Couple of dirt questions... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Couple of dirt questions...

One $5 bag of MGOCPM (8 quarts) should be more than enough for a 10 gallon tank, correct? The bag supposedly contains .31 cubic feet of dirt, which comes out to 535 cubic inches. If I'm using only 1" of dirt, then I only need 200 cubic inches of MGOCPM, correct?

I'm getting a new 10 gallon tank for by bday next month, so this tank will be used as a test run. However, if it works out, then I'll probably switch my 20 gallon over to dirt as well. Can this be done with an established tank without having to leave livestock in a holding area for too long? Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 02:40 AM
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Your calculations are right if the depth of a 10g is 10". As for the 20g, I'm doing exactly that to my 10g. I'm planning to sieve the dirt in a colander into a bucket. I will drain 50% of the water into another bucket and put the plants in there. Then I will catch the fish and put them in there as well.

Then I will drain the rest of the water into somewhere and take out the gravel. Then I will put the colandered dirt into the tank, spray it down and pour back enough of the water to wet all of the dirt, probably getting mud, and stir it up some. I hope it will hold up the sand cap. Then level out the dirt if it isn't already

Wash the sand, sprinkle it over the dirt (I'm getting worried about having put the water in before so I may not put that much if any water in at that point) and level it out. Pour back in the water, replace plants and fish, fill up the rest of the tank with prepared water.

This is just what I've ended up with after reading posts about it. Good luck.

MY TANK: Planted 10g; 2 x 10W CFL; Fluval U2 internal filter; MGOCPM/black sand cap

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started April 18, 2012
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 12:47 AM
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I've got a 16qt bag. Used it on a 20XH (same footprint as a 10g) about a year ago, maybe 2" worth of dirt in it.

Tore that tank down and recently set up a 10g, sifted the MGOCPM this time (have maybe ~1/2gallon of bark/twigs/rocks), put in a bit over ~1", and I've still got a decent amount left, probably enough for another 10g.

Not sure about setting up an existing tank, it's fairly messy. Could probably do it in a couple hours without too much trouble.

One thing I've found really helpful is to heavily spray/mist the substrate while I'm planting, and afterwards, and then fill into a dish or something. I've gotten crystal clear tanks immediately this way, even without washing the cap.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 04:08 AM
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Sounds like you plant before you put the water in. It's a good suggestion. Wonder if I'd have a problem with putting in enough water to go up to the top of the sand?

MY TANK: Planted 10g; 2 x 10W CFL; Fluval U2 internal filter; MGOCPM/black sand cap

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 01:56 PM
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I did this with an established tank (65 gallon). I emptied all but about 2" of water into large totes with the fish and plants. I then added the MGOPS to the remaining water and mixed it really well so that there was no dry soil remaining. Then I added about 1 1/4" of fine gravel on top of that mixture, replaced all of the plants, decor, and then put the water and fish back in. Also put MTS in to keep the soil stirred up to release the anaerobic bacteria. Things have been great since. Actually just added pressurized Co2 and things are even better.
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