What is Solvita?
Details on Using Solvita
At what temperature should I be testing? Do I need an incubator?
Soil Microbe Temperature
Microbes respond significantly to temperature changes based on the Arrhenius rule which states that for each 10C increase, within a normal range, microbes will approximately double their rate of metabolism. Thus changes of only 5C can result in 50% difference in readings. The point here is that a range of temperatures can be used, but once a temperature is selected, all samples to be compared should be measured at that temperature. The research by Haney and Brinton is based on 22-25C readings.
Ammonia and SLAN Tests
The Solvita test for Ammonia is used for compost and now for soil (SLAN). It is not a microbial test so is less sensitive to temperature flux; volatilization of N, however, is influenced by changing temperature but not to the same extent as microbial response in the case of CO2.
How soon after opening the jar should I read the probe?
Can I leave the probe in for longer or shorter periods of time?
Use and storage of probes
What to do when gel released from probe and remained in pouch?
Are probes reusable?
Are jars reusable? What about beakers?
Are the probes toxic or do any of the tests require special reagents?
About the Digital Color Readers
Do I need a DCR?
When do I need a DCR Model Upgrade?
Is the same DCR Button used for both CO2-Burst and Basal methods?
How to use the Digital Color Reader
Solvita Soil Respiration
What is Solvita Soil Respiration?
What is the distinction between Basal Respiration (Field Test) and CO2-Burst (Lab Test)?
Is the same probe used for CO2-Burst and Basal Respiration?
Why do the two methods use different jars?
How do I take a minimally-disturbed soil sample in the field?
What equipment is required for the CO2-Burst test?
- The ability to dry and sieve soil. Soil should be dried at temperatures no higher than 40°C , rolled then coarse-sieved (2-6mm). Hammermills disrupt the soil structure to such an extent as to obscure natural C-min and N-min results.
- a scale or volume to accurately measure dried soil
- a dispenser or auto-pipette with a range of 5-15cc to easily dispense varied amounts of water to the soil sample