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Thread: Earth worm casting for nutrient enriched sediments, how to

  1. #11
    Wow this made me feel like a kid again, thanks for the direction Tom. I lined the bottom of my 120gal and I covered it with eco at the back of the tank where all the larger plants go, and fluorite black sand at the front half where my HC goes. But what a process, I had to do three batches before I had enough and it took me all night. I started elbow deep in mud mixing off the floaters. After I had several pots of boiling mud on the stove at once and got hit with many boiling popping mud bubbles, had to do a few rounds of this. The rinsing after you boil them was next to impossible for me. I let the mud pots cool and by that time most of the casing had dropped to the bottom, I would try to carefully poor off the watter on the top trying not to let the castings mix into the watter again. Once I had most the watter poured off I would fill with watter again and repeat. I did this over a dozen times on each pot but never did my watter run clear. I dried them under my tank lights over night and was able to mix them with sand the next day. In the end I ended up with about an inch of casting mix to line my substrate. It was a tone of work so I hope it work as good a people say.

    About rinsing till the water goes clear, was I doing that wrong or does anyone get it clear?

    After adding the rest of my substrate, filling the tank with watter and planting it I still had no water clouding.

  2. #12
    Personally, I didn't rince Flourite Black Sand and the boiled worm castings had the floating removed, but no rinsing process: really unhappy to loose any nutrient with rinsing...

    Removing floating parts means really loating debris on surface, parts that will not sink
    Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
    >>Follow it here<<

    Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants

  3. #13
    Which one do you think Would prove to be more beneficial mixed with soil and used for frozen fert plugs:
    osmocote or earthworm castings? and why?

  4. #14
    Just an update. Before I had the castings under my substrate I had HC in my tank for 3+ months and had minimal growth. Now two weeks after adding worm castings and planting HC, it is already starting to carpet with good growth daily.

    Thanks again Tom.

  5. From this report http://www.barrreport.com/attachment...ilanalysis.pdf

    May be ADA AS a less messing choice with better CEC, more clay, and higher nutrients?
    (I know the report doesn't include worm castings, but...it seems AS is generally better than others
    in the report)

    And may be cheaper too. Because for a 100 liters tank, you will need just 1-2 kg of AS mixing
    with 1-2 kg gravel to make 2-4 kg material. I think about this after seeing earth worm casting
    price + shipping cost. A nearby LFS sells ADA AS, while earth worm casting must be mail
    ordered (same country, not international). A bag of 9 liter ADA AS is about 9 kg I heard.

    (I like sand/gravel surface better)
    Last edited by nipat; 11-12-2009 at 02:48 PM.

  6. #16
    AS and earthworm castings are not same thing. One is mineral soil, that is nutrients that are directly availble to plants, the second, is organic soil. It is like having a deposit of resources that will make your soil last much longer than any mineralized soil, it will provide both nitrogen and phosphate and will be an excellent bed for bacteria in the start. AS will need few months so that some organics deposit in it and make it a really alive soil.

    Here, earthworm castings cost less than any soil you can afford, furthermore, if you have a castings reactor for recycling, you can even make it yourself :-)

    But, you must not use them as a sole soil, rather mixed and prepared as Tom said.

    My expierience starts bad, as I have a BGA (cyano) issue now, just 24h after immersion. My mistake as I didn't clean the organic mess on soil surface before submerging
    Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
    >>Follow it here<<

    Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants

  7. #17
    FYI, it is not my method honestly, it was rather popular in Brazil for a few years with some nice aquascapes coming back in the 2002-2003 range I think using the method + good CO2/lots of traces.

    A few folks in the local club tried it with good results.

    I've not read any negative reports if you followed the protocol and planted and did not move things around much or carelessly.

    BGA is fairly common in the initial stages, EM or a BO + KNO3 takes care of that.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  8. #18
    Adding WC does not replace ADA AS however, nor does it work like ADA AS.
    Adding it will not hurt and is good/will show an improvement independent of other factors say compared sand/flourite etc, whereas adding 5 different macro based products, say peat, soil, Clays etc in a mix vs say soil alone will be much less noticeable.

    You add 2 or more things that do similar things for the most part or things that are better suited to the water column.

    I think many like sediments because they think and have been BS'ed into the belief that excess nutrients, not light/CO2 balance is the cause of their algae issues.

    This applied to virtually all who market and promote these types of products and methods. I find that curious even in face of the 15 years of evidence to the contrary. I can see why if you are business and want to sell the products.

    But hobbyists and DIY folks?
    What excuse do they have?

    If you can know and test both locations, then you know much more.
    It's the old only looking at one side of the coin issue. These folks cannot escape that issue in their argument and result suggest it has nothing to do with it.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  9. I think many like sediments because they think and have been BS'ed into the belief that excess nutrients, not light/CO2 balance is the cause of their algae issues.
    If you think I'm asking about rich sediment because I start to believe in ‘too much nutrients
    (especially in water column) causes algae’. Please don't. In the previous version of my tank,
    it was very lean but still got algae. And I saw folks trying to control algae by reducing nutrients.
    The result was there was still algae, but this time with worse looking plants. I've never
    seen a case that reducing nutrient could stop algae in a tank that already has algae.
    But people (here, in local forums) still say the same old song like broken record.

  10. Adding WC does not replace ADA AS however, nor does it work like ADA AS.
    Adding it will not hurt and is good/will show an improvement independent of other factors say compared sand/flourite etc, whereas adding 5 different macro based products, say peat, soil, Clays etc in a mix vs say soil alone will be much less noticeable.

    You add 2 or more things that do similar things for the most part or things that are better suited to the water column.
    I asked that because I just want to buy a 3 kg bag of AS, crush it (the grain isn't
    that hard, isn't it). And use in the same fashion of MTS or worm castings. Call me
    not dedicating enough, but if I don't have to go out and dig wet land soil or buy worm
    castings then rinse it, mineralize it, etc. Then good. I'm not expect super rich substrate,
    just wanting something in the gravel that is better than rood tabs.

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