Making Mud Pies, my 20 Dirt Tank Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Making Mud Pies, my 20 Dirt Tank Journal

I found this tank on Craigslist and thought it was a good deal. 35$ got me the tank and a Marineland 200 HOB filter. It came with a glass top, but it doesn't fit all the way. Eh, not a bad deal in the end. I now have a tank that fits the stand instead of being too small, that makes me happy..

I decided to go MTS capped with PFS with this one, since I have been using so much stuff in the PFS of my big tank. I figured this must be way better than having inert substrate. Lucky for me, I found a member who was willing to sell me some of his dirt and the additives for it too..

So my journey begins. I have no idea what I am doing, only working off of the advice given with the dirt and what I have learned here.

I am still working on finding plants to fill it up. I do have wisteria like there is a shortage, but didn't really want to use that much here. So I have here what I know, there are at least 2 things I am unsure what they are and haven't looked them up yet. Will add them when I get unlazy

Wisteria
Vallisneria
Ludwigia Repens
Pennywort
A Crypt of some kind
Apongenton of some kind
Anacharis


I am still undecided of what fish I am going to stock this with. I will wait until I get the filter running and make sure the soil doesn't leach ammonia etc.
I am also going today to look for some slate rock pieces and I am looking for driftwood too. I eventually would like to get an long fin blue eyed Pleco.
So here I am, these are a few shots of my process. I forgot to get a good shot before I put the cap on, so there is a last minute shot of the actual dirt. The first shot is what I had before I started the change over. It was just the pool filter sand. I am looking for my light set up, what is there is only temporary until I upgrade that.
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Last edited by tlyons01; 03-01-2012 at 01:09 PM. Reason: added text
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 01:55 PM
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You're off to a solid start, looking forward to seeing this tank develop I just hit the subscribe button. Glad you included pic #2, now I can just refer people to that pic.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I had to improvise, as I didn't have anything else to use. I was expecting my delivery but was totally unprepared for it..
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:12 PM
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nice start!


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:31 PM
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Yay for tank number two!! You are off to a great start. Don't fill it up too much you and I and Slammed should plan a plant swap soon!


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:32 PM
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lookin nice eager to see this fill in

40 gallon dirt tank
5 Gallon planted bonsai dirt tank
1 Bearded Dragon ''Spyro''
Normal Leopard Gecko ''Shadow''
Super hypo tangerine baldy carrot tail leopard gecko ''Moon''
2 whites tree frogs ''Ying and Yang''
1 Royal Python ''Neptune''
1 Veiled Chameleon '' Yoshi''
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I am excited to have added a new adventure! This is tank #2, however, I do have 5 tanks. This is a super sized upgrade from the 10er, which is now being used as my QT tank (finally setting up one of those!)

I am going to revamp my desktop 5 gallon to be a dirt tank also. That should be in the next few days. Only the 2 tanks I have posted journals have live plants in them.
Its easiest to just dump the water in them for water changes or I might have them converted too!

And yes, I am looking forward to a plant swap too. I have Wisteria that I have been waiting to give over to Slammed, but he hasn't gotten around to it yet. Right now my new Amanos are cleaning it up nice and pretty for him!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 04:30 PM
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Looks like you have a good start to this tank.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 02:08 AM
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Your light is a bit on the low side. Thus you can leave it on for about 12hrs.

What ferts are you going to use?
Osmocote slow release grandules would be of benefit.

Read this - Put 2 grams of into ice tray. Top with 3 ml. of water. Freeze. Before inserting break them in , unless its a huge sword plant or giant crypt. Osmocote will float unless you let them soak for a minute or two and shake the tray around a little before freezing.

Could also get some capsules at a health food store and put some fert in it.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, currently the lighting you see in the last pictures is what I have sitting on it, it's just a 30" standard T8 with an aquarium plant bulb in it, 18 watt. I am looking at the Catalina single bulb T5. I want to be able to have medium light or low.

I plan to light EI dose, I didn't want to over kill with too much in the soil. I also have the cidex glut solution for carbon. I haven't really used that yet, and the dry ferts I added one of each micro and macro so far. I am waiting for some more plants to arrive and get them in before I start to fully dose.. I do have some osmocote that I make ferticles with, but was under the impression I didn't need them with the MTS
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlyons01 View Post
I am looking at the Catalina single bulb T5.

I do have some osmocote that I make ferticles with, but was under the impression I didn't need them with the MTS
Some other options for lights are a T5 from Hydroponics store as Hyzer did.
Then there is a SolarMax light strip from Pet Blvd.

Oh, my eyes were tired thus didn't read that you had MTS under the sand.

What is the height of the tank?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Its a 20 gallon high, so it's 16". Looking for any suggestions for lighting. I am not opposed to hanging the lights if I needed. This tank is in my office, so I think my hubs will give me more room to play with the lighting, unlike my larger tank. I had also been looking for a T5 NO dual, but can't really find any that are around the same price.

I had another thread a few days ago that I was asking about the Solarmax light fixture, responders had mixed opinions on it.

When one suggests a local hydroponics store, what is that exactly? We have a few different nurseries here, most of them are for landscaping, would they be one in the same? I worked for one of them for a few weeks a long time ago but do not recall any lighting that they sold.. I have wanted to ask this question for a while now...Don't want to come across as dumb as it makes me feel to ask, but I figured, hell, you brought it up so I might as well ask...

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlyons01 View Post
  1. Solarmax light fixture responders had mixed opinions on it.
  2. I had also been looking for a T5 NO dual.
  3. When one suggests a local hydroponics store, what is that exactly?
  1. Jacob has a 20 gallon high with the SolarMax dual light strip.
  2. Pet Blvd sells the Coralife T5NO dual light strip and bulbs. Bulbs now sold under brand name Aqueon at Pet Smart.
  3. Hydroponics store sell lights etc. to grow plants without soil. Just go to google maps and search for 1 in your area.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Updated pics, added new plants

I got a plant package and added those in today. There were only 2 varieties that I did not already have, the third just added to the little Ludwigia I had in there. Have another package coming with some java moss in about 2 days.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 01:44 PM
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Looks good so far, I see your starting into the dangerous world of collectorites sp? Its okay though I set up a 20l a few days ago lol. Gonna do a crs tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by So_Fishy View Post
Yay for tank number two!! You are off to a great start. Don't fill it up too much you and I and Slammed should plan a plant swap soon!
Yeah we do.

Semper Fi
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