Planning on dirting my tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Planning on dirting my tank

I was thinking of dirting with organic fertilizer from Home Depot my tank rather than spending a fortune for branded substrate at Petco or PetSmart.

I have one in mind, but I don't know if it would work well in particular so I came here.
It's Kellogg raised bed and potting mix , Organic plus
I have posted a couple of pictures of it to check it out and see if it is okay to dirt my tank with it
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 11:47 AM
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So the back of the bag tells you how much nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus the dirt has. The best soils (generally speaking) for growing plants outdoors in the ground will have high values on these. BUT for us in aquariums the best soils have the LOWEST values. This makes the Kelloggs soil you linked just ok but not great. Certainly any perlite is annoying since its something you will want to remove.

Having dirted 3 tanks now I generally advise people not to dirt a tank unless 1) they are on a razor thin budget, or 2) they are going to be dirting a HUGE tank and simply can not afford the aquasoil, or 3) they are dirting a LOT of tanks so aquasoil is not practical again due to budget.

A bag of aquasoil sufficient to put down say .5 to 1" in most of the small to medium sized tanks will run you around 30 dollars. Then just cap it like you would dirt. A bag of dirt will cost you around 7 dollars. So for a savings of 23 dollars you can dirt a tank, BUT dirt has a lot of disadvantages such as 1) easier to get algae, 2) disturbs your tank everytime you pull plants, and 3) your substrate needs to be relatively flat which prevents you from making elevations, hills and valleys that advanced aquasapes rely on to create detail and depth. The advantage is that its cheaper but in my opinion its not sooo much cheaper to outweigh the disadvantages.

All that said, if you are still planning to dirt then this video is pretty much the best tutorial I've seen on the subject. He uses dirt from the ground, grinds it up small and bakes it in the oven, and then uses only a small amount. Pretty much everything that should be done when creating a dirted tank in my opinion.



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