How dirty is dirt? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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How dirty is dirt?

How dirty is dirt? Can you move around plants and rescape with it, and how? I like rearranging plants and how nutrient rich dirt is but I'm scared of messines s. If it's not a good option, what other substrates are as good for plant growth but not messy?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 01:57 AM
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Depends on the plants. I trim, uproot and replant stems and ground cover constantly with no issues. When I last moved a couple Crypts, I kicked up a decent dirt cloud. I usually do these plants in conjunction with a vacuum and water change... so more of an inconvenience than an issue. But I move plants in my dirt tank all the time
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! Do you use a special technique in removing the plants or cut their roots? Also does your stay crystal clear and how long does it take for clouds to clear up? Do you run your filter to clear it up or does it clog it? Thanks!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 04:53 AM
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It's really not that dirty dude.
I used to think dirt would shoot up like a volcano everytime i would uproot a plant but it's really not like that. If capped right, the little dirt that does come out will sink right away and won't cloud up the rest of the aquarium.

The Fraternity of Dirt #169
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 12:52 PM
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If you want to move plants around a lot it is probably easier not to use dirt. I find the best way to move plants in a dirt substrate is to turn the filters off. The tank will settle faster that way. Moving a large rooted plant like say a sword plant is extremely disruptive no matter what the substrate due to the large root mass. Changes like that are best done rarely. Plants with smaller root masses are not difficult to move it just takes some care. Even so, large changes that muddy the water usually settle out in 24 hours. Perhaps a bit of dusting up the nest day and things are generally back to normal.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Are there any special soils that don't dirty the water when you move stuff around? Would aquasoil or something be cleaner? Thanks again for the advice
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 02:16 PM
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Sand, Turface, gravel, coal slag, etc.

Aquasoil does break down into dirt over time, so you'd have the same issue as regular dirt.

In reality, any substrate that's been in use for a while is going to cloud the water as the mulm accumulates and you disrupt it.

But if you do a water change in conjunction with rescaping, the effects will be minimized.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 11:37 PM
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I've got a tank that's pretty much dirt without a cap, and I don't have any problems. When I first started using dirt I was really worried about it being messy, but I soon found that not to be an issue, even with constant trimmings and re-plantings. There are some plants though, like swords and crypts, that really can't be moved if you let their root systems grow big enough. That could take a long time though, initially you should be fine.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobsears View Post
I've got a tank that's pretty much dirt without a cap, and I don't have any problems.
Do you have any pictures somewhere by any chance? One of my tank "had" sand, but tubifex appeared from nowhere and turned everything upside down. So it's "capless" now. It kind of turned out into a black water tank and it's coming along well.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariostg View Post
Do you have any pictures somewhere by any chance? One of my tank "had" sand, but tubifex appeared from nowhere and turned everything upside down. So it's "capless" now. It kind of turned out into a black water tank and it's coming along well.
I just took an awesome panorama of the substrate from one edge to the other, but for some reason iPhoto is acting weird. I'll post when I get it figured out. The tank started out as a bunch of emersed stems, and I sprinkled some eco-complete around the edges where the stems weren't growing. Throughout the tank the cap varies from 1/4 inch to none at all.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...udwigia+carpet

^Here's a link to the journal if you're interested.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 02:46 PM
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Click image for larger version

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Here it is. I had to adjust the color so that you could see the difference between the eco and the dirt. There's a quarter inch of eco in the left corner, and none at all in the middle and far right. I had some debris float up when I first flooded it, but it really wasn't bad at all. The dirt kind of looks like it has two different layers. I don't know what's up with that, I only used one type.
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