Dirt as substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Dirt as substrate?

Hi all, I have now heard a few times of people using dirt as a substrate in their tank. How do you go about making a dirt substrate? Now don't laugh, but can you just dig up dirt from your back yard, or do you need to buy some "special dirt?" Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 09:40 PM
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Best bet is to pick up a bag of organic topsoil, or organic miracle-gro. If you plan to do a mineralized topsoil tank then follow this link

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=152027

I've personally tried both mineralized topsoil, and the organic miracle-gro.... I had better success with the mineralized topsoil.

Either way you decide to go, you'll need to cap the dirt with some sort of gravel or sand substrate.

15g Fluval Flex - Will be a planted shrimp tank
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 10:39 PM
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+1 to post above

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud29 View Post
How do you go about making a dirt substrate? Now don't laugh, but can you just dig up dirt from your back yard, or do you need to buy some "special dirt?"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH
AHAHAHAHAMAKINGDIRTDHSDSAHAHA
HDASHDHHSHAHAHASPECIAL DIRT
ASDHHHH3HAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding bro, you can use any dirt, so long as it's clean. By clean I mean free of bits of plants and wood and rocks and stuff like that.

You can dig up dirt from your backyard, but it might have things you don't want, or might be completely barren of nutrients.

It depends on what kind of dirt you want and what you want to do with it.

hi
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 10:53 PM
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Typically dirt in your yard has had fertilizer in one form or another added to it ...bad for fish!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 11:16 PM
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What you want is Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 11:37 PM
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I'd suggest you read all the old threads on this forum before you do anything. Along with learning how to "build" a good dirt substrate, you'll see lots of posts from people that rushed into this without research that crashed & burned

It really is easy, if you'll put some thought and effort into it.

Last edited by DogFish; 11-05-2012 at 11:34 AM. Reason: sp
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 06:09 AM
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Follow Dogfish's advice, read the main MTS thread on this forum, theres so many easy do's and donts that answer all your questions.

If you do go the miracle gro route, get the Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting MIX in the orange bag. Not the Potting SOIL in the green bag. Two different things. Many other brands of soil will work if you know what to look for in the ingredients, but its much simpler to just buy this one tried and tested brand.

I would then soak it for a day, let it dry for a day, repeat a few times, wash out a tonne of the easily dissolvables, Then mix in some clay powder if you have it, some other additives if you can find them, but theyre not neccessary if you cant (muriate of potash, magnesium, etc) then make sure you cap it with 2 inches of sand. A lot of people here use the home depot Sakrete multi purpose sand, or play sand. $5 for 50lbs, and looks natural. The colour will vary based on your area, its a browninsh grey where I live, very natural looking.

$10 of soil and $5 of sand and a couple hours of your time spread out over a week will do a 55g tank pretty easily. Not a bad deal
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