My journey into a dirt tank...... - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
My journey into a dirt tank......

Starts here. I am still in the research stage so any advice or comments are welcomed.
I have a 55 gallon tank already setup with plants and 5 Angelfish, 3 Otos, 1 German Blue ram (which I am thinking about rehoming).

I am obviously want to switch to a dirt substrate for the hopes of less dosing of fertilizers.
I also have an empty 40b tank so my plans (here is where I especially need comments/advice) are to use the 40b to house the fish during the setup and the tank settling parameter wise.

My plans for the 40b since I don't have anything for it is to use an aquaclear50 I have. Seed it with media from my Eheim (currently running on my 55) plus using a sponge filter (currently running on my QT). This I hope will work for filtration long enough for the duration it will take to cycle the new setup on the 55 (also the QT has never actually been used for this as I have not experienced sickness yet so the sponge filter in should be seeded with good bacteria). I am going to run the tank bare bottom. Someone also suggested to get hornwort to throw in that tank to help. This actually one plant I have seen locally so I might end up doing that as well

The soil I will be using is Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix. I will be capping that with Black Diamond. My thoughts on the swapping of the substrate and how to actually setup the new substrate is some thing I am still reading about. I do know this I like the idea of using eggcrates to help with gravel creep and will be doing that but so far i have thought doing this. Using the eggcrate in the front and on the sides to the height of 1.5" (the depth I will adding the soil) filling that up with Black Diamond. In the middle putting the soil in to just the height of the eggcrates. Then will cap it off with 1.5" of black diamond. From here I am not sure. I have some plants now that have pretty extensive root systems. Do I add them first then fill with water or fill with water then add plants later?

Once all the plants are in and the tank is filled. I am going to be checking the water parameters closely along with the 40b housing the fish. I will continue to research and do more planning. Please add your advice and experiences. My hopes is to start this swap next weekend but if that is to soon then I will wait longer.

Thanks for reading/and any advice givin.
John
P.s. I will add pictures of how the tank looks now when I can get my laptop to work lol my phone won't let me upload pics to this site for some reason.
Boredomb is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 10:24 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Patriot's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 1,348
Send a message via Skype™ to Patriot
Can't wait to see it!

Proudly Served in the United States Armed Forces, 2009-2017
SUNSUN PIMP #41
Nikon Club Member #35
Patriot is offline  
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
So I have been reading more and more about people using miracle gro organic choice potting mix. I have a few question (if someone would be so kind to answer?). Some people shift it, Some people just dump the bag in the tank and then cap it. I have were people say they leave the bark chips and sticks/twigs in there to let them break down which in return cause C02. Is this check? Now I thought the process of bacteria breaking down any substance would cause a little C02? If that's the cause Couldn't you remove the sticks and bark to get a more even layer of soil?
Boredomb is offline  
 
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 09:32 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Patriot's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 1,348
Send a message via Skype™ to Patriot
Yes you could remove the bark and wood chips if you want to. Most people don't care because once it breaks down the soil will collapse in on itself lowering the level. SO it will start off bumpy and woody but end up smooth and lower down the road. CO2 is the byproduct of the decomposition process of organic matter. I myself wouldn't worry about the dirt being level or not because the capping material will make it even or appear that way.

Proudly Served in the United States Armed Forces, 2009-2017
SUNSUN PIMP #41
Nikon Club Member #35
Patriot is offline  
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot100% View Post
Yes you could remove the bark and wood chips if you want to. Most people don't care because once it breaks down the soil will collapse in on itself lowering the level. SO it will start off bumpy and woody but end up smooth and lower down the road. CO2 is the byproduct of the decomposition process of organic matter. I myself wouldn't worry about the dirt being level or not because the capping material will make it even or appear that way.
Okay thanks Patriot, that's kinda what I was think as far as stuff being broke down. Now when the bark/sticks get broke down and the soil collapses (I guessing even when you have a smooth cap) it is still going to make a crater so to speak? So this is where you could add more capping substrate to fill it back in right?

I am thinking I am just going to remove the " big" stuff but not worry about sifting the soil.
Boredomb is offline  
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:29 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Patriot's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 1,348
Send a message via Skype™ to Patriot
Yes just fill it in with new cap.

Proudly Served in the United States Armed Forces, 2009-2017
SUNSUN PIMP #41
Nikon Club Member #35
Patriot is offline  
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
Thanks Patriot you've been a big help!
Boredomb is offline  
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
Today I have started rinsing out the black diamond in a bucket. Man I know I saw where ppl said it takes a lot to rinse it but I had no idea it was that dirty! LoL that stuff is worse then rinsing play sand. Also has any one ran into metal shavings in their bag of black diamond before? I was rinsing out a part of the bag and got a piece of metal stuck in my finger.
Boredomb is offline  
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
I finally got the tank setup and running this week. I will try and post pictures tomorrow depending on my crappy laptops mood. LoL. If my phone would let me post pics I would have already have some up but for some reason I can't post pics from my cellphone on this website.
Boredomb is offline  
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
Here we go....

Here is what I decided to do. I bought some MGOCPM. I spread it out on a box in the basement to shift through it to get the big stuff out.
Name:  1323109734320.jpg
Views: 343
Size:  15.3 KB
Not much in it at all.
I had some black diamond that was already rinsed and ready to go.
Name:  1323219495499.jpg
Views: 344
Size:  17.1 KB

So from there it was just a matter of emptying my tank out and getting it set back up.
Name:  1323219486577.jpg
Views: 341
Size:  17.5 KB
I saw where ppl used the eggcrate to help stop gravel creep so I decided to do that also. I really like that idea.
Name:  1323219465498.jpg
Views: 347
Size:  15.9 KB
I didn't take a pic of eggcrate but this is black diamond covering it.
Then I used about 1 and half inches of the potting mix and capped that with about a 1" of black diamond.
Click image for larger version

Name:	098.jpg
Views:	61
Size:	111.9 KB
ID:	38627
Then I add some of my plants and filled it up
Click image for larger version

Name:	105.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	77.2 KB
ID:	38628
By the end of the night I ended up with something like this
Name:  1323239780727.jpg
Views: 339
Size:  17.7 KB
I didn't like how that looked so I added a black background and moved some of the plants around and came up with this setup
Click image for larger version

Name:	2011-12-09%2012.32.35[1].jpg
Views:	64
Size:	53.9 KB
ID:	38630
Click image for larger version

Name:	2011-12-09%2012.32.58[1].jpg
Views:	61
Size:	63.0 KB
ID:	38631
Click image for larger version

Name:	2011-12-09%2012.33.16[1].jpg
Views:	59
Size:	65.3 KB
ID:	38632
Click image for larger version

Name:	2011-12-09%2012.33.23[1].jpg
Views:	61
Size:	53.0 KB
ID:	38633
Click image for larger version

Name:	2011-12-09%2012.33.32[1].jpg
Views:	56
Size:	67.8 KB
ID:	38634
I know it kind of looks bare and I have thought about adding more plants but I want to see how these grow first then I will go from there.
This is the last pics of the tank
Click image for larger version

Name:	2011-12-09%2014.23.22[1].jpg
Views:	65
Size:	51.3 KB
ID:	38635

P.s. Any suggestions on what to change or add would be great!
Boredomb is offline  
post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
So I started this tank on Dec 6. I have let it run pretty much like it has from day one. Tonight I tested the water and the numbers are
NH3 = 0
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 5
PH = 7.4
KH = 7
GH = 9
I am going to let it run for another 5 days and see what the numbers are then.
Boredomb is offline  
post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 05:30 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
plecostomouse's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: new zealand
Posts: 396
looks pretty sweet man, you should stick to a SA them i reckon, big swords and angels


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
color="RoyalBlue">
sunsun pimp #62



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
plecostomouse is offline  
post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Boredomb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cleveland TN
Posts: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by plecostomouse View Post
looks pretty sweet man, you should stick to a SA them i reckon, big swords and angels
LoL I was thinking the same thing earlier today when it came to fish selections . I actually have 5 Angelfish. They are in my 40B till this tank calms down from the substrate swap. Then they are going back into this tank again.
Boredomb is offline  
post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 10:29 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
wkndracer's Avatar
 
PTrader: (68/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Citrus County,Florida
Posts: 6,186
Looks great! Thanks for posting all the details on how you setup the tank.
Did the homework, got the materials together and got it done.
Betting this will be a no bump start


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
RubberSideDownOnTheLanding,
2-75g planted, 3-55g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 2018 update returning to sanity (Nutz)
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
wkndracer is offline  
post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 10:43 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
BoxxerBoyDrew's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Waco,Tx
Posts: 781
AWESOME POST!!!

I actually am going to do the EXACT SAME THING! I have a 55g with Fluorite substrate now, and I am going to switch to the Dirt setup just as you have! I also have a 40B where I will be putting my 5 Angels and 3 Ottos in while the 55 gets switched!

I was freaking out when I first started reading this post, because it is sooo close to what I am fixing to do!!!

THANK YOU for all of the great pics of exactly what Ya did while setting the dirt tank up! I have read about it many times, but the pics really help me with understanding everything! I will be checking back often to see how it is going for you!

Keep up the GREAT WORK!!!
Drew
BoxxerBoyDrew is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome