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Earth worm casting for nutrient enriched sediments, how to

Discussion in 'Sediment / Substrate' started by Tom Barr, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Nipat
    I'm talking outside of the realm of this web site and the general hobby.
    Not you.

    If I go after someone, I'll be very direct, there's no question. Moderator related infractions. Sometimes folks feel I'm directing something at them, but nope.
    Just nagging in general like some old codger on a porch about the state of things in the aquatic world.:gw

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, that should work fine.
    Many live in high urban areas where they would not trust/have the wetland soils etc. Or cannot boil Worm castings due to family mutiny. There are many reasons/excuses, trade offs for various sediment types, and water column dosing management.

    I think we have a much higher chance % at success when we use several locations, methods together with a wider group of hobbyists.

    So rather than one or the other, learn both.
    Same for non CO2 or CO2 enrichment.
    High and low light.
    Rich ppm's or lean ppm's.

    Then you can see what effects these have, both for yourself and your habits, as well as those of others, you need to compare the successes, not the failures so much with each method.

    The successful application of a certain method, location etc is evidence that something about that method/location etc can work well, how much trade off, how sensitive the other parameters are to management are key follow up questions.

    Still, if there's a success, that's evidence enough for me.
    Failures just means perhaps it was the method, or perhaps it was some other factor that person did not consider. You cannot say much there. You can when you get a nice reference example.

    That falsifies the claims that excess ppm's or lean water column ppm's or sediments etc cause algae or cannot do well with growing plants. Then you go back and look at why someone might have failed, where others did not fail.

    You know it's not due to water column ppm's however at that point.
    That is particularly useful.

    BTW, you can limit water column ppm's say PO4..and reduce CO2 as PO4 can become more limiting than CO2, thereby indirectly affecting CO2= less CO2 demand=> non limiting CO2=> reduced, or removing algae that way.

    If the CO2 was independent, well..........then you do not see that. If it was not independent, then there's a good chance of it. It's still a CO2 management issue, not limiting PO4.

    Some try this and see a reduction in algae, then think there's something to it.
    Some see good growth say at 5ppm NO3/0.5ppm PO4 and think that's evidence those are the best ppm's. It does not explain how the other observations(not just their own!!!) exist without issues they claim affect the results.

    Poor testing, poor test kit resolution etc, there are many ways to make mistakes here.

    And many of us make them a few times before understanding.

    As far as ADA AS, you can ball it up, or semi compact it, add that under there.
    If you add some KNO3 and other ferts, you will still get good results over long time frames.

    Adding WC's to the ADA AS is not needed I think.
    Will not hurt though.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you for reassuring me,
    But what is "EM"?

    Also, BGA in my case is probably due to teh fact I didn't remove the organics layer formed on substrate surface after 4 months of emersed setup in a high humidity environement. Moved to 6h/day and 1d/2 WC + vacuming and debris cleaning
     
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    In that context I believe Tom is referring to:

    EM = Erythromycin
    BO = Blackout
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, thanks for clarifying my short hand laziness.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks,

    For now, I chose the natural way: targetting the cause:

    - 80% WC 1d/2
    - massive removing of decaying organic matter on surface from emersed phase
    - manual removal of BGA spots and syphoning soil
    - Half light: 11w instead of 22W
    - ferts

    It seems under control now and BGA slowed its spreading as it has no organic matter to hang on
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    While this will help, you often need to wipe the BGA or GW, or whatever species you have out completely, or stress it a great deal, before the normal root causes will take effect.

    So the Blackout and the EM will help to restore the general issue.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Bad news,

    i really hope to avoid EM as it will destroy bacterial colony I put 4.5 months building to avoid algae. Maybe I'll rather put it back emersed for 1-2 weeks if at the end of the week BGA keeps growing agressively.

    By the way, the java moss I put in the aquarium on the roots when I immersed it was covered with green algae filaments. The green algae disappeared from the moss in 48h. So yes, this method looks like it's working for green algae.

    I have brown algae deposits on plants, though. Those algae that are easily removed and typical of a new aquarium

    I'll need some more weeks to be able to say if this method really avoided any algae outbreak especially green filaments and if the other algae that appear are more self limited after an emersed phase
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    EM does nothing to the filter bacteria or any significant impact in the plant aquarium.

    It only targets the gram positive species.
    Blackout is the alternative and is not an issue if you cannot get EM, as many places have laws against over the counter sale of antibiotics.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you again for those precisions,

    I noticed today an extension of BGA over healthy plants and stones now. Clearly, WC, syphoning, manual removal, 50% light reduction and only 6h light period doesn't affect it, as you warned :(

    I opted for Clarithromycine instead of Erythromycine, as I had some laying around. I used a 2-3mg/L dosing on day 1.

    What regimen do you suggest next? 2-3mg/L added on a daily basis for 3-5 days? No WC during treatment? Any precisions Tom please?
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No experience with that Antibiotic(AB), as long as it targets gram positive bacteria, it should be fine I would think.

    For AB treatments, I typically do a large water change, run lights/CO2/redose etc used EM for days 1, then water change at day 3, followed by another dose.

    Wait another 2-3 days, water change and then keep up on dosing thereafter, particularly good KNO3 and water changes/cleaning etc of filters.

    Never comes back if you keep on top of things.

    You can correct the root causes, but often that alone does not kill what is already there.

    So a BO for 3 days, EM etc, is used to kill what is there.........plus the long term correction(low NO3/dirty filters etc).

    Green water is similar.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Ok, many thanks for clarifications,

    Clarithromycine is quiet same spectra as EM, but it has a more bactericide action. I just realised that it should be dosed 50% of EM, because the bactericid effect is 2x compared to EM.

    Anyway, I'll keep dosing and WC as you suggested

    Hopefully, it goes forever
     
  13. kcharley

    kcharley Junior Poster

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    Tom, thanks for reporting on WC.

    I'm about to give it a try and have some questions. If I'm being too particular, someone please say so and I'll just go for it and see what happens.

    1. Is there any moisture content of the WC in the 1 to 2 kg for 50 liters of water guideline? The WC I purchased has obvious moisture content. After boiling and complete drying, I'm guessing it will weigh substantially less than when purchased.

    2. How hard does it have to be boiled? If it doesn't need a hard boil, I'm just going to use an old crockpot and let it bubble quietly for say an hour or two in the garage. (I have a great wife but don't want to push by boiling worm crap in one of her good pots on the stove.)

    Thanks in advance for any answers.
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not Exactly, Exacting

    Hi,

    My experience with worm poop comes from 100% Pure Earthworm Castings and has high moisture content, after boiling and drying, you will lose about half the weight and increase the volume a bit.

    I use the ‘out of the bag weight’ to calculate the amount to use. To be frank any recipe that gives “1 or 2 kg for 50 liters” is hardly exacting. ;) In what passes for real life with me, I “eyeball it,” this stuff is a very rich mixture. My next time around I will weigh and measure all the before and after stuff.

    My experience with this and other organic material prepared by boiling, requires a hard rolling 20 minute minimum boil, any clumps need to be broken. You really need to boil the crap out of this poop. This is where a cheap set of non-reactive cookware is handy. Though as bad as it sounds it really is not nearly as nasty as it sounds. :rolleyes:

    I am reasonable sure, that two to four hours in a crock-pot ought to work just fine, if not as dramatically, just be sure to stir well a few times.

    Good luck, have fun, :)
    Biollante
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I honestly do not know, a nice moist clay/peat seems fine to me, could be starting weight also.

    Still moisture varies greatly, but I do not think it's that important.
    A better solution is using volume.

    So 1kg = 1 liter of water

    So 1 kg= 1 liter of volume

    I assume most boil it hard for 10minutes.
    I suppose crock potting it might work for a few hours also.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. kcharley

    kcharley Junior Poster

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    Thanks guys. Okay volume and eyeballing it, it will be. I'll start the crockpot going tomorrow night and let you know how it goes.
    If the crockpot doesn't work I'll figure out a way to hard boil without upsetting my wife.

    With all apologies to von Goethe, I am a CPA (clown prince of accounting). We really do know what the numbers mean, we just can't explain it to anyone not an accountant.

    Thanks again.
     
  17. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    You don't need to let it dry before use, unless you like to store it for some time

    Also, I didn't rince untile water comes clear, felt it is too much nutrients lost. Just rinced 2 times to remove floating material
     
  18. jarthel

    jarthel Junior Poster

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    can someone please explain? I am confused with the underline words.

    for example:
    I have a 100-liter tank. According to the statement above, it would use a maximum of 4 Kgs of castings and another 4Kg sand (because of the 50/50 ratio). And the rest of the substrate is made up soil. Is this correct? Is loam soil okay to use?

    Thank you very much
     
  19. bgangler

    bgangler Junior Poster

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    Sory for using the thread, but it is about very similar matter, so I would like to ask Tom, something that has been discussed on other forum:
    You recomended the use of dolomite for a substrate, but I just wondered could we use dolomite with Worm castings or osmocote, so we get better aesthetics and fertility?
    Is the dolomite has positive CEC? I have read that calcium magnesium carbonate(dolomite) is used for enrichment of soils with Ca and Mg, but I'm afraid that this could influence water parameters as DH and Kh in aquariums? I think it is very close to limestone?!
    I have done research about the use of montmorillonite, but the one that is find in my area has Na for exchange ions and that is not good I think for aquarium?

    Regards
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    2-3mg/l sounds about the right dosing........
    Typically for EM, the dose is 200mg per 40L, or 5mg/l

    So for this, I'd add 2-3mg/l daily and then do a water change in 2-3 days, then one last dosing after.
    That should take care of it, do a water change etc at 5-6 days.

    Make sure to add KNO3 during+after the treatment and remove any activated carbon and clean filters etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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