Doing dirted tank few questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Doing dirted tank few questions

Whats goin on? I'm goin to start selling aquatic plants next month so I will be setting up a 20 gallon long I have laying around. Want to set it up with dirt bottom with gravel on top with some shop lights and CO2... I've never done dirt so I have a couple questions....

1. When buying bunch plants should I plant the even without roots? Usually I wouldn't, I would anchor them near bottom until try establish roots. But since its dirt will it help form roots?

2. If I do plant them how long until they form roots? Roughly...

3. Should I add fish to the tank? It will be pretty full with plants. If not I would add Aquavitro Sythesis for ammonia etc...

4. Will I need a filter? If no fish...
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 05:40 PM
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1. When buying bunch plants should I plant the even without roots? Usually I wouldn't, I would anchor them near bottom until try establish roots. But since its dirt will it help form roots? Yes, and not necessarily - the plants would form roots in bare gravel.

2. If I do plant them how long until they form roots? Roughly... I don't know - have never pulled at my stem plants after planting to check.

3. Should I add fish to the tank? It will be pretty full with plants. If not I would add Aquavitro Sythesis for ammonia etc... If you are planting at least 80% of the substrate with fast growing stems, you should be able to add a few fish within a few days with no ill effects (you may experience a silent cycle). Then, you could add a few more within a couple of weeks and space out additions every couple of weeks.

4. Will I need a filter? If no fish...Depends on what plants you are keeping and whether some gently flowing current would benefit them. I have considered doing a low tech plant only tank, but I would still have at least a sponge filter, if for nothing else than circulating liquid ferts through the water.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by djbootleg View Post
Whats goin on? I'm goin to start selling aquatic plants next month so I will be setting up a 20 gallon long I have laying around. Want to set it up with dirt bottom with gravel on top with some shop lights and CO2... I've never done dirt so I have a couple questions....

1. When buying bunch plants should I plant the even without roots? Usually I wouldn't, I would anchor them near bottom until try establish roots. But since its dirt will it help form roots?

2. If I do plant them how long until they form roots? Roughly...

3. Should I add fish to the tank? It will be pretty full with plants. If not I would add Aquavitro Sythesis for ammonia etc...

4. Will I need a filter? If no fish...
Hello! I just dirted a tank and caped it with Eco Complete myself.

1.) I would say it depends on the plant itself. A little Googling and you should get the right answer of which plants to anchor (like Anubias), and which to insert into the gravel. There should be enough nutrients in the water column to float them as well, depending on your soil, cap, and if you dose fertilizers.

2.) I've trimmed my roots back before and, after planting, they regrew considerably in less than a week.

3.) Going off what Sharpchick said, you should be fine. However, just be wary of soil/dirt if you don't mineralize the soil. Or at the very least rinse and dry it repeatedly. For example, I used Organic Miracle Gro Potting Mix as my dirt, didn't rinse it, and there was immediately a strong presence of ammonia (0.5+ ppm) in my tank after I filled it up. This works for me though because I wanted to jumpstart a fishless cycle. I'm pretty certain that it's still leeching ammonia, too.

4.) Like Sharpchick said, it depends on what you plant! Some people on this forum have had incredible success without a filter. I don't have any fish, but I use my filter just for circulation. There's on a prefilter on the intake, no carbon. If I can find the recent post that talks about having tanks without a filter, I'll come back and link it.

Good luck and welcome to dirt!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbootleg View Post
Whats goin on? I'm goin to start selling aquatic plants next month so I will be setting up a 20 gallon long I have laying around. Want to set it up with dirt bottom with gravel on top with some shop lights and CO2... I've never done dirt so I have a couple questions....

1. When buying bunch plants should I plant the even without roots? Usually I wouldn't, I would anchor them near bottom until try establish roots. But since its dirt will it help form roots?

2. If I do plant them how long until they form roots? Roughly...

3. Should I add fish to the tank? It will be pretty full with plants. If not I would add Aquavitro Sythesis for ammonia etc...

4. Will I need a filter? If no fish...

I grow stems in my high light, CO2 injected 5 gallon with dirt capped with Flourite black sand. It takes about a week or two for the side shoots and top trimmings to produce roots after being planted into the substrate. Once they reach the dirt layer, they take off.

Only add fish if you're going to cycle the tank. With that said, if you want to setup a grow tank, my suggestion to you is to not add fish. Invest in a pressurized CO2 system, add lights, dose EI, and add plenty of circulation. You'll end up with a jungle of plants in no time.

The filter isn't necessary without fish but water circulation is. I'd just run a HOB without any filter media or a few powerheads to keep the water circulating.

The Fraternity of Dirt #112

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