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Thread: Quick: Convince me to make my next build a dirted aquarium!!

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Flighty Zeus's Avatar
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    Exclamation Quick: Convince me to make my next build a dirted aquarium!!

    So, I bought a 20L a couple of years ago and it's been siting in my garage ever since. The only thing that's been holding me back was some type of table to put it on. Well, I finally found a table that will work and now Husband wants me to start putting the tank together now. I'm very interested in a dirted aquarium, but don't know where to start. I'm planning for a lot of plants so I think that dirted is the way to go. I'm just afraid to do something wrong and end up with a mess. I'm planning on having a mix of pebbles and sand on top with river rock and wood. Would a dirted tank be the way to go in a tank this small?

    So, convince me! Or change my mind!

    Thanks!!!

    Kim

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    SCAPE Member Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    I like tinkering with my tanks… dirted tanks are a pain to change once planted… quality aquarium soil is soooooo much easier and with root tabs, ——IMO not worth the trouble…

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr jnatelowe's Avatar
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    Joseph Nate Lowe Henk
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    My first real planted tank is a dirted tank. I have mixed feelings about it. The plants have grown pretty well, but I'm having issues with hydrogen sulfide gas bubbles. Part of that may have to do with my overly complicated hardscape setup, though. As far as being messy, I think if you process your dirt well before putting it in the tank first, you can reduce a lot of the issue. Sift out the largest bits of bark and twigs from the soil. Soak the dirt in a plastic tub over night, and the next day pour off anything that's still floating. Let it dry out completely, and then the repeat the process 3 or 4 times. If I were to do it again I think would also cut the dirt with something like Seachem Flourite or clay kitty litter to help absorb some of the nutrients. Doing a dirted tank requires a lot of patience. It will likely be several months before you can add livestock.

    Overall, it was a good learning experience and I'm glad I did it, but it was a lot of work and a very slow process. For my next tank, I'm thinking of just using aquasoil, since I haven't tried that yet.

  4. #4
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    I started in the hobby with dirted tanks, using actual backyard soil (as opposed to potting soil). Plants grow VERY well in them, but moving plants around is extremely messy and eventually drove me to buy the expensive aqua soils instead.

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    SCAPE Member Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    To be honest, it’s probably gonna bug you until u try it… I’ve done dirted; sections dirted; all sorts of stuff… part of the fun is trying all this stuff out and starting again… I say, go ahead and make a mess…then, go simple with aquarium soil and appreciate the ease of it all…

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