What dirt should I use for a dirted tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2020, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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What dirt should I use for a dirted tank?

I want to dirt my 20 long. What dirt should I use? It would have to be a dirt you can find at Lowe’s and Home Depot
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 05:19 PM
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I bought the bag o’ cheap top soil at Home Depot for 3 to 4 bucks, then sieved out the huge pieces. After sieving and rinsing to get rid of the floating stuff,
I had about half the volume or less left over. It seems to work just fine!

Obviously it is less “rich” than potting soil, (Less organic) which makes for a less problem fraught start.

Doug
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 05:47 PM
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Nature's Care Organic at Home Depot. I have used it in several of my tanks with good results.

The harbinger of doom to the wicked but the fragrance of life for the hopeless. Napalm
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by doug105! View Post
I bought the bag oí cheap top soil at Home Depot for 3 to 4 bucks, then sieved out the huge pieces. After sieving and rinsing to get rid of the floating stuff,
I had about half the volume or less left over. It seems to work just fine!

Obviously it is less ďrichĒ than potting soil, (Less organic) which makes for a less problem fraught start.

Doug
Howís the plant growth?

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Nature's Care Organic at Home Depot. I have used it in several of my tanks with good results.
thanks. I think Iím going to go with that one. Are there a lot of wood chips that I would have to sift out?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-29-2020 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 04:51 PM
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Plant growth is great...but I do also add small amount of dry ferts and CO2 with medium lighting and easy plants, so...too many variables to draw much of a conclusion about the soil.

Doug
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 05:40 PM
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@wtusa1783 yes, there are wood chips. I do not sift the soil I use. Open the bag and dump it in.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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@wtusa1783 yes, there are wood chips. I do not sift the soil I use. Open the bag and dump it in.
do I need to sift the soil?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 04:34 AM
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When using soil I recommend Aaron Talbot's remineralization technique:
https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...on-talbot.html

I like to sift out wood chips, etc because I find they float up when planting or removing plants, and when deep enough can cause anaerobic conductions resulting in hydrogen sulfide bubbles. I used a thicker layer of soil in my latest tank, and had this problem this time around. It's not bad--a little poking around releases the bubbles, and as jungle val & amazon swords get established they'll use up the topsoil.

So I find it helpful to remove anything not already composted, and anything that floats. I use Safe-T-sorb as my cap, but something heavier like gravel or BDBS might be better at keeping the soil bits from floating around.

As always, your mileage may vary....
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
When using soil I recommend Aaron Talbot's remineralization technique:
https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...on-talbot.html

I like to sift out wood chips, etc because I find they float up when planting or removing plants, and when deep enough can cause anaerobic conductions resulting in hydrogen sulfide bubbles. I used a thicker layer of soil in my latest tank, and had this problem this time around. It's not bad--a little poking around releases the bubbles, and as jungle val & amazon swords get established they'll use up the topsoil.

So I find it helpful to remove anything not already composted, and anything that floats. I use Safe-T-sorb as my cap, but something heavier like gravel or BDBS might be better at keeping the soil bits from floating around.

As always, your mileage may vary....
And this is going against my thoughts on organic matter. Besides the wood chips being float prone I see nothing wrong with them in soil layer, itís the almost completely broken down/composted material when thrown into anoxic/hard anaerobic conditions that produce unwanted sulfide/methane compounds not the fresh wood chips. Once tars and resins are aged and leeched from wood chips (kiln dried oak smoker chips for example) they will actually be a much more stable slow release form of organic matter than organic matter thatís already 95% already broke down into compost.

Thatís what soil mineralization prep for a aquatic environment does for most part, remove excess humic content and broken down organic matter.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 03:23 PM
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I do not sift or remineralize the soil. It goes from bag to tank as quick as you read this sentence. I place a piece of fiberglass screen over the soil and then cap with gravel of choice. The screen does make plant removal all but impossible but I don't like uprooting or disturbing plants once established anyway. My 55g planted does need to be redone so I may go without the screen when I do.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 08:31 PM
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I do not sift or remineralize the soil. It goes from bag to tank as quick as you read this sentence. I place a piece of fiberglass screen over the soil and then cap with gravel of choice. The screen does make plant removal all but impossible but I don't like uprooting or disturbing plants once established anyway. My 55g planted does need to be redone so I may go without the screen when I do.
Interesting idea of using the fiberglass screen, but how do you root the plants through the screen, or do you?. I suspect you just position new plants through the gravel till they reach the screen and as they grow they root their way through the screen to the soil?

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Nature's Care Organic at Home Depot. I have used it in several of my tanks with good results.
Same here, seems decent, a bit of plastic and large wood chips that had to be sifted out. The type of soil available also depends on where you live, some highly quoted recommendations just are not available in certain areas of the country.

-=Bryan=-
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 02:26 PM
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Interesting idea of using the fiberglass screen, but how do you root the plants through the screen, or do you?. I suspect you just position new plants through the gravel till they reach the screen and as they grow they root their way through the screen to the soil?

Bump:

Same here, seems decent, a bit of plastic and large wood chips that had to be sifted out. The type of soil available also depends on where you live, some highly quoted recommendations just are not available in certain areas of the country.
Correct, I use a deep enough layer of gravel that I am able to root the plants and then they do the rest.

The harbinger of doom to the wicked but the fragrance of life for the hopeless. Napalm
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