Dirt With Gravel Cap Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by peighton, May 23, 2019.

  1. peighton Valued Member Member

    Hello! If I’m doing a dirt with gravel cap, do I need to strain the dirt to make it super fine? I’ve watched videos of people doing that but it will literally take me hours and hours. I’ve been doing it for 20 minutes and don’t have very much super fine dirt. I’m wondering if this is even a necessary step to take. Thank you!

  2. richie.p Well Known Member Member

    If you want fine soil the best which is already done for you is moles earth, theres many fields up around Brixham head or even closer to you

  3. peighton Valued Member Member

    I already have the soil I’m going to use. I’m just trying to figure out if I need to strain it to make it super fine or not.

  4. richie.p Well Known Member Member

    The more you strain I'd have thought it breaks down and you loose lots, I know when I get sand for my shrimp tanks I loose loads in the wash out process, the other thing the more you wash it the more goodness you loose from the soil at least that's how I look at it but never done it with soil
  5. Jeffsglo Valued Member Member

    I would say as long as your soil is pure and does not have anything to harm the fish, you don't have to make it so fine. Maybe just get the big stuff out.
  6. Ken Kanatsu Valued Member Member

    I have had quite some experiences with dirted tanks...

    The soil doesn't really need to be fine, but do try to take out the large and unnecessary away, as said.

    Further, remember that the dirt won't last you forever, so if you want demanding plants, organic manure or ferts can be added at the lowest level mixed with the soil. This will increase the time period. Can also increase the algae though! Your own risk. You can always separately dose the tank.

    Lastly, as soil does leach out, try to make the gravel layer at least 1.5 inches thick.

    You should be fine otherwise. Cheers!
  7. peighton Valued Member Member

    Thank you!

    Thank you for your help! I bought the liquid Flourish from seachem as well as the things you shove into the soil every few months.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2019
  8. Annie59 Well Known Member Member

    Nope, no need. I've used the cheapest top soil from Menards and it was wet. Came out of the bag in big clumps lol. I just broke it up enough to get the huge clumps out and that was it. Just get the cheapest top soil at which ever place is nearest you, making sure there are no added stuff to it. Just plain old dirt :)
  9. Ken Kanatsu Valued Member Member

    You're welcome!
    [ ]
  10. peighton Valued Member Member

    Sweet, that's what I did :) I sloped it on one side too. Now I think it looks weird but no going back I guess lol I added some wood and am trying to decide on a layout with a slope now..
  11. Ken Kanatsu Valued Member Member

    Do send a pic though!

    Sent from my SM-G550FY using