Doesn't the dirt get messed up when planting? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Doesn't the dirt get messed up when planting?

So, I have been thinking about setting up my tank with dirt instead of just sand. I really want to grow some nice groundcover. I do like to change my plants around when I cut them, and I have plenty of fast growing stem plants.

My question here is, How do you keep the dirt from making a mess when you take plants out and replant? Does the cap keep the dirt under it from running amuck? Do you just decide not to replant once you have initially planted everything?

Anyway, these are some of my first questions :P I'll probably have plenty more!!

Thank you all!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:45 AM
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The short answer is, you don't. Dirt pulls up with the roots and makes a mess. Dirt is incredible, but not made for the habitual rescaper.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:54 AM
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+1 on that the best thing to.do is first do your scape on paper that way if something doesn't work or look right you can just erase... that being said not all if us are artists haha

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 05:32 AM
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I prefer the just live with it method, but when that doesn't work, take each plant slowly, one root at a time, and you shouldn't make to big of a mess.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 05:44 AM
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I just figure the dirt makes it look more natural lol (that's how I shut off the perfectionist part of my brain)

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 06:04 AM
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Dirted tanks are not for everyone. They are best for people who do not intend on uprooting their plants, trimming off the tops, and replanting the tops. Doing that with a dirted tank on a regular basis would create a big mess.

For a person who likes to move plants around and wants to grow a lot of fast growing stems, I think a dirted tank would be a nightmare. I think it would be much better to use a different substrate for that type of tank.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 06:08 AM
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Dirt will eventually work its way back down under the gravel even if it does get pulled up. Small particles work their way down under big particles. There is a good physics reason why that is always so, but I don't know the details. And, you can also just cut off the plants at the substrate line, and leave the rooted stump to disintegrate on its own. Some of my plants have been able to work their way up out of the substrate by themselves, so clearly you can slowly pull many plants out without a cloud of dirt following them.

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Last edited by Hoppy; 08-13-2012 at 06:09 AM. Reason: typo
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 06:51 AM
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I've heard leaving roots to decompose in the substrate isn't a good thing. Can someone explain this to me or did I just get the wrong info?

Sorry for the slight hijack


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickerie View Post
The short answer is, you don't. Dirt pulls up with the roots and makes a mess. Dirt is incredible, but not made for the habitual rescaper.
Very well put I prefer to set it and forget it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkan0228 View Post
I've heard leaving roots to decompose in the substrate isn't a good thing. Can someone explain this to me or did I just get the wrong info?

Sorry for the slight hijack


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Only a problem if taken to extremes.
Topping a large sword plant and leaving the entire core and root ball would be very risky. Removing that same sword and cutting out the root ball leaving only the branching roots is not an issue.

Topping stems down the the first or second node creates a little bush as the trimmed plant grows in.
Topping and removing the lower stem sections done slowly doesn't create a huge mess.

Removing / moving larger established crypts is hard and a large water change after is a good idea.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:38 PM
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Planting is not that messy, its uprooting. Planting when done properly, leaves little to no mess. If you cap with sand ( the only cap you should use with dirt ) it will follow through has you push the root down into the dirt. On your way up, wiggle the tweezers a bit so the sand covers the hole. You should have little to no dirt come up. Now uprooting its another story, I uproot only when Im resetting tanks
:-)
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:56 PM
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I just pulled some dwg roots and all out of a tank with dirt capped with sand. This made no mess at all.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borikuan View Post
Planting is not that messy, its uprooting. Planting when done properly, leaves little to no mess. If you cap with sand ( the only cap you should use with dirt )
:-)
I agree with your reply except for sand being the only cap you should use part. Small grain pea gravel works very well. I think it is sold under the name river pebbles or something, but its the smallest grain size pebbles/ pea gravel pet stores sell.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 07:49 PM
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In my dirted tank I try not to rearrange plants. But when I do I make sure to take it slow and get MOST of the roots out. I leave some roots. I also have a bit of extra substrate that I can add to the spot where the plants came from to patch it up. Sometimes you have to do a water change.
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