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worm castings questions

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by torpedobarb, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. torpedobarb

    torpedobarb Junior Poster

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    ok.. I am thinking of going with worm castings when I redo my tank. when you buy this.. do you need to do anything to it prior to adding it to the tank? I have currently the mineralized topsoil which I like. but I want sand instead of the sms.. so why not try if I have the chance. would or could I mix this in with the topsoil? I do plan to mix the soil with sand to make the nutrient layer thicker and cap with the same sand.. 3m colorquartz t grade.

    I just don't want to screw it up is all.. thanks for the help.

    Ken
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You boil it for about 10 minute, then cool, let dry a tad to mud, then add.
    You can mineralize it via soaking in a shallow pan for 2-3 weeks also.
    Boiling it is the fast method of oxidation.
    I suppose you can cook it at say 400F for 30-50 minutes if it's about 1-2" thick, a bit like worm brownies?

    Hummm, tasty.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. torpedobarb

    torpedobarb Junior Poster

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    yummy! so how deep of a layer under the sand would I need? the same as the topsoil? if I did mix it in with the soil.. would that hurt anything and if not.. 50/50 mix? I know I am asking alot of ?'s

    I am still going to be dosing the water column too. Following your advice Tom.. Makes sense to me!
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can do like Top soil, I use clay farm soil from the rice paddies or delta here.

    50- or 75% sand mix to the stuff, and say 2-3" depth of that works well, then cap with 1" or so of sand.

    Or, you can do the 100% WC and 1" on the bottom etc.

    Also, over time, as some plant wane, WC ice cubes can be added to some hungry plants.

    Same for mud cubes for clays/top soils.

    The method is fairly old.

    Erik Leung used it and several others did as well in our local group.

    Fell out of favor over time, many went to ADA AS.

    Mr. Vladimir Simoes came up with it some years ago. Mineralized to some degree already.

    Low organic matter.
    See some of the older (2003-2004) AGA entries for the contest for references and examples. Similar to Top soil, after awhile, you have to dose etc.
    But why wear the sediment out?

    Go ahead and dose and get the benefits of both locations and longer life out of the sediment.

    If you want low labor in the initial phase, it does not get easier than the DSM which I have suggested for some time now.

    While the DSM works with water column sprays, added to the inert sediments, it's more appropriate to use soil, ADA, WC etc.

    Then it's very easy, you fill after it's grown in well, and you are done.

    1-3 weeks later, the tank is super.
    Then you dose when you fill the tank.

    There are many things and options you can do here.
    It's not a huge deal either way for most of them.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr






    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. torpedobarb

    torpedobarb Junior Poster

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    I sent a pm to you Tom
     
  6. torpedobarb

    torpedobarb Junior Poster

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    did you get my pm Tom?
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yep, let me send you some!
    Also, WC's might be a bit more consistent.

    My personal concern is along the lines in the TPT thread.
    The lack of consistency worries me, and also how folks evaluate soil.

    I honestly want soil to be used, but the lack of consistency bugs me.
    Folks have no methods for testing it.

    Evaluation methods are very poor if not non existent in the hobby.
    That was the issue 20 years ago.
    DW did a lot to mitigate some of the concerns, but the issue remains.

    I like ADA AS since it's somewhat a standard and if we test that well, we have a base line for how much and then estimate how long we get a good usable life out of it for a given light/CO2 rate.

    Worm castings might be more consistent, or a particular brand etc. Problem is that many cannot find certain brands, let alone ADA.

    So test might be one way.
    I need to think about it to see what hobbyists might be able to do reasonably.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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