Is it possible to add dirt to an already running tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Is it possible to add dirt to an already running tank?

So, I'm looking at my 75, which is EI dosing and eco-complete substrate, and comparing it to my dirted nano tank, and Ive noticed that even without dosing, the dirted nano grows things better. Perhaps it has to do with lighting but I get the strong feeling that the eco complete vs. dirt does play a rather large role.

Without tearing down the tank and without having to drain more than 50% of the water, is it possible to add a layer of soil into the tank? Or would it be best to just keep it going with Eco-Complete (which I need to add more of anyways since my substrate depth is rather low in some areas and stems are uprooting)

Just pondering my options, thanks guys.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 04:43 PM
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For all the trouble it would be, it would be easier and faster to just tear it down.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 05:21 PM
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If you're prepared to deal with a huge cloud of dirt in your tank, go for it. Also, be aware that dirt on top of your plants/substrate will be disturbed by any movement (your hands, water circulation, fish) and kick up a new dirt cloud.

It'd be a lot of work to get the dirt mixed well with your substrate, considering you don't want to remove any water and I doubt you'd want to replant your plants.

But if you want to just dump in dirt and lightly mix it with your substrate via your hands, there is no harm to your tank at all. Just be sure to turn off the filter while the cloud settles if you don't want to deal with cleaning out a filter too.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 10:42 PM
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I have added some to tanks by filling capsules with MTS and pushing them down into the substrate. You wont ever get 1-2" of MTS in the bottom of the tank, but short of tearing the tank down its as good as your going to get.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 12:04 AM
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I have been wondering if I could "cycle" ADA aqua soil and add it to my tank. (Currently using eco-complete) I imagine that this could work fairly well.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 02:23 AM
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Almost any material that you add through the water can cloud the water, some worse than others.

Well rinsed EC is pretty clean, so that would be my suggestion for adding through the water. Get a large diameter pipe and stick it into the existing substrate and pour the new material in. Move the pipe to a new spot and add some more...
Takes a while, but this is the cleanest method.

If you want to add material that clouds you could freeze it, but do not add it in large masses, or too much at any one time.

Better way to add dirt or ADA products will be to remove the fish and 99% of the water. If the planting is sort of wimpy you can move the current substrate around and add the new material so it ends up under the old. This won't work if the roots are all over the place, though.

Yes, ADA products would have to be cycled before adding to a tank with fish.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 02:56 AM
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I think the consensus of this thread is that if you want to do that, you should at least be willing to reduce the water level to make it easier on yourself and do it properly.

Dumping new substrate over the top of your tank and letting it settle might be a good idea in theory, but when you actually do it the results are very lackluster.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 06:14 PM
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why cant you fill icecube trays with mud, freeze em and shove them into the current substrate?

no, I have not been drinking... yet
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razorworm View Post
why cant you fill icecube trays with mud, freeze em and shove them into the current substrate?

no, I have not been drinking... yet
Works great, I've done this myself with MGOS.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 05:45 AM
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Why not add it...then have a fill hose and a drain hose. Wont it eventually get all the dusting out?


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