Dirt ice cubes for plant nutrients?

psalm18.2
  • #1
Anyone ever tried the dirt ice cube trick to add nutrients to plants?

I'm thinking of giving it a try myself. Seems easy. Take topsoil, add a little peat moss, and freeze. Stick in substrate around plants.

Figure a trip to the dollar store and I can make a ton. Even better idea, cut up old plastic bottles and use bottoms. I have a bunch in the recycle.
 
Dino
  • #2
Sounds yummy, but I already ate. I have never tired that method, but would be very interesting in hearing how it works for you.
 
Cichlidnut
  • #3
Doesn't ice float?
 
Dino
  • #4
It is less dense than water, maybe the dirt causes it to sink?
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Not in substrate. I make ice cube fertilizers w/ Osmocote all the time. I shove in sand, never float.

Sounds yummy, but I already ate. I have never tired that method, but would be very interesting in hearing how it works for you.

I feel an experiment coming on. Hmm, empty 5.5g, soil ferts one side, Osmocote ferts on other. Dang, already have a project this weekend. LOL.
 
Mmbrown
  • #6
This is gonna sound horrendously uninformed... but what's the point of doing that?

Not in a snarky what's the point way, in a I have no idea what's going on way XD
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
This is gonna sound horrendously uninformed... but what's the point of doing that?

Not in a snarky what's the point way, in a I have no idea what's going on way XD

That's ok. Dirt cubes will add nutrients to sand that plants will absorb to grow better. Oscomote is a fertilizer for plants that many people use for aquarium plants also. Oscomote floats, so to anchor it in the soil, it is frozen into ice. The ice is easily inserted into the substrate. This fertilizer ice cube gives rooted plants like my amazon swords nutrients to grow healthy and stong.

The only other way to add dirt to an established tank is to tear down the tank and work from the bottom up. I don't want to do that.
 
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kinezumi89
  • #8
I would be concerned that with a smaller tank it would drop the temperature a bit, but it sounds like you've done this already.. keep us posted with your experiment!
 
Mmbrown
  • #9
Thank you, I understand much better now. At first I was wondering why you wouldn't just use root tabs or something like that as I've heard more commonly used, but this makes sense. Good luck
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thank you, I understand much better now. At first I was wondering why you wouldn't just use root tabs or something like that as I've heard more commonly used, but this makes sense. Good luck

Welcome. It's cheaper in the long run.

Sounds yummy, but I already ate. I have never tired that method, but would be very interesting in hearing how it works for you.

Dino, you cocktails are ready. Hahahah
 
allaboutfish
  • #11
arent your swords in your 55 with the parrots? what if they dig and a bunch of that dirt gets thrown up into the water?
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Mud pies anyone?



 
APColorado
  • #13
What are those plants is the clay pot? Are you doing a dry start method with that plant?
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
What are those plants is the clay pot? Are you doing a dry start method with that plant?

Those are baby spider plants. They will not be in aquarium.
 
Dino
  • #15
Dino, you cocktails are ready. Hahahah
Um Um , just like back home!
 
Slug
  • #16
Does ice not melt? Am I missing the point here? If the ice is just going to melt, why can't you just stick the stuff down in the substrate like it is?
 
divanina
  • #17
Yes but by the time it melts, the soil will be buried under the gravel. A nice no-mess way of adding soil to the tank.
 
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Akari_32
  • #18
This sounds really awesome! I just ran out of root tabs, and with all but one of my 4 tanks planted, I need something a bit cheaper that can keep up with all my lilies and aponogenton! Let me know how this works out! I think I might even have a have a weekend project to try with you.... =D
 
wisecrackerz
  • #19
A small suggestion; if you stick plastic shot glasses (like for jello/body shots) into the middle of those dirt sorbets, they'll have holes in the middle. Then, you can use them as little fertilizing cradles for new plants in sandy/gravely aquariums.
 
Akari_32
  • #20
A small suggestion; if you stick plastic shot glasses (like for jello/body shots) into the middle of those dirt sorbets, they'll have holes in the middle. Then, you can use them as little fertilizing cradles for new plants in sandy/gravely aquariums.

Ooooh, I like that! =D
 
wisecrackerz
  • #21
see? party city is great for fish stuff, too!
 
Ashley45
  • #22
I'm interested to see how this works... Keep us posted! I just bought some root tabs and this would be a much cheaper alternative... I bet you could buy some dry ferts and add them to peat moss and water as well....

2
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I have to say, it's not my idea. A lot of aquatic plant sites use this method regularly.

Yes, BP's dig. I will be placing the fert cubes in deep directly under the roots of plants. The caves will be away from those locations.
I will also monitor ammonia if digging occurs and treat as needed.

Wisecracker, good idea. Will have to try on the next batch.
 
jerilovesfrogs
  • #24
I've done it.....the dirt didn't freeze very well though. I put it in wax paper, then stuck it in. I read that in walstads book. It seemed to be effective. I tore the tank down though....to make it something else. So I don't know long term how it would have done.

-j
 
APColorado
  • #25
I've done it.....the dirt didn't freeze very well though. I put it in wax paper, then stuck it in. I read that in walstads book. It seemed to be effective. I tore the tank down though....to make it something else. So I don't know long term how it would have done.

-j

Did you add some water with the dirt?
 
allaboutfish
  • #26
I'm gonna have to try this. especially when I get my swords. maybe it will help out my dwarf sagitaria and dwarf chain sword too.
 
jerilovesfrogs
  • #27
hmm, no, I didn't add water. was I supposed to lol? I guess so.
 
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Akari_32
  • #28
Should water be added...? You would think there was enough water in the soil.
 
allaboutfish
  • #29
yup water would be a good idea. haha
 
Akari_32
  • #30
How much water to how much soil, you think?
 
allaboutfish
  • #31
just to cover the top I would think. I haven't done any yet though. I plan to soon for my 55.
 
Akari_32
  • #32
Maybe I'll try different amounts of water to soil and see how it works out best. Also, how long do you think these would last?
 
allaboutfish
  • #33
forever. not really I don't know but its the same thing as a walstad tank so id say a long time. I don't think the dirt will ever disappear.
 
Akari_32
  • #34
Yeah but it does get used up, sucked up, pushed around... I think I saw somewhere that natural planted tanks lasted around 5 years...?
 
APColorado
  • #35
hmm, no, I didn't add water. was I supposed to lol? I guess so.

You need a binding agent (water) to hold the soil together to freeze. Didn't anyone make mudsicles growing up? Was I the only one?
 
Cichlidnut
  • #36
The nutrients can be used up though.
 
Akari_32
  • #37
You need a binding agent (water) to hold the soil together to freeze. Didn't anyone make mudsicles growing up? Was I the only one?

I feel like you're the only one lol

The nutrients can be used up though.

That's what I'm saying
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
You need a binding agent (water) to hold the soil together to freeze. Didn't anyone make mudsicles growing up? Was I the only one?

LOL. Yes, I used water and made mud. Tomorrow I'll check to see if frozen.
 
allaboutfish
  • #39
The nutrients can be used up though.
I don't know how fast it would though....
 
psalm18.2
  • Thread Starter
  • #40
I don't know how fast it would though....

Think of it this way, root tabs need to be replaced monthly to every 3 months. MGOS takes over a year or so to deplete. Either way, cheaper.
I've been using Oscomote ice cubes to fertilize my plants and replace monthly.

If I can get a few months of nutrients out of MGOS cubes for $9.77 for a 32lb bag I'm happy. Root tabs cost $10 for 10. Oscomote cost me like $5 and I've only used 1/4 of the bottle over 4 months.

Root tabs at $10 a month is $120 a year. On a 55 gallon tank double that and it's $240 a year. I can probably make that bag of MGOS last a year.
 

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