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Das Schlamm (Screened bagged topsoil)
I recently used bagged topsoil to build a substrate (rather than natural
topsoil), so now I'm reporting preliminary results, for any other listers
who live in Florida or Tunisia, and have no decent topsoil with which to
build a substrate!
Since I live in FL, I have sand in my back yard, not that nice loamy stuff
that seems to be recommended. So to get mud, I bought a bag of bagged
topsoil from Home Depot. (Brand: Southland. Price: $0.89?. Weight: 40 lbs
or 18.2 kg.) Then, as one would normally screen natural topsoil (like
from a backyard) through a screen to remove excess organics, I ran my
topsoil through a screen. Karen, I saw you're comments about screens. I
personally had an extra window screen (with fiberglass screen) laying
around, so I filtered my topsoil through that. If you do not want to buy a
new screen, build a screen, or use one of your current screens, I'd suggest
you buy a screen from a Goodwill Store (Thrift Store). *I'm a poor student,
so I shop at the local Goodwill Stores enough to know that my local stores
almost always have old window screens for very cheap prices.*
When I screened the topsoil through, the mixture consisted of three parts.
(Now for the really technical part of this email. ;)
1) 50%: The big chunks of stuff. I guess this was
organic stuff. The screen filtered it out, and I
threw it in the garden outside.
2) 40%: Fine sand. This was a very evenly grained-
fine sand with a grey tone. (I kept this fine sand)
3) 10%: Muck. I wonder this was what silt is.
Anyhow, it was oozy and black. Very fine
particles. (kept the muck too)
Thank you very much for all the help you've given me Paul! All credit for
anything good in this email goes to Paul Krombholz. :)
When I finish putting together my tank, I'll give my results.