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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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how long does dirt last

how long does dirt last in a dirt tank?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 06:44 AM
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dirt is forever
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 07:27 AM
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how long does dirt last

After a year or two it will loose most of its nutrients


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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oh thats not to bad i suppose then i could just dose with some ferts n root tabs or something? i already use those in my tank i have now. its a sand bottom. im not to happy with how my plants are growing in there. i just picked up another 55 gallon and i want to try dirt this time around.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shift View Post
After a year or two it will loose most of its nutrients
What the heck is the basis of this response? Pretty sure I've been posting answers in your threads about layer depths and a couple other questions regarding dirt. The majority of the organic content will be broken down within the first year. The CO2 provided by bacteria within the substrate will taper off noticeably after about 11 months.

How long does a dirt substrate support plant growth???
Depends on any number of factors starting with how much light energy is provided.
The mineral content of the base material used.
What you load in both flora and fauna,,, literally endless speculation on duration.

Every system will be different.
This 55g is now 4yrs. wet since the start using only 1" of bagged potting mix capped with Flourite fired clay original.



Fast growers are 'mostly' replaced now with crypts and dwarf sag but where is the lack of support?
What would indicate the soil is "used up"?


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 02:39 PM
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how long does dirt last

I had a big conversation about it yesterday with a few long time hobbiest. Their advice on dirt tanks is they are great for a year or two until the plants use up most of the nutrients, then you will have to supplement them more and more with ferts. It does not go bad but the initial batch only has so much nutrients. And yes wkndracer is 100% correct its depends question due to countless variables and how heavily planted, light/co2 levels ECt

Sorry for short initial reply (i need to quit responding on the phone!)
Ps. wkndracer You tank about is looking great!


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Last edited by shift; 03-13-2013 at 03:03 PM. Reason: edits
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:32 PM
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Besides the tank wkndracer posted above, can we hear from others who have had dirt tanks longer than two years? Just curious to see what the real-world results have been under different combinations of circumstances.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 12:12 AM
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Another interesting question, which I suspect the answer is no to. From a plant perspective does "root tabs in dirt tank" == "root tabs in sand tank" for a given quantity and frequency of root tabs?

Always curious.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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my sand tank looks like hell. nothing is growing besides the java fern but! nothing is dying either. i dose every week with ferts and also use root tabs. im not sure on what plants im going to put in this new 55g dirt tank just yet. still researching on whats best to plant them in and such. so basicly what youre getting at is. the life span of the dirt all depends on the stocking level of fish/plants and what type of plants are used correct?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexpepper651 View Post
my sand tank looks like hell. nothing is growing besides the java fern but! nothing is dying either. i dose every week with ferts and also use root tabs. im not sure on what plants im going to put in this new 55g dirt tank just yet. still researching on whats best to plant them in and such. so basicly what youre getting at is. the life span of the dirt all depends on the stocking level of fish/plants and what type of plants are used correct?
That's what I got from the convo. Obviously, more plants = faster reduction of initial nutrients in the substrate. Does not mean the substrate has become useless, just means you have to adjust.

If you are having problems growing though, I would look at your light as well.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 09:35 PM
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It's mainly about the light energy, light drives the bus on growth.
Enough or too much light and carbon becomes the next limiting factor with most folks finding algae problems on that path without gas.

Depleting 1.5 to 2" of soil of anything other than maybe NO3 or possibly PO4 (even those) would take a looooonnnnnggg time. Most re-scape or stop tanking before soils fail to support plants. My newest of >20 wet was setup 9/2011 with zero flops. The Frat has 120 confessed members last count so plenty of threads out there.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 01:42 AM
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The food runs out on your dinner plates, too, but you do not throw away your dinner plates, you add more food.

Same with substrate.
It is a media with a reserve capacity for holding fertilizers. The better ones (high CEC) can hold a lot of fertilizer. The worse ones (sand, gravel) do not hold fertilizer.

How often and what form of fertilizer you add has the same answer as to how often you fill your dinner plate:
As needed.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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hmm awesome i think i will go ahead and try this dirt in my new tank! as for the sanded tank. im only using 2 48 inch t8 40w 6500k bulbs. i dose once a week with seachem flourish i only have about 8 jungle vals in there oh also have root tabs. also seachem.
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