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Dirt: yay or nay


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Is it a bad idea to have dirt capped with pool filter sand in a goldfish tank? Thinking about miracle grow organic choice potting mix because I am moving my fish to a bigger tank. Also will the goldfish make the tank a muddy mess??

Does dirt leech ammonia and do I need to do anything special to clean it?

Thanks

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when it comes to dirting the tank some wash the soil in a bucket before adding it to the tank just to get any floating debris out then add it to the tank .The dirt will leech ammonia usually for about 6 weeks maybe less maybe more , just keep an eye on the parameters and do water changes as needed . You don't need to clean it only the sand on top and if the sand layer is thick enough you shouldn't have problems with the goldfish making a mess . The main guideline for top is an 1-2 inches to keep the dirt from being disturbed and anyways after a while the dirt will have leeched most all of its Tanins so if any dirt does get pulled up it won't make mess with the water only the sand will just have dirt mixed in

Edited by Gustave
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^this. You can mineralize the dirt using a cheaper top soil. Google it if you have a bunch of lead in time to the tank setup because it takes awhile to make. But I've heard of plenty of people doing this with no issues. Six weeks is about how long it will take to cycle the tank anyway. If you have cycled media and will put fish in immediately just step up the water changes for a month or two as mentioned previously.

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In addition to what the others have mentioned, goldfish do like to forage. You may find over time the soil and sand mix.

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In addition to what the others have mentioned, goldfish do like to forage. You may find over time the soil and sand mix.

So would a gravel cap be a better choice?

Thanks for the responses everyone!

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Sand is finer and less likely to get stuck in a fish's mouth. I don't think it matters much, a goldfish will forage regardless. I believe Tammy had dirt in some pots and the tank bare bottom. That is always an option.

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I actually have soil with a sand cap in my plant pots right now. The sand that I'm using is quite fine, and they initially mixed together (I'm so glad that I tried this in small scale, before I went to dirt the whole darn tank). I would recommend putting down your soil, then a layer of pea gravel, and THEN your sand cap. The pea gravel will help give the sand something to hold onto, so it doesn't just sink into the dirt.

Mineralizing your topsoil is a good idea, but I never did it, and my plants grow well anyway. :)

What I have always done for dirted tanks (if they're to be very heavily planted, mind you--the substrate level will be deep) is about 1.5-2" of *wet* soil (soil will thin out when water hits it), a thin layer of pea gravel, and then about 2" of sand. However deep your soil level is, add a 1/2" for the cap. If your cap is deep enough, and you don't keep moving your plants around, the chances of having a soilsplosion are minimal. Lol! I've never had any make it to the top yet. :)

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I actually have soil with a sand cap in my plant pots right now. The sand that I'm using is quite fine, and they initially mixed together (I'm so glad that I tried this in small scale, before I went to dirt the whole darn tank). I would recommend putting down your soil, then a layer of pea gravel, and THEN your sand cap. The pea gravel will help give the sand something to hold onto, so it doesn't just sink into the dirt.

Mineralizing your topsoil is a good idea, but I never did it, and my plants grow well anyway. :)

What I have always done for dirted tanks (if they're to be very heavily planted, mind you--the substrate level will be deep) is about 1.5-2" of *wet* soil (soil will thin out when water hits it), a thin layer of pea gravel, and then about 2" of sand. However deep your soil level is, add a 1/2" for the cap. If your cap is deep enough, and you don't keep moving your plants around, the chances of having a soilsplosion are minimal. Lol! I've never had any make it to the top yet. :)

Thanks!

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