New Build Questions

StuTanks

Good morning all!

I have a 60 gallon 24” deep tank that I’m going to convert into a dirted planted tank. This will be a budget build.

I’m stuck between using pea gravel and pool sand to cap the dirt or using black diamond blasting sand. I’d really like a black substrate for this build. Ive read forums hearing it works as a good cap but doesn’t work for others.

For lighting I’ve done some looking around and narrowed my choices down to the Beamswork DA120 48” light. If anyone uses this light, will this be strong enough for a 24” deep tank planted with ferns, Anubis’s and Vallisneria?? I’m trying to keep the plants pretty low tech for the most part.

For fish to stock this tank. I currently have a school of 10 tiger barbs that I would love to keep for this tank but I’m afraid they may eat away at my plants being that they are omnivorous. Anyone have a planted tank stocked with tiger barbs??

I appreciate any input or guidance with this build. Thank you all in advance!

-Stu
IG: Stu_Tanks
 

MrBryan723

Dirt, then a small layer of pea gravel. Add just enough water to cover top of substrate. Wait a day. Use blasting sand as full cap. It really depends on the type of dirt you use as to how effective your cap is. Potting soil has lots of things that like to float, so gravel and then sand helps keep them down vs sand alone.
 

JayH

Dirt, then a small layer of pea gravel. Add just enough water to cover top of substrate. Wait a day. Use blasting sand as full cap. It really depends on the type of dirt you use as to how effective your cap is. Potting soil has lots of things that like to float, so gravel and then sand helps keep them down vs sand alone.
But the sand isn't going to layer nicely over the pea gravel. You'll get loads of it working down between the gravel right from the start and eventually most of it will end up under the gravel. The sand can fall between the gravel, so it will. The gravel can't fall between the sand, so it will end up on top.

If you mix sand with gravel I think you'll eventually end up with the gravel on top.

To address the concerns about the soil floating, I'd wet the sand first and lay it over the soil a cup or two at a time, working your way methodically across the bottom. Put a plastic sheet over the sand when it's in place and put a bowl on the plastic. Add the water slowly to the bowl. The plastic should keep the sand from being disturbed too much. Once you have enough water in the tank that you won't disturb the sand, you can carefully remove the plastic.
 

StuTanks

I plan on wetting the dirt before putting it in. After reading some more I think I’m going to plan on using blasting sand, which will need a good rinse in the first place so the water won’t be too cloudy. I'm thinking of doing 1.5in dirt and 3 in sand. I will then clamp my hose to the side of the tank and let water slowly trickle on a plate until it’s full enough. Thank you guys
 

Mrfister1116

I’ve got the beamswork da 6500k on my planted 55 and it grows everything great, you should be fine.

I have pool filter sand in mine... rinse it really really well and it works great I’ve never used the blasting stuff though
 

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