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Gcourtney

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I was wondering I will be dirting my 5gal tank , I wondered if I did a layer of dirt then a gravel topped of with some sand if that would work or would plain p gravel work (btw it's a mixture of p gravel and plain fine gravel that I have in the tank ATM )

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When I run dirt, I love to use something fine like a gravel. Gravel that is too big will have all the dirt flowing up through the gaps, so that's no good either. Eco complete makes a GREAT cap! I don't really recommend sand, as I prefer the roots to breathe more, and it's easier for the fish to pull plants up. That's just a personal opinion, though, so if sand is your preference, go for it. Make sure your cap is thick enough that foraging goldies won't be kicking up dirt clouds. It's not harmful, just gross looking. Dirt tanks are a "set it and forget it" type of thing. If you uproot, you're going to have dirt come up too. So, if you're the type of person that likes to switch around your tank a lot, then dirt may not be for you.

I also recommend red clay for your heavy root feeders, like swords. This is the brand of clay that I use: http://www.amazon.com/AMACO-Mexican-Self-Hardening-Clay-5-Pound/dp/B0009RLJZE/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366757977&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=red+clay+amarco Just take chunks and add it to the bottom of the tank first. It's imperative that the clay remain below the gravel cap at all times, or it kicks of a never ending red cloud. Plants go nuts for the iron, though. :)

If your goal is to have a 1" layer of dirt, you should place a 2-2.25" layer of dirt on the bottom. It will settle and decompose, as it converts to it's final submerged composition, so if you start out with an inch, it'll disappear to nothing. Once you dirt the whole tank, you'll also have to plant the tank very heavily, and do some big water changes, to combat all the extra nutrients in the water. Also watch for ammonia spikes. You'll be running cycled filters on this, so I don't see it being too big of a problem. My tanks never got over .25 for anything.

Lol! I just reread your post, and saw that it was the five gallon that you were getting down and dirty with. :rofl What's living in it, and what are you planting? Water wisteria is great, when starting out a dirt tank, but it'll need decent lighting to grow quickly.

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It's a high light tank with a female betta , some 2 guppys , and ghost shrimp

I have boat load of hair grass , dwarf, and large variety , some moss , and riccia fluitans , a bit of elodea ,wisteria , some jungleVal's , 5 javafern and alot of crypts undulata is the variety crypts I have

Edited by Gustave
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Looks great! I hope you continue to update us. My current infatuation is with dirted tanks. They seem to grow so well and look very nice.

edit: oops! i just found your new thread! XD

Edited by soupmonster
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