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Dirt Retrofit Idea

1048 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mikluha
So say someone has an inert sand tank. They decide they want to add some nutrient-loving plants, but they don't want to splurge on CO2 equipment. Ideally, they would dirt the tank, but they really don't want to strip everything down to put in new substrate.

Would it be feasible to freeze sheets of wet dirt into solid bricks and tuck them under the sand substrate without causing a huge mess?

If not for the whole tank, would this be possible for just one part of the tank, say in a location that our hypothetical person might want to grow some dirt-loving plants?
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That's a really interesting idea, the only problem I can see is that you might have ammonia spikes as the dirt brakes down in the substrate. I think that would be avoided by using MTS. If you don't have any fish in the tank I would give it a go just to see if your hypothesis could work and then measure the results. But if your not interested in running an experiment you could just go with root tabs.
But I bet someone with more knowledge then I has done this or something similar and can give you a clearer answer.
Cool idea! I'm betting the dirt would float, though. May want to lay slate over the area until it thawed. Also a large amount of frozen dirt in relation to volume of water would cool the tank too much for any current inhabitants. I love the concept though. Outside the box ideas like these may be common practice in the future. Somebody's gotta be the first to do it, right?
I have heard of people doing just that (usually ice cubes of dirt) but not sure of the specifics of how to do it. Pretty sure you just freeze the cubes, push them well under the substrate and the weight of the sand will hold them down. I haven't heard of ammonia spikes or floating dirt problems from doing that.
Ahah! Seems like this is not a new idea.

I dirt all of my tanks now, so I don't really have much of a reason to try this. Maybe I'll give it a go next time I'm setting up a tank, just to make sure I have a tight cap.
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I use clay-based fertilizer tablets. Make them myself. Put under every "hungry" plant in sand. Works well.
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