ATTENTION: Considering a dirted tank? Please read.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by psalm18.2, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    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.
    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.
  2. ReefdwellerValued MemberMember

    Hmmm I am not feeling the dirt idea. I just do not think I would like that setup at all. Correct me if I am wrong but dirt and water make mud. Cleaning the tank could be a real hassle with a mud bottom.. I am not so sure it would look very good either but hey I have not seen one before nor have I heard of doing this until just

  3. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    dude....ya gotta put a sand or gravel layer over the soil. or else would be a mess.

    i have to say though....i've set up a lot of tanks with miracle grow organic garden soil...and have had pretty good results. as in putting fish in right after soil. i think there is a risk or the soil releasing different things in the first month or so....but ime, water changes can help with this very much.
  4. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Thank you for the info on treating top soil for a dirted tank.

    :;fThread moved to the Freshwater Substrates forum.
  5. AmazonPassionModeratorModerator Member

    Thanks for the info ;-). Unfortunately its little to late for me but a great info who are thinking about doing a dirted tank. I would follow this advice unless you want stress and heartache ;-)

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