Welcome to MyFishTank.Net!

Have A Question? Join our awesome community today and it's free!

Dirt: What to do?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by Flbrylas, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I want to dirt my tank but don't know what soil or what minerals to put in the soil. I have read many forums online and I have gotten two main things. Plain Top Soil and Red Clay. The rest of the materials depends on personal preference. This is where I need help. I heard you can make soil better than what is sold in the market unless you get ADA but that is way to expensive for a 75 gallon. What should I put inside the soil beside the clay and any other suggestions before I get started?
     


  2. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. achase

    achase Large Fish

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    765
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unfortunately, I know nothing about the subject. I would be interested in knowing how you end up doing it.
     
  4. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was going for the Walstad one but some of those materials are hard to find. I would still want to go for that method but I can not find those materials. Now, what is up with the Miracle grow? Only Miracle Grow and no other minerals or w.e. they are called added to it?
     
  5. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went ahead and purchased the clay, potage, and dolomite online. It was acually very easy to find I just was being lazy at first. Now that that is done. What will hold up better with soil, sand or gravel. I love sand but I know it can get dirty/mixed with the dirt and I heard it evenually sinks to the bottoms of dirt. Also well the plants attach better to gravels? I know I am asking a lot of questions but I can't seem to fins specific answer to my quesitons online.
     
  6. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    just a brief post for a moment: On Dolomite. Apparently, most Dolomite sold is actually dolomite-lime and labled as such (some dolomite in a lot of lime). This isn't what you want. (I found out the hard way). You want dolomite ore. I'll get you more info later. Off to work :)
     
  7. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    dolomite: This is what you want
    https://www.google.com/shopping/product/11933111899695659443

    If you plan on uprooting a lot, you do not want a dirt substrate.

    here is a comparison of different substrate options
    Substrate Choices Pros/Cons

    Plants don't really attach to gravel. They root through it. The exception is into volcanic substrate (micro pores).

    Ada isn't that expensive on a per-volume basis. About as much as say Eco-Complete.

    The before diving deeper, what do you hope to grow? High light/CO2, low light/non-CO2, in between?
     
  8. OrangeCones

    OrangeCones Elite Fish

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    0
    I keep a planted tank (just one now, used to have 8!), and I agree 100% with this comment, Gomer. Of my 8 tanks, 2 were soil capped with gravel.

    If you want a tank that you plant and leave it alone, a soil substrate capped with either sand or gravel is ok. But, if you like to decorate and move plants or plant tops when things get too tall, soil is a pain in the hiney.
     
  9. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't plan on decorating much because I am going I try and get it right from the beginning. I am going for a hight tech tank I got my lights and I am going to get my co2 system some time next month. This well be my first try at really trying to aqua scape a tank at a professional level. All my other tanks are also planted but they are just not up to par.
     
  10. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    "high tech" tanks typically means high/med-high light, CO2 and ferts. This also means lots of growth and most likely a good amount of stem plants. I would strongly discourage you to do a dirt tank id this is the case and strongly encourage you to get the ADA substrate. By volume (what matters), it isn't that expensive and one of the better substrates for the conditions you are aiming for. If you like sand, your best bet is to do ADA Amazonia in the back, and partition and use decorative sand in the front where you won't plant much. I'd save money and not get anyother ADA substrate stuff, just the amazonia. Powersand is nice, but gets ugly when you have to uproot.

    This might be useful for you
    Amano aquascapes in 2 Minutes - YouTube
    AGA 2008: Takashi Amano: Aquascaping Demo-- Guitarfish
     
  11. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you 100% but to fill a 75 gallon with Ada will cost me way too much. I don't have a budget but I also don't like to just throw money on things that I think are not worth it. I would get Ada for my 30 or 20 gallon because it does not require as much but like I said for a 75 it would be too much money ezpecially for my first setup.
     
  12. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    if you want to go dirt, I strongly recommend you don't go high light and use minimal if any stems.
     
  13. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    BTW, ada is worth it. The onlything cheaper is dirt, kitty litter and similar. Fluorite, eco complete, floramax etc are all similar in price and don't grow as well and all require substrate dosing (ADA won't for months and months)
     
  14. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    How many liters would I need. Also why are high lights bad with dirt?
     
  15. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    high light= fast growth = replanting of stems= messy with dirt.

    for 3" depth average, you'll need 42 liters.
    For eco complete, that is 144 lbs
    for flourite, that is 90 lbs.

    You can sometimes get stuff like eco complete for a pretty good price on sale with free shipping (get good root tabs if you do since eco has no nutrients)
     
  16. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ada is forsure out the window then. I don't really want to waste $150+ on dirt and not get great dirt. I think I am going to stick to the dirt method. I have already started it and it is not going great with the cleaning cause Idk how clean I have to get the top soil.
     
  17. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    if $150 is too much for you that is fine. ADA is not a waste and it is actually one of the (if not the) best plant substrates. You keep saying it isn't good so not sure where you are getting your info.
    MTS will work well, just messy when you have to uproot.
    Good luck. It seems my usefulness in this thread has expired :)
     
  18. Flbrylas

    Flbrylas Small Fish

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    At no point did I say ADA was bad at all. I know it is the best and I would use it any day over what I am currently doing but my final question. Would you recomend flora max which I heard is idintical to florite and can I add other things too it such as that of the MTS?
     
  19. Gomer

    Gomer Superstar Fish

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    "I agree with you 100% but to fill a 75 gallon with Ada will cost me way too much. I don't have a budget but I also don't like to just throw money on things that I think are not worth it. "
    "Ada is forsure out the window then. I don't really want to waste $150+ on dirt and not get great dirt."

    vs.

    "At no point did I say ADA was bad at all. I know it is the best..."

    Not very consistant in praise ;)

    Floramax is near the bottom of my recommendation list along with fluorite. Better than plane sand. MTS is different in function than root tabs which is what you alude to. you could use flora max to cap MTS but I don't see a major advantage over sand (larger grain might cause issue)
     
    #19 Gomer, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  20. OrangeCones

    OrangeCones Elite Fish

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    0
    High-tech tank with soil based substrate will be a lot of work, from my own experience.

    Don't get me wrong about soil (I used organic choice soil from home improvement store), they can be beautiful tanks. Both of mine grew well and were very low maintainance once established. But as far as stem plants, I pulled those out after about 2 months and lowered my light by 50%. My 29gallon was a beautiful crypt-jungle in no time!
     
    #20 OrangeCones, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
Want To Reply or Ask A Question?
Join our forum today (it's free!) in one easy step! Click Here To Join!





Share This Page

  • About Us

    MyFishTank.Net and the blogs, articles, comments and other features therein are for informational purposes only and provided "as is" without warranties, representations, or guarantees of any kind. Content on MyFishTank.Net should never be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified professional. MyFishTank.Net shall not be liable for the accuracy, usefulness or availability of any content, and you agree to hold MyFishTank.Net harmless from any loss, harm, injury or damage resulting from or arising out of your use of or reliance on any content. The views and opinions expressed in an article or column are the author's own and not necessarily those of MyFishTank.Net.
  • Quick Navigation

  • CHECK THIS OUT!