for a lower substrate level, and that would be a drive for me to get to, I decided that the American River which flows into the Delta must have very similar sedimentary deposits. So, I used easily obtained silt from that bank for my tank.

When first wet it stinks like a swamp. When only partly mineralized, as I used it the first time, it makes the room smell swampy for a few days, so it clearly has a nutrient content. The color tells me it has clay in it. But, that is the extent of the analysis that I used.
 

Biollante

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See Disclaimer.:confused:

I believe silt is predominantly quartz crystal with a ‘Moss’ defect and I guess feldspar that has been ground to a size, by definition, between sand and clay in size. SpringerLink - Journal Article, Silt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The reason for collecting silt from a delta is silt tends to deposit in areas that experience flooding. Silt and clay principally account for water turbidity; silt I think is a eutectic or a near eutectic mixture. I can’t, off hand, find a citation.

Silt in and of itself should have no organic nutritive value. Clean silt really should not smell (or rot).

I do not pretend to know Tom Barrs’ mind in recommending silt; I have yet to read that, I assume (always dangerous) that it relates to the high cation exchange capacity, CEC, coupled with silt’s easy availability and low cost (effort) to obtain.

Biollante
 

VaughnH

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Biollante;39025 said:
See Disclaimer.:confused:

I believe silt is predominantly quartz crystal with a ‘Moss’ defect and I guess feldspar that has been ground to a size, by definition, between sand and clay in size. SpringerLink - Journal Article, Silt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The reason for collecting silt from a delta is silt tends to deposit in areas that experience flooding. Silt and clay principally account for water turbidity; silt I think is a eutectic or a near eutectic mixture. I can’t, off hand, find a citation.

Silt in and of itself should have no organic nutritive value. Clean silt really should not smell (or rot).

I do not pretend to know Tom Barrs’ mind in recommending silt; I have yet to read that, I assume (always dangerous) that it relates to the high cation exchange capacity, CEC, coupled with silt’s easy availability and low cost (effort) to obtain.

Biollante

Why would it be clean? This area of the American River floods about every other year, with the water rising 6+ feet, and submerging most of the land between the levees. Then the water over those flooded areas barely moves along with the river flow, so any sediment carried by the water gets deposited on the land. The bank I am referring to is also the inside of a meander in the river, so the current tends to be slow there too, again causing sediment to drop out of the water. My impression is that the big area of silt is mostly deposited by the meander. It is also a dirty river, carrying lots of "stuff" in the water, from tree trunks on down. I can't imagine any sediment from that river being described as clean.
 

Biollante

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Silt

I guess my reference was to that component, or subset of sediments defined as silt. Sediment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I think somewhere I read that in order to qualify as silt for commercial purposes, it must be at least 85 percent ‘silt’ with no more than 15 percent clay and the material must be inert.

I guess if the river has points that are ‘flooded’, rising six feet and then receding, it is possible to have silt deposited. My guess is that unless these areas are cut-off and the water evaporates or seeps into the ground, most of the silt is carried off to the delta. Observe how sediments are deposited.

This is just me, but I would not introduce things into my tanks that I have not cleaned, as in sterilized and/or quarantined. In the case of ‘wild-caught’ silt, I would seriously wash the stuff, perhaps boil, but at a minimum, I would lay it out in the sun for a few days (weeks?).

Biollante
 

Tom Barr

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See table 1 for nutrients ands OM in clay sediments, this is up in the foothills but is very good clay for growign aquatic plants:

http://www.apms.org/japm/vol37/v37p67.pdf

I'll post some new data sometime for Delta clay, ADA As and the ADA PS once some other things go through. Should be sent to the lab in a week or so. I like to repeat the experiment twice. Slower...but better.

Regards,
Tom Barr