What's the point of the thin layer below? To keep it coming from the surface? Just to keep it from being used up too quickly? / Stop critters / algae / pests? Would I be better off using gelcaps and pushing them down?
Thanks for the help!
The thin layer of Osmocote I suspect is simply because you don't need that much? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I didn't go that route...not that I'm against it. I simply went and got enough Miracle Grow Organic to cover the bottom to an inch, inch and a half deep. Then I covered that with an inch, inch and a half of gravel. Done, plant the plants, start the cycle.
Plant food probably wouldn't hurt, but I figure that's what the fish poo and wasted food is for. Some people use sand, some use gravel on top. I don't know that it makes a huge difference but I used gravel because in my mind that should make it easier for the fish poo and extra food to make it down to the soil where the plants roots will eventually end up. Ultimately thats the point of the dirt tank in my mind, better root growth. Most plants eat through the roots.
One thing I have learned with dirt tanks...plan it out as far as where you wanna put plants. Sure, you can move them, but it's more of a pain than in a regular tank. Speaking of, when you are planting you don't have to jamb the plants all the way down there. Seems like mine find the dirt below pretty well if I get them into the gravel pretty good. You get the point I hope, once the water is in there you want to keep the dirt below the rocks as much as possible.
I'm on day 5 of my first dirt tank, I certainly don't know everything...but that's what I think I've learned thus far, lol.