A lot of people are using soil in their tanks. Please read as many articles as you can before attempting a dirted tank. Many people use Miracle Grow Organic soil. Beware, do not use potting soil, it has wetting agents that are not aquarium safe. The best way to safely set up a dirted tank is to mineralize your soil. By mineralizing the soil, you lower the risks to your future fish. CAUTION, do not think you can add dirt then fish! Soil needs time to cycle itself. Ammonia and nitrates are very unpredictable during the first 30 days. DO NOT ADD FISH YET. The best way to help the dirt is by making mineralized top soil. The process helps speed up the cycle and help make your tank more stable. Read about "mineralized top soil". I have attached a link for visual directions. Do not go by this link alone, research many sources. http://visual.ly/how-mineralized-soil-substrate POKE YOUR SOIL DAILY. It is important to poke the substrate daily to release gas that builds up. Without poking you run the risk of deadly gas bubbles. Use a fork, chopstick, or clean hair pick. ADD PLANTS. Adding fast growing stem plants helps establish the cycle by using up ammonia and nitrates. Stem plants also help keep algae away. Anacharis is a good plant to use, it starves off the algae. The plants use the nutrients that algae needs to grow. Anacharis also gives off a natural repellent to algae. SIT BACK AND RELAX. Wait a good month before adding your fish. You'll be happier you did.