Dirt substrate with no cap, now in progress - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
rainbuilder's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
Dirt substrate with no cap, now in progress

I'm redoing my 45 gallon hexagon pretty soon, and was wanting to go dirst substrate with no cap. I don't think I'll have too long to do dry start method if at all, and several of the plants I want in there can't survive in dsm. I might do a sand cap just for the sake of looks, because my rocks are dark, but I'd like to do it just to do it. I also hate when the sand gets mixed with the dirt, so I was thinking that problem would be eliminated with just dirt. Any ideas? I've asked this before I'm pretty sure, but never really got around to doing it until now because I just got some really neat rocks for the tank.

RAOK Club #38
Fraternity of Dirt #91

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rainbuilder is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 09:23 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 672
From what I know about Dirt tanks...which albeit is not much, I dont think you can. I think you would end up with the dirt materials floating throughout the water column....although not 100% sure, but thats what I seem to have read
Gafi is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 10:05 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 281
I wouldn't advise it, but if you want to figure it out you should try this test posted by Diana. If there is any water movement in your tank though, it's probably going go kick up dirt. I've heard people complaining about brown water just because they used the wrong cap, so I'd imagine no cap would be much worse.
Soujirou is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 10:12 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,994
IMHO you can really do just about anything you want with dirtied tanks. However, appropriate steps must be taken.

I was actually planning on doing a Nano with only dirt but, my current interest diverted me.

Your challenge will be not disturbing the dirt. Filter returns will have to dump water on to/against hardscape to defuse the flow as to not disturb the dirt. Bottom feeders just are not going to work. You may get away with Shrimp.

The more dense you can plant the better.

Side Note - I recently decided I didn't like my Black Diamond Cap. I was able to syphon it off leaving the MTS in place. About 1/2 through I took a Coffee Break. I notice the water stayed very clear, the aged MTS just sat there minding it's own business. I do use a bit more powdered Red Clay than 5% and that may be a factor.
DogFish is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
rainbuilder's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
IMHO you can really do just about anything you want with dirtied tanks. However, appropriate steps must be taken.

I was actually planning on doing a Nano with only dirt but, my current interest diverted me.

Your challenge will be not disturbing the dirt. Filter returns will have to dump water on to/against hardscape to defuse the flow as to not disturb the dirt. Bottom feeders just are not going to work. You may get away with Shrimp.

The more dense you can plant the better.

Side Note - I recently decided I didn't like my Black Diamond Cap. I was able to syphon it off leaving the MTS in place. About 1/2 through I took a Coffee Break. I notice the water stayed very clear, the aged MTS just sat there minding it's own business. I do use a bit more powdered Red Clay than 5% and that may be a factor.
I was hoping you would reply, Dogfish! The tank is low flow really, with only a fluval 205 canister filter providing a pretty small amount of flow. Could I possibly point it towards the surface to break the tension? All I am planning to have in the tank is a pair of angelfish and their future offspring.

As for planting, I have some neat native plants that would make one good patch, and some stargrass and staurogyne repens that might provide a good amount of cover at first. Then I have planty of hygrophila corymbosa and water sprite.

I may end up using a cap just for looks, because it would probably provide good contrast for my rocks.

Soujirou and gafi: I'm not too worried about brown water, because I'm sure eventually I could change enough or filter out a lot of the particles.

RAOK Club #38
Fraternity of Dirt #91

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rainbuilder is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 11:15 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,994
rainbuilder - This is one of those things that you can only 'test' in your actual tank with your actually filter. If your dirt will sit on the bottom of a 5gl pail filled with water, it will sit on the bottom of the tank, to me that's the only 'test' you need. We're taking dirt not rocket science. There is no reason to make this hobby difficult.

I think directing the outflow access the surface towards a corner might work. I'm doing that in my Aquaponic tank and that water flow was greatly reduced. When my grow bed dumps the water coming out the 3/4" drain was like a garden hose. Directing it into a corner at the suface cut chart by offer 1/2.

Another thought would be a spray bar set more up tank across.

You can also keep Cap materiel ready should it not work.

Last edited by DogFish; 09-27-2012 at 11:46 PM. Reason: content
DogFish is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
rainbuilder's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
I have a lot of soil available in my worm bin, so I think I'll try that first. It should be nice and rich and it has a nice color to it.

I probably will try to direct the flow first, but if that doesn't work I might do a spray bar. The only thing is I don't have the materials on hand. The tank is pretty tall though, so I don't think the motion would reach the bottom powerfully enough to mess anything up.

I do, however, have a bunch of sand to use for a cap on hand if it doesn't work.

RAOK Club #38
Fraternity of Dirt #91

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rainbuilder is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 12:42 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,994
Not sure of the size of your return, maybe a 1/2" PCV elbow might fit over it that would help you redirect flow. If you get the schedule 80 PVC it's grey color and it won't look obvious like the white schedule 40.
DogFish is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
rainbuilder's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
I'll look into that. I have no idea what size my tubes are so I'll have to figure it out. I will put my substrate in a bucket tommorow after I get home, and see what it looks like.

Edit, gonna be put on hold for a little while since I cant find good soil around my house. Will update once I get some good soil.

RAOK Club #38
Fraternity of Dirt #91

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by rainbuilder; 09-29-2012 at 03:43 PM. Reason: fa
rainbuilder is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
rainbuilder's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
I got some topsoil! The aquarium is drained and I am currently taking the sand out of it. I am planning on using just the topsoil.

RAOK Club #38
Fraternity of Dirt #91

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rainbuilder is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 03:48 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,994
Did you mineralize the Topsoil?

If you didn't plan for one wild ride on the ammonia cycle. What is you planting going to be?

I do salute you for the commitment to the idea.
DogFish is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
rainbuilder's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
No, I haven't mineralized it. What does that entail?

I do have an already cycled filter ready to go. What kind of cycle would happen? I don't have any way of measuring my ammonia levels right now so that may be in store for me.

I have 2 unidentified cryptocorynes, which are either plain nuriis or dark brown almost black wendtiis. Then I have some plants I collected from oklahoma. They carpeted the bottom of the dirt bottom river there, so they should do good in this tank. I also have 2 large sword plants, which look like ruffled swords. And then I have water sprite, hygrophila corymbosa, glosso, frogbit, and bacopa caroliniana. I may choose a different carpet, but I don't know quite yet. On hand I have HM, a very small amount of staurogyne repens, and stargrass.

Thanks for all of the help!

RAOK Club #38
Fraternity of Dirt #91

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rainbuilder is offline  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 11:53 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,994
Before you start that tank please read this:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=152027

Then look at my 'Toxic Ten' journal.

You may be able to get this to work with the seasoned filter media and a truckload of fast growing plants like Hornwort, water Kettuce, Najas grass.
Duckweed would also help, I don't like it because it's such a mess to live with.

While I used an extremely high amount of organic matter in my tank it was the combination of Cap, Filter & Plants that completed the system allowing me to successful.

I still think it's a good idea on your part, I'd offer you need a bit more research time.
DogFish is offline  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 12:32 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 1,116
You can always do a Dry Start.
In.a.Box is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 01:36 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (33/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 5,994
Quote:
Originally Posted by In.a.Box View Post
You can always do a Dry Start.
Valid point as that would give the similar result as mineralization. I would run DS for at least 60days if I was going to not use a sand cap.
DogFish is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome