Aquarium Forum

  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Calculators
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food

User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Default Benifits of dirted tanks and how to set up.

    0 Not allowed!
    Recently I have been exposed to setting up dirted tanks and the benifits it can have on growing plants and I would love to share it with everyone. I am new to this set up for aquariums so I hope my knowledge would be of use anyway.

    Dirted tanks involves using aquatic soil or even any organic potting soil such as Miricle Gro potting soil. Dirt with help plants to establish good root structures and provide nutrients for plants with little to no fertilizers needed. Dirt also releases little tannis into the water which can lower the ph and can act as a slight bacterial protection. Also, plants are known to take in more nutrients through their roots than their leaves which means the dirt can easily provide the needs that suits the plants adaptations and for those hobbiests who likes the use natural methods in fish keeping dirt can be a great replacement for root tabs.

    Research has shown that adding red unfired clay to dirted tanks can make plants that would otherwise find hard to gain their potential red colouration easier such as Ludwiga Repens.

    Of course Dirt will make the tank messy if you only use dirt for the substrate. However, you can use gravel or sand to cap the dirt to make setting a dirted tank a lot easier. Here are some steps in which you can take to set up a dirted tank:

    1.Place the potting soil into a bucket and rinse the dirt as much as you can to clean the dirt.

    2. You will now want to add the dirt to the tank and make sure to make things even unless you want to make slopes and adjustments that meets the desired look. About 1 inch dirt will do fine but feel free to add more if you want to.

    3. Next add the unfire red clay into the dirt and make sure that its not exposed.

    4. Add water to the dirt but make sure theres no puddle, you want a thick consistanst dirt.

    5. You will want to add your chosen substrate to cap the dirt after rinsing. Gravel or sand will work fine. Make sure the layer over the dirt is a 1:1 ratio so 1 inch of dirt is covered with 1 inch of gravel or sand and so on.

    6. Place any decorations you want in the tank now and plants. The plants does not have to be placed right down into the dirt since once the tank starts to age the roots will reach the dirt in no time.

    7. Carefully add the water into the tank and keep doing partial water changes to clean the debris of the tank.

    8. After doing so proceed to cycle the tank and then add the fish you wish to keep and enjoy the plants grow healthily.

    I hope my knowledge of dirted tanks would be of help, I want to enforce the fact that this a breif introduction to dirted tanks there are infomation that I have missed or infomation that i do not know so I hope when/if you want to set up dirted tanks please read and do investigations of your own too.

    Thanks for reading and I hope this is useful, Angel Keeper.
    Knowledge is power.
    Power is knowledge.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Latest gifts & ribbons:


    0 Not allowed!
    Good to know. This should be stickied

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Cadillac, MI

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Member of the month, a toast is in order. - Strider199   Sorry about your blood parrot :-( - ~firefly~   For this; - Strider199   :-) - ~firefly~   Happy mother's day! Enjoy one on me LOL - imma24   
    Childhood Cancer - hobbs   World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - hobbs   Myasthenia Gravis - Ovarian Cancer - Sexual Assault - Substance Abuse - Lady Hobbs   Bone Marrow Donation - Childhood Depression - Depression - Environment - Eye Injury Prevention - Glaucoma - Kidney Cancer - Kidney Disease - Kidney Transplantation - Leukemia - Lyme Disease - Mental Retardation - Missing Children - Organ Donation - T - Lady Hobbs   Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Lady Hobbs   


    0 Not allowed!
    I have other opinions on this.

    If the clay (laterite) is to be covered, then why are you adding it to the top of the soil? It should be mixed into the bottom couple inches of soil with other soil on top to make sure it does not get into the water column.

    The "red" in plants is due to the lights provided. Good lighting will bring out the red hues but I don't believe the soil has a thing to do with the color of plants.

    Miracle Grow often comes with fertilizers added so I would stick with the organic. Not just Miracle Grow but make sure it says Miracle Grow organic. I also never washed the soil. I dumped it in the tank and leveled it out and planted the tank.

    And now the trick......plant the tank heavily and then leave it alone. Each time you pull a plant out of the soil, you will have a mess and especially if you use the clay. Not a good place for bottom feeders that dig, either.

    Didn't work for me beause I like to play with my plants and move things about. I find aquarium plant substrate much, much easier. But the potting soil does work fairly well but best to be left to the experts.
    Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 08-19-2011 at 12:22 AM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Dubai, UAE

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:


    0 Not allowed!
    I currently have a 10g dirtied tank and the plants have gone wild. Its like a jungle in there now and have done only 1 50% WC on it in 3 months. It has 2 female guppies whom both had babies. The male jumped out a while back. Got a ton of fry in it.

    I agree with LH, set it how you want as moving it around will just ruin the experience. Also I did not bother wahing the soil either. I just made it into a thick mud before adding the top substrate.

    Another thing is lighting, it needs to be good or it will not be worth all the trouble.

    The massive plus I find with a dirtied tank is low algae, if any, and low costs compared to the planted substrates.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Saskatchewan, Canada

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Happy Holidays! - Boundava   Season's Greetings! - Rue   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Merry Christmas! - Anders247   Happy Holidays! - Boundava   


    0 Not allowed!
    Sounds like you are going for something a little similar to a Walsted method. Or at the least similar to my understanding of it
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    North Scotland

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    A fish for your upcoming aquarium! - Rue   For your daughter's tank! - Rue   for making me laugh thank for the info - Cliff   Thanks for the CO2 info, have one on me !!! - Cliff   sorry about your betta, he was beautiful - Jeddi   


    0 Not allowed!
    I went with this method mixed with flourite sand to recharge the soil....

    Works a treat!
    Used to try and keep track of my fish here.....

    Ran out of room and time!!!

    Instead I'll tell you the best piece of fishkeeping equipment ever....... Algae Scrubber :)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts