10 mins and I screwed up already... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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10 mins and I screwed up already...

I have no problem admitting that I can be dumb sometimes. So I just started dirting the new 29g, building terraces and getting all excited about how awesome it's going to be. Then a thought popped into my head, "is there such a thing as too much dirt?" - and it's a good thing I had this thought, because yeah - I could have totally screwed everything up. (See pic)



So, as you can see I have terraces built with dirt, apparently an idiotic thing to do. I will be scooping out all of that dirt today and going back down to an inch.

I'm going to have to figure out how to build terraces without using substrate, given all the stuff I've read about anaerobic bacteria and hydrogen sulfide. I have some plexiglass laying around. I'll probably do something with that.

Let me just defend myself and say, that I've been watching Amano's YouTube channel, and I've watched him set up a few tanks - and there's tanks where he uses like 6-10 inches of substrate. I wonder how he's getting away with it... Thoughts on this appreciated.

And do chime in for suggestions about terraces.

-A humbled fish hobbyist.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 03:44 PM
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What do you mean by dirt? Is it mineralized soil? If so, then 1" is enough, but you can build up your slopes and terraces with whatever material you use to cap it with.
Aquasoil and other gravel material can be built as high as you want. There is plenty of room for water movement in and around the different shapes and size pieces. I've used Aquasoil in the past where it was at least 6" deep.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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By dirt I mean Miracle Grow Organic.

I considered using gravel to fill up the areas behind the rock "walls" but I want to grow plants on those terraces. So, could I do a big layer of gravel, then 1 inch of dirt, then the usual sand cap? Or would that be a problem...


Last edited by sarazorz; 03-07-2013 at 04:56 PM. Reason: pic
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 05:18 PM
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I don't see any problem with that. My dirted 90 gallon is about 8" deep in the back with about an inch of cap.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Really? What's with all this stuff I'm reading about hydrogen sulfide bubbles and anaerobic bacteria? Were these people just incredibly unlucky?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 05:30 AM
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i watched a video "'Reciprocity' Aquascape by James Findley" and he only uses dirt. if you watch that video you will see him building up at least 7 inches or so of dirt only. i suggest you check out this video if you have 45 mins to waste.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 04:22 PM
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I get bubbles. I see bubbles against the glass. Sometimes even white roots in the bubbles. I have a hill that is 6-7" deep with dirt and my fish and plants are all thriving. I think you have to do something wrong to get lethal bubbles coming up from the substrate. Otherwise its just normal decomposition.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 04:42 PM
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Re: 10 mins and I screwed up already...

As long as there are plant roots growing into the deep soil, you won't have to worry about hydrogen sulfide. Your original layout was perfect. I have a tank with at least seven inches of sand, no issues at all. I also have two tanks with miracle grow at less than one inch in one and two to five inches in the other. I get gas bubbles in both of these, and the deeper parts like to collapse when gas escapes. I would stick with your original plan, but wet the soil and press it down to get air out as much as possible.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 05:20 PM
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One thing I did that might help elevations is put large stones in the area where you want a hill to artificially create elevation without adding a deep dirt bed.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 05:58 PM
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Amano sprinkles some kind of fancy stuff on the bottom of the tank before he even adds substrate. Apparently this is to help start good bacteria in the substrate. The good bacteria, plus plant roots, help keep the substrate from going anaerobic (I think).

My tank has some seasoned flourite/gravel mix, capped with a coarse sand, and my hope is that the seasoned substrate has some healthy bacteria.

I think healthy plant roots, and a substrate that won't become overly packed, should be enough to keep anaerobic bacteria in check.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 04:05 AM
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Re: 10 mins and I screwed up already...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ETK View Post
I think healthy plant roots, and a substrate that won't become overly packed, should be enough to keep anaerobic bacteria in check.
This. This is the key.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 06:17 AM
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i like your wall idea. im actually going to do something similar thank you for the idea!
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