Dirt tank, do I compress? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Dirt tank, do I compress?

Hello, I am trying my hand at a planted tank, however I am unsure about capping the aquasoil I am using. Should I compress the soil before applying the sand cap? I had a look around but could not find any advice on what is best practice for this.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 05:50 PM
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I think when you soak the soil, it will compress on it's own. I am not sure of the proper answer for this, but I guess when I prepare a dirted tank (now, after trying out deep substrate beds and such) I keep my dirt bed no taller than 2 inches, I keep it mostly flat (uniform) and yes, I guess I do pat the earth down a bit before adding the cap and water. But you'd want to keep some burrowing snails in there to help release the anaerobic bacteria and aerate the soil afterward and ongoing.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 06:00 PM
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You can just pat the surface down to even it out a bit, and then put the cap on.

We want to preserve micro-spaces. Folks later want to introduce this by using MTS (Malaysian trumpet snails which burrow into the top layers), and roots from plants also introduce microscopic air pockets. Just like angelcraze said.

It's just the big gaps that you want to avoid, because eventually the air releases and something else has to take its place, e.g. water, the substrate. If you fill the tank too fast with water, you could potentially get large air gaps as well.

Oops, I just saw that you are using Aquasoil. Do you mean ADA Aquasoil? No need to cap this stuff. It's light and would eventually work its way up and over your cap esp with uprooting and replanting.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 07:01 PM
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Aquasoil looks great as a substrate, so there is no reason to cap it. Part of its value is its appearance.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I'm still new and not used to the terminology, it's aquatic pond soil not ADA Aquasoil.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 07:40 PM
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Welcome Aaran.

Ahhh aquatic pond soil I just set up a 20 Gal long today with this. Been working on this for some time now.

I layed out a layer of clay, topped with pond soil. The soil was rather dry so after layering it, I added water so it gets a little muddy. I tap it, but just because I like to play in mud LOL.
Then I capped it with sand. I don't compress, you still want to be able to plant. Let nature does it's magic.

See the 20 Gal on my signature.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 08:23 PM
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Agree with Mario!
We both use this stuff. It's great texture, and ready to use, no need to mineralize

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaran View Post
Hello, I am trying my hand at a planted tank, however I am unsure about capping the aquasoil I am using. Should I compress the soil before applying the sand cap? I had a look around but could not find any advice on what is best practice for this.

Thanks.
To answer your question yes, you compact the soil. Pat it down till it's firm, then add your cap.
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