I am working on setting up a new 5 gallon planted betta tank. I have plans all drawn out and am nearly done collecting material.
My original plan
called for an organic dirted substrate capped with fine gravel. My only problem is that I used fertilized (non-organic) potting mix. Stupid Me! (stupid) Luckily someone caught it before I added any life to the tank.
This gave me some time to reconsider dirt and I just don't know what to do.
Well, I've been thinking very hard. I've heard many great things about this Tahitian Moon Sand stuff and it's got exactly the look that I'm looking for. The only negative is that it is inert. So I have a decision to make that I would like your help on.
If I go with the Tahitian Black Moon Sand substrate should I go with only that (with root tabs for fertilization...I believe this is the more expensive but cleaner version)
Should I stick with the dirted idea, get some Miracle Grow Organic Soil (or another brand of organic) and cap the dirt with an inch or so of TMS?
My only hesitation about dirting the tank is because I will be traveling to and from college every couple of months (6 hour drive). How messy will dirt get if it's being moved? Will lowering t he water level to about an inch above the TMS and covering with newspaper/cardboard be enough to keep it from becoming a huge mess?
I've been assured it won't be a problem but I want more responses and suggestions.