40 Gal MTS Planted set up - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mobile AL
Posts: 45
40 Gal MTS Planted set up

I set up my 40 gal, Mineralized Top Soil Tanks last night.

I am starting this thread to log my procedure, so I can get help if needed and so others can learn if they choose to emulate me. I am going to try and post an update weekly.

What I did before 7/19/13

The tank

I have a 40 gal breeder (dimentions are 36" wide, 17" Tall, 18" Deep) that has been set up for several years. Earlier this year I broke it down and installed a DIY natural stone background. see this thread for more info

The tank has an old Fluval 205, it is drilled for inflow and out flow. I also have a drip system that replaces approximately 12-15 gal of water per week.

My city water is very soft, KH less than 1, GH is 4. They use gassed chlorine (i remove this with a charcoal filter).

Making the MTS

About 5-6 weeks ago I went and dug up about a 5 gal bucket of top soil from behind my office. The soil was very rich/black looking. My 9 year old and I sifted the soil to remove rocks, wood, grass, seeds, acorn casings, you name it.

After the sifting I ended up with about 3/4 of a 5 gal bucket full of black soil. I flooded it with a hose, several inches over the soil. The next day I poured the water off and dried it out on a tarp in the sun.

I repeated the wetting and drying process every sunny day for about 5-6 weeks. The soil had very organic almost fecal type smell at first, and the wet dirt was very smooth and muddy. It began to loose its smell and the dirt developed a very course gritty texture after about 4-5 wet/dry cycles. After sitting up in a bucket of water overnight it would become very firm, and it held clumps very well.

I purchased some modeling clay from Michaels craft store. I shaved half of it down with a cheese slicer (it looked like potato chips) and let it dry in the sun. I then pulverized it with a wood mallet.

I added 7% clay by weight to the MTS when dry.

I ordered my plants and they came in this Friday.
Plant List:

Sagittaria, Dwarf Subulata (Sagittaria subulata) 20
Sagittaria, Chilensis (Wideleaf)(Sagittaria platyphylla) 10
Vallisneria, Corkscrew (Vallisneria americana var. biwaensis) 20
Amazon swords 2
Ocelot Sword 1
aponogeton bulb 1

Last Night

I drained the tank (it's resident is now sharing space in the 75 gal)

I mixed water into the MTS (with clay) until it had a peanut butter consistency. I dusted the bottom of the tank with crushed coral, and about a tea spoon of Epsom Salt. I also added a dusting of Murate of Potash (0-0-60) to the bottom glass.

I scooped up the wet MTS and started to spread it across the tank bottom. An even coat was 5/8" - 3/4" thick and it covered about 85% of the tank bottom. I then capped it with 1" of sand

I placed the plants and filled the tank.

here is a picture of the tank a few minutes after it was filled

Here it is after the water settled out.

Ill post in about a week or so with an update
Hmt321 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 12:39 AM
Wannabe Guru
tattooedfool83's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 1,866
What kind of light? And how high off te top of the tank is it? Looks great!! Love the back ground
tattooedfool83 is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mobile AL
Posts: 45
I have a 28" long, dual fixture.

it is a:

Coralife T5 dual - 1 lamp is ACTINIC, 1 is 10,000k

I will be replacing the bulbs in the near future with 6500k or 6700k bulbs.

the light fixture is about 3.5" above the surface
Hmt321 is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mobile AL
Posts: 45
I moved this to Tank Journals (where is should have been all along)

40 gal Breeder MTS tank
Hmt321 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome