Question "mineralizing" Potting Soil

Jenay

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I've been reading (and reading and reading) about substrates, and I've decided to start my 3.5 gallon planted test tank with potting soil. I went down the rabbit hole on that one, and I keep seeing people talk about mineralizing the soil. One suggestion was to use cat litter; another person suggested something I think we used to dry out baseball fields, and someone else said to use clay 1 : 1.

Does anyone know if I can use diatomaceous earth (food grade) for this purpose?
 

MrBryan723

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Indeed you can. Organic cat litter(clay) and most other clays are just a bit more diverse. Most people use diatomaceous earth in diatom filters to polish the water. I used pulverized lava rocks in my soil.
 

Islandvic

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If you use kitty litter as one of the layers of substrate, buy the unscented non-clumping style.

That type has no additives or fragrances in it.
 
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Jenay

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Indeed you can. Organic cat litter(clay) and most other clays are just a bit more diverse. Most people use diatomaceous earth in diatom filters to polish the water. I used pulverized lava rocks in my soil.
Thanks for your reply... Now I have another question: What does polishing the water mean? I've never heard that before.

If you use kitty litter as one of the layers of substrate, buy the unscented non-clumping style.

That type has no additives or fragrances in it.
Thank you
 

vinay021

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I've been reading (and reading and reading) about substrates, and I've decided to start my 3.5 gallon planted test tank with potting soil. I went down the rabbit hole on that one, and I keep seeing people talk about mineralizing the soil. One suggestion was to use cat litter; another person suggested something I think we used to dry out baseball fields, and someone else said to use clay 1 : 1.

Does anyone know if I can use diatomaceous earth (food grade) for this purpose?
I know nothing about mineralisation but I would like to share my experience with you.

I used organic vermicompost mixed with potting soil in 1:1 ratio. Then I added a little bit of (like 10%) odor free decomposed chicken manure (big mistake) thinking that it will enrich the soil. But after a day or 2 of filling up the tank the microbial activity and soil gas increased to the point where soil erupted through cap layer.

Had to tear down everything and start from scratch.

Another important point to remember is if you are doing 1" dirt the cap layer should be 1.5"

Good luck with your project.
 

MrBryan723

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Thanks for your reply... Now I have another question: What does polishing the water mean? I've never heard that before.


Thank you
Removing all the smaller particles from it. Like sediment that won't settle.
 
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