How would i go about using organic garden soil in a tank thats already set up?

Grace4514

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I'm wanting to get some garden soil for my aquarium, but not sure how to go about putting it in and getting it to settle since it's full of fish already. Maybe take out the water put it in 17 gallon totes and put my fish in there, empty it out almost all the way put it the soil down compact it then add gravel back ontop? Just dont want to end up with a mess on my hands lol
 

Demeter

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The way you described is about the only way to do it. You'll have to remove all the fish, all the water, all the substrate and then put down the soil (in thick mud form) then put it all back together. Just remember, you may have an ammonia spike as the organics in the soil decay. It may be worth soaking the soil for weeks beforehand to prevent an ammonia spike but that's up to you.
 

Hugooo

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Agreed with Demeter. One other thing: when the time comes to do it, put your filter media in a cupful of tank water, so the beneficial bacteria don't die. But it has to be tank water, as regular tap water will kill the beneficial bacteria, thus causing a cycle crash.
 
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Grace4514

Grace4514

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Oh also how small should the gravel be?
 

Demeter

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I have sand it most my dirted tanks though one does have smooth pea gravel. The depth of the cap is more important than the size IMO. 1in at least for the cap and so long as it's not giant pebbles you should be fine.
 
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Grace4514

Grace4514

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Thank you:) how many inches of soil should I put down?

Would this be safe?
 

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