Zuni's First Dirted Aquarium
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:35 AM   #1
Zuni
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Zuni's First Dirted Aquarium


Figured I would give the dirt a try.
This tank wasn't really planned out, I had the tank, light, plants, so I figured "f*** it, why not?" I went to walmart bought some dirt and set it up.
The fixture I'm using is an Odyssea 24" 96W T5 HO Light Fixture , Just running two bulbs though.
1 inch Miracle-gro base, 1/4 inch of lava sand, topped with 1 inch of coarse sand.
Planted it with dwarf sag, red melon sword, red tiger lotus, and a crinum.
The current inhabitants are 6 juvenile kribensis.
So far everything has been running smoothly, which is quite surprising actually.
The water was slightly cloudy the second day, but had cleared up by the third.

By stupid_zuni at 2012-09-13
I'm interested in how much maintenance this tank will need, the only thing running in it is a nano filter that's providing surface agitation.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
wkndracer
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Looks like a nice, normal dirty start.
Using sand helped limit the tannin release (brown tea water) but still allows the needed gas exchange. I like the wood placement and weed selection but bet the red melon sword becomes a monster plant once the roots spread and it starts growing in the dirt.

The first couple months just watch for any mounding or bulges in the substrate (gas build up) and just poke a few holes with tweezers, meat fork (whatever) to release the bubbles (no biggie). Normal for dirt tanks with organic content to do this and no real risk to the fish. If left to buildup and pop then soil can 'burp' through needing to be vacuumed out so (imo) it's better to manually release any buildup. You might have a tank like mine that ran straight through without issues and was trouble free. Lots of plants (including floaters), no hard scape to trap the soil gases, control the light (a big key to dodging algae), watch things and let the tank settle (month maybe two). Attention starting out then easy with little need for dosing ferts.

If the tank generates an ammonia spike treat it like any new tank with a water change to keep the levels low. Never had a dirk tank act up (funky water tests) for more than just a couple days most have been trouble free.

Welcome to the dirty side and hope you enjoy easy tanking with the new setup.
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2-75g planted, 5-55g planted, 5-20g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 8-10g, Refugium, doghouse/newbie
2012 update adding table top pleco pans & a 90g (Nutz)
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:03 PM   #3
Zuni
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How long do you think my photoperiod should be with the lights i'm using?
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:22 AM   #4
wkndracer
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Depends on the height but T5HO here are all suspended above the tanks from 6-14".
I do split photo periods with a couple hrs. in the AM and then 4-6 when I'm home at night. Algae starts then I cut it back and or raise the light higher to find the sweet spot. Got a bunch of tanks running and no 2 are the same.
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The Fraternity of Dirt
If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
RubberSideDownOnTheLanding,
2-75g planted, 5-55g planted, 5-20g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 8-10g, Refugium, doghouse/newbie
2012 update adding table top pleco pans & a 90g (Nutz)
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