View Full Version : Dirted 55g Long

09-01-2015, 09:18 PM
Here are some pictures of my dirted 55 long and what's in it: http://imgur.com/a/54289

INFO: I set this tank up in February 2015, with ~1" of dirt capped with ~1" of coal slag (basically black sand) and a 48" 10,000K LED bar. I did my best to mineralize the dirt, but I didn't have the time to dry it completely, so I really don't know how well it worked; this is my first experience with dirt and second planted tank. I did my best to emulate the Walstad method, but with my limited experience I had no idea what to expect. I planted everything, filled up the tank. The next morning I found an algae bloom, so thick you couldn't see two inches into the tank. I did a lot of water changes and let the plants do their thing, and after a few weeks it was barely cloudy at all! Now and again I'll accidentally stir up some dirt while vacuuming or moving a plant, which turns the tank brown almost instantly.

LIVESTOCK: I have 1 Khuli Loach, 2 Rubbernose Plecos, 1 Siamese Algae Eater, and 2 Platys alongside Ramshorn, Malaysian Trumpet and Assassin Snails. I have a few pond snails too, but I almost never see them. Somehow I also have aphids and water-mites.

PLANTS: Rubin Sword, Jungle Val, Water Wisteria, crypt wendtii (variations of green and bronze), anubias, anacharis, java fern, water lettuce, duckweed, and I'm sure there's some Christmas Moss and Subwassertang floating around in there somewhere...

If you're interested in some plants/snails, I'm willing to sell/trade, so feel free to ask! The only fish I'm willing to trade is my SAE, and I don't have enough assassins to trade.

09-02-2015, 03:28 PM
where's my like button?

09-02-2015, 08:06 PM
Thanks! I will be updating that album periodically. (edit: I just uploaded some more pictures)

09-05-2015, 09:57 AM
Looks great! I'm just starting my first dirted tank, a 40 gallon breeder. I'm currently mineralizing the soil, but am planning to follow Walsted. One of the articles that I read on mineralization has you add potash, dolomite and clay as you put the dirt in the tank. Did you do this? Walsted doesn't add anything so I don't think it is necessary but I would love another opinion.

09-07-2015, 01:32 AM
I did add some natural red clay, it really doesn't take much; if you add too much you will have an algae bloom (speaking from experience here.) I just added a Rubin sword monday 8/31 and it has sprouted 2 leaves as big as the other ones, and another small one. I run my tanks on a 5/4/5 schedule and usually I can tell a difference in most plants each time the lights come on. The additions would ensure that you have the right minerals for the plants, so the way I see it they are just insurance policies for the happiest, healthiest plants. If you are trying to do a true walstad, like with no filtration, I would definitely add the potash and dolomite just to make sure your environment is perfect for any plant you put in there.

I used this article as a guide, it was the most informative I found: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/library/52554-how-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html