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 DIY Dirted Aquarium

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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:00 am

Hey everyone!
Like I said before, I am going to post a DIY Dirted Aquarium thread. Obviously this is for freshwater tanks(Sorry Saltwater folks). 1st things 1st, Why Dirt? Why do you want to go through the process of putting dirt into your fish tank, is it messy, what benefits does it add, what does it take away? Heres the thing.....DIRT ROCKS!!!! A thing to remember about aquatic plants is that they take in the majority of their nutrients in through their roots, not through the water(additives can help though, I still use them Very Happy ). It may be messy, but thats the fun part. The dirt contains soooo much beneficial nutrients for the plants that the "trouble" you go through is totally worth it. That being said, I dont think the dirt takes anything away from your tank. Besides, its cheaper then substrate that is beneficial to plant growth. One great additive to your tank is Clay. Red Clay is high in Iron(best thing to give your plants) and like I said before, plants take in the most through their roots.....so add it as your base substrate.
So, what to do to prepare for your newly planned dirted fish tank.
1. Clean your tank (white vinegar, we all know this Smile )
2.*Spread Red Clay across the base of your tank. (Laterite is good to use http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=4876)
3.*Add your dirt to your tank!(what I do is mix in pea gravel to the dirt, it adds something for the roots to hold on to, and prevents a mushroom cloud of dirt from going all over your tank if you pull a plant out). Also, squeeze the dirt before you put it in to keep excess mud water out of your tank.
4.*Add a cap. Caps are important because this is what you use to keep the dirt from floating around, and literally making your substrate mud.
5. Add your "decorative" items (ex. Driftwood, rocks)
6. Add your plants!!!
7. Crumble up newspaper and place it in your tank(Trust me, this gets cool)
8. Use a spray bottle and mist the newspaper, make sure it covers your entire tank
9. Add in your water, make sure you pour it on your newspaper, and not your glass.(The newspaper works just like the plate trick to keep your substrate the way you scaped it to look. However, the reason why this works better is because the water flows in different directions therefore the dirt will not be disturbed too drastically keeping your aquarium looking spiffy Very Happy )
10. Add fish and enjoy!
*Wash this items prior to adding*

I will add pictures in the morning hopefully, but comment me with questions and what not. The pictures I will be adding will go progressively from empty tank to tank with water and fish(i think i have my fish in it......) and then I will add it to a tank showcase if i remember =P
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:19 am

Sweet man! I look forward to the pictures!

__________________________________________________________________
-Nick G.  pirate
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:21 am

Thanks for the tips Don! This will be super helpful for me. I was thinking based on recommendations of doing fluorite substrate, is this not just a type of dirt? Also, what do you do to your water before adding it if anything?
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:36 am

Never heard of the newspaper trick! Very Happy

Can't wait for pics! Wink

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:16 pm

Now that I think of it, I forgot to mention that the dirt must be Organic Non-Fertalized soil, and miracle-gro works the best.
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:31 pm

Clean Tank =]

Add Clay =]

Add Dirt (I did took these pictures like this to show you how to place the dirt on the clay)


Dirt completely covering clay

I have added a Red Tiger Lotus un the middle, and built a mound up around it. The reason I did this it because my lotus in a bulb and I wanted to surround the bulb in the nutrients provided by the dirt. I will add the cap after, your really do not have to do this, but I feel it may help the lotus grow healthier)


My capping material (only because I had so much left over)

The cap has been laid





Added in Dwarf Sag in an alternating pattern






Co2

Diffusing Ladder

I sadly forgot to record the newspaper process, but I do remember taking pictures when I redid my 55gal at home. When I get those pics I will post them



Okay everyone. So this was from the 1st day of the set up. The cloudiness will go away, I promise Very Happy I will add some more pictures to show the tank now. If you want I will also take a picture of the equipment operating in my tank, If you want it, let me know.
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:51 pm

Wow! Cool DIY, Don!! This is really helpful with all of the pics! Definitely post the newspaper pics/equipment pics if you find them. The more the better! Wink

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:21 am

Okay will do. It might be a little late then I want to....I close the rest of the week and my next day off is friday....but i will be going to the fish store then and will hopefully have my apistos =D
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:19 am

Cool! Smile

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:48 pm

Farfromfiji........ Flourite is a substrate, not a soil. It has a lot of nutrients, but it didn't quite top actual organic non fertilized soil. Flourite would make a fine cap, and if you buy a bag you will have remainder foranother tank if you choose to set up another. I would suggest the soil and cap it with fluorite rather then just fluorite that way you have the nutrients in your 3gal and wool not need the possible use of a CO2 injector Smile
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PostSubject: Re: DIY Dirted Aquarium   Today at 6:55 am

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