Quick question. Do you wash dirt?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Substrate


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-06-2012, 01:18 AM   #1
Eben
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 83
Default

Quick question. Do you wash dirt?


I've heard different answers so i am quite confused. I plan on washing my sand cap though.
Eben is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-06-2012, 01:55 AM   #2
talontsiawd
Planted Tank Guru
 
talontsiawd's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 4,309
Send a message via AIM to talontsiawd
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eben View Post
I've heard different answers so i am quite confused. I plan on washing my sand cap though.
If you are doing MTS, then yes, and a bunch of times. If you are just using potting soil, then no. I have done potting soil a few times and if I did it again, I would likely let it soak in water, in the tank for a few days, given I had the time. Then you won't get a bunch of air bubbles under the cap. Soil may come up with the bubbles.
talontsiawd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
CAM6467
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
CAM6467's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alvarado, Texas
Posts: 592
Default

Step 1: Soak your topsoil in a tub.
Step 2: Pour out the water along with the floating crud that came out of the topsoil.
Step 3: Spread the remaining topsoil onto a tarp and allow to dry completely.
Step 4: Sift the dried topsoil through a screen to remove as much large debris as you can.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 over and over until your remaining topsoil no longer has an odor.

This is the process of preparing your topsoil for a MTS mixture. Now, let me tell you that I didn't like my experience with MTS. That being said, perhaps my advice is not what you're after...

Good luck!
__________________
"Success is not the goal, it's merely a byproduct!"
- The Fraternity of Dirt #66 -
Just because it's dirt doesn't make it low-tech.
CAM6467 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 01:28 AM   #4
Eben
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 83
Default

anyone else?
Eben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 01:35 AM   #5
fermentedhiker
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Warren, Maine
Posts: 172
Default

If your using something like MGOPS then washing isn't necessary. I've heard of people doing, but just to get any wood pieces or other not completely composted debris out so that it won't continue to decompose once in the tank. It certainly doesn't hurt to do that, but it's not a requirement for success.
__________________
"Not my circus, not my monkeys"
fermentedhiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 01:51 AM   #6
Monster Fish
Planted Tank Guru
 
Monster Fish's Avatar
 
PTrader: (36/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 3,024
Default

If you're making mineralized topsoil, then yes sift it and rinse it out. If you're using MGOCPM or any other organic potting mix, just lay it dry sticks and all into the bottom of your tank and cap it.
__________________
5.5 gallon grass tank|5.5 gallon Rili tank
RAOK Club #77|The Fraternity of Dirt #112
Monster Fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 01:59 AM   #7
xmas_one
Planted Tank Guru
 
xmas_one's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,255
Default

I just threw mine in and capped it. Let it run for a month with a mature filter and plants and it was good to go.
xmas_one is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 03:19 AM   #8
mitchfish9
Planted Tank Nation
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oak Park, IL
Posts: 886
Default

I just soaked mine for a few days and did water changes on the tub as well as taking out the biggest clumps of floating debris.
mitchfish9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 03:44 AM   #9
auban
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 577
Default

i use mostly composted cow manure and kitty litter capped with paver base. i mix it up differently depending on what i want the tank to do, but usually i just soak it and dry it once or twice and then lay it down and cap it. it helps to mix it with just enough water to make it a little bit moist when you put it in the tank. it helps it soak up water without bubbles blasting it into the water column.

that said, i wouldnt suggest cow manure unless you are trying to grow your plants at break-neck speeds. it produces a LOT of ammonia and needs a well planted tank with high light and CO2 to maintain water quality. i usually have no measurable ammonia, but i run high light and am always on the verge of gassing my shrimp.
auban is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 04:49 AM   #10
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 7,713
Default

Most substrates, sand and other materials:
I do not rinse most of these.

Some: Rinse in tank. Put the material in dry, or dampen it in its bag. Partially fill the tank deliberately making a mess, stirring it around. Siphon out the dirty water. Repeat until the water is clearer, though it does not have to be totally clear. This can be done in a bucket or plastic storage container, too.
When you are ready to fill the tank, put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and allow the water to run in slowly and seep over the edge of the plate or bag to minimize cloudiness.

Specifically about sand:
If you are using a graded product like pool filter sand, Pebble Tek products, or any of several sand sized substrates available in fish stores you might want to give it a quick rinse, but there is only a very small amount of fines in it, since it is sieved to be all one uniform size. No rinsing works for most of these, just skim the water surface if there are any fines that float.
If you are using masonry sand (around here called Olympia #1) or play sand, then it has a LOT of fines, and you are better off rinsing it away from the tank. You may lose as much as half the material washing away the fines. Note: if you will be throwing away as much as half the product, that means it costs twice as much per pound. Buy the right product to start with. A graded product, anywhere from 30 mesh or larger particle size will have almost no waste.
Diana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 03:38 AM   #11
Eben
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 83
Default

Thanks Guys, Set up yesterday and is looking real nice today!
Eben is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012