I got this tank from my in-laws over Christmas. It was destined for the dump, so I rescued it.
I have been looking at tanks and really enjoying getting back into the hobby, so I decided that I would have a go at setting up a dirted tank. There are some amazing scapes that have been achieved using plain old dirt, and since I enjoy a challenge, I thought I would go for it.
Along with having a dirted tank is obviously saving a decent amount of $$ on things like expensive aquasoil. And since I got the tank for free, why not go all the way and see how much I could set this little beastie up for. I will lay out all costs (gulp, I haven't calculated that yet) on how much this all cost me. Keep in mind I am a very impatient person who does not like to wait for things, and shopping online in Canada can also be very expensive with lots of hidden duties on items that you don't know about until it has arrived and your cc gets billed a couple weeks later. So I tend to avoid shopping online.
$0 Rocks (local granite from the beach)
$0 French Red Clay
$0 Plants (Trimmings from my 12g Edge)
$16 Organic potting mix (30 litre bag)
$21 Pool Filter Sand (55 lb bag)
$14 Ceiling tile Eggcrate
$85 Fluval C3 HOB filter
$45 Fluval 100w heater
Below are some pics with my setup process. I cut and used the egg crate to build up my substate to help give it more death. To avoid air bubbles the soil was packed in fairly tightly and added with each layer of egg crate. The crate was also staggered to ensure that plant roots will be able to spread out and not limited to growing down. This is a huge part of the experiment. I find it very frustrating when the substate collapses or slides. This has happened in my Fluval Edge and I really wanted to be able to maintain and control the horizon line in this new tank. Hopefully the egg crate provides enough support to hold the soil in place.
Trimmed plants rom my fluval edge waiting to be planted.
Rough layout of rockscape - decided to leave out the rose quartz
Being supervised while I cut the egg crate to size
First layer of egg crate with a dusting of clay. Stupidly I only took this one picture as I built up the substrate, so unfortunately I don't have any more pics of this process. But you will from the finished product how the crate creates a really nice landscape. Downside would be that you can't grow plants with bulbs unless you specifically plan where to put them and create pockets in the crate for them to grow.
Filled and looking great
I can't wait to see this grow in. I may add 1 or 2 plants, but for the most part I am going to sit back, try not to interfere too much, and watch it grow.
I has been up and running for a few days, I seeded the filter 2weeks ago with media from my established 12 gallon. Ammonia and nitrites are at 0, and nitrates are at 5ppm, so this morning I added 5 rummy nose tetras.
I hope to increase their group to about 15 and add a couple showy fish. The 9 pygmy Cories that are currently in my 12g will come to live here in a few weeks - think they'll go nuts over the pool filter sand
Any way, any comments, suggestions, feedback would be greatly appreciated. This is my 2nd planted tank so I am by no means an expert.