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( MTS ) Mineralized top soil your thoughts

Discussion in 'Sediment / Substrate' started by lordadamar, May 9, 2013.

  1. lordadamar

    lordadamar Junior Poster

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    So over the years I have tried just about every suggested Substrate for a planted Tank most yielding the Average plant growth, Sand, Eco Complete, and Custom designed stuff, But I read Aaron Talbot's article on MTS and thought this makes allot of sense...

    Who had tried this and did it yield better than average results for you without pressurized Co2? I have never had a problem getting plant to grow without pressurized Co2, Just a hard time maintaining more demanding plants. I do dose liquid Co2 Ferts as needed and usually keep fish count on the high side...

    Every where I read people say exceptional growth with MTS, Has anyone here experienced this?

    ( 55 Gallon Tank )
    My Plan is to replace lighting new lighting is custom designed and will be on the Medium range it will be 14 High end LED's with 60 degree optics mounted open air 12 inch above tank.
    Filter is also being change to Multi stage canister
    Heater is also being changed to an Inline off canister

    The Fish have already be pick out and just waiting for me to say ship, ( I have 4 tanks, no worries no going into this for a while )

    20 Trigonostigma espei
    10 Myanmar Redfin Barb
    4 Apistogramma agassizi “Tefe Pearl Blue”
    4 Multi-Stripe Pygmy Loaches


    I have done allot of research on how I want the tank to operate, Tossing around the MTS idea any input would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think Dorothy Reimer and after her, there was Diana Walstad suggested soil about 30 + years ago.
    Those are just those I know.

    MTS tends to make a mess, hell, ADA As is messy enough for many folks, too messy in fact.
    I still deal with it though.

    The same can sort of be said about soil, clay loams, rice paddy soils, top soils. The best for plants will be clay rice paddy type soils.
    Like ADA, and for folks who do not dose much ferts to begin with, they see lots of growth in the 1st 3-9 months, but it tapers after that, but for many, that's good thing since they(many at least) do not like to trim.
    But if you dose rich to the water anyway, then there's not a huge difference, plants will take from both locations.

    But if you dose well to start with for the macros, specifically NO3, then there's not a huge difference.
    BTW, you still need to dose somethings for the nice growth with MTS(mostly traces and K+), so you do have to still dose, so it's not a big labor saver.

    What does it do?
    Provides an error proof method for dosing N, P and few traces for the long term lest you forget.
    Provides a method to minimize N and P in the water column if you believe that myth to be somehow beneficial.
    And perhaps the best argument for it: it's dirt cheap compared to most other options
    I support soils and richer sediments, there's no good reason really not to, it helps provide more wiggle room to the water column dosing and water column dosing provides better long term supply to the sediment, synergistically, they work together.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Since you have 4 tanks, you might try one commercial soil brand, say ADA AS, then 1 MTS, then one Rice paddy loam clay and then a plain flourite or sand etc.
    Dose water column ferts to all and see.
     
  4. lordadamar

    lordadamar Junior Poster

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    @Tom

    Thanks for answering so quickly, My Main reason was to try to gain a more natural look and hopefully longer term on it... Im not worried about messes over the years I have devised ways to clear up water in less than an hour... I actually planned on a mud puddle... lol

    Where would I get Rice Paddy soil?

    Are you dosing http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/FlourishPotassium.html
    or something like it for K+


    I will post another MTS method in a bit cant find the article at home, but I know a copy is at work on my desk, It has similar but Longer steps then Aaron Talbot's method see what you think...
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I dose the same EI with ADA AS as I might for plain old sand.
    Same applies to MTS, which will be similar to ADA.

    K+, I would suggest K2SO4.

    There's also a worm castings article and a dozen others, I think the only reason MTS is popular right now is that someone showed a few decent scapes with it vs say a Diana Walstad tank which is not a scape, poor photography etc.

    A picture sells much better than the best rational and common sense.
     
    guppyganker likes this.
  6. lordadamar

    lordadamar Junior Poster

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    Heres that other link Similar to Aaron's method

    http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/how-to-mineralized-soil-substrate_50290b344c1d7.jpg

    It actually refers to adding KH2PO4 not K2SO4

    Whats your thoughts there

    I found both

    K2S04 and KH2P04 here cheap enough http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html not a huge deal, to get either...

    I have seen many aquascapes using MTS its what has got the wheel turning in my brain, And everything I have read about MTS vs ADA aquasoil there relatively no difference if MTS is prepared right. I would have probably chosen ADA stuff if it were not so pricey but im a DIYer at heart so I dont mind making it...

    I value your input, as everywhere I look your name comes up as the man to talk to...
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, maintaining a decent slope is a PITA with MTS over time vs ADA.

    Both the 180 and 120 would have been needed to be entirely taken down a few times if I used MTS.

    I think you need to try it and then evaluate.

    You can get ferts anywhere, www.aquariumfertilizer.com or GLA etc.

    You will NEED KNO3 also and certainly CMS+B, maybe some DTPA Fe also.

    I'd get all this.
     
  8. CaptMicha

    CaptMicha New Member

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    I'm the exception and I'm not saying that I'm the norm here, but I've tried it on some low tech tanks with no CO2, low lighting and just wasn't thrilled with my results. I also got really unlucky and it seemed to be tainted, leading to deaths, but that could happen with other substrates too.

    I'm using MTS in an immersed situation with strong lighting right now and I'm still not thrilled with my results.

    I had much better results with organic Miracle Grow potting soil.
     
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