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olddog
11-09-2013, 03:23 PM
I tried a 20 Gal. "dirt" tank using Miracle-Gro Organic Choice potting mix wetted and placed on the bottom (not rinsed). Amaco Mexican Pottery clay rolled into 1/4" balls and pushed into the soil 2" apart. Black Diamond 20-40 Blasting Media (http://www.tractorsupply.com/product__10151_-1_10051_14286) rinsed and placed 2" thick on top of that. Dwarf Sag. and baby tears, Driftwood w/ Anubis (?) and a few various other plants bought at auction planted. Java Moss and moss ball loose on bottom and frog bit and duck weed along w/ a couple of unknown floaters of top. The tank was filled w/ 50% "old tank water collected from my other tanks and "new" tap water w/ Stress Coat + added. A "used 3" x 2 1/2" sponge filter and HOB filter w/ used cartridge have been running since tank was set up. All doing great. Water is PH 7.2, Ammonia .25, Nitrite and Nitrate 0 ppm. KH was not tested (need more test fluid). No water change since filled. A pair of Apisto. Viejita have taken up residence in a cave provided for them and seem very happy.
I have tried other planted tanks w/ mixed results using other media. So far this seems to be the best set up yet. The tank (after careful filling) was cloudy, but cleared in three days. Floating plant roots have grown at least 1/2 inch or more and dwarf sag. looks green and healthy. java moss seems to be spreading, and other plants are good looking - no yellow leaves or signs of stress.

Jeff

caricell
11-09-2013, 04:54 PM
Sounds nice, but you need to get rid of that ammonia. You should have 0.

HN1
11-09-2013, 05:34 PM
Sounds cool. I haven't set a dirt tank up yet so I'll definitely be following. You probably want to move over some cycled media if you haven't already. The old water is really of little to no value for cycling. Used media and a couple extra water changes always seems to do the trick. Enjoy the new tank!

spidangular
11-09-2013, 07:00 PM
I strongly suggest you vacuum off the sand and rinse the soil. Everybody I've ever seen post that didn't rinse it always regrets it. I Also used miracle grow and when I rinsed it i was amazed at how much sticks and bark chips and stuff were floating. I ended up leaving the entire bag in a 10 gallon tank and scraping off the floaters after a couple days.


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spidangular
11-09-2013, 08:20 PM
I strongly suggest you vacuum off the sand and rinse the soil. Everybody I've ever seen post that didn't rinse it always regrets it. I Also used miracle grow and when I rinsed it i was amazed at how much sticks and bark chips and stuff were floating. I ended up leaving the entire bag in a 10 gallon tank and scraping off the floaters after a couple days.


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Whether or not you follow my suggestion- happy fishing.

olddog
11-09-2013, 09:02 PM
I knew the ammonia should have been 0 and it is now that I have done my 1st 50% water change (it was really between .25 and 0 ppm). I just wanted to see what I had going in the tank w/o any water changes. I probably should have added that I used the recycled water mainly from a tank I was breaking down as were the Black diamond media, the sponge filter and the HOB filter . I will do weekly water changes, weekly testing, and observation of plant growth and fish health. I'll let you know how it is coming along. The Black Diamond (wet) was so dense that it seems to keep all the floaty things down below it and I didn't want to waste any of the "goodness" of the trace stuff in the Miracle-Gro.

Jeff

ahud
11-11-2013, 12:34 AM
I'm interested in hearing how it turns out too. Always wanted to try a dirt tank.

Mog Carns
11-11-2013, 08:29 AM
I never have to rinse 20/40. The people that complain about BD 20/40 needing rinsing, I believe, bought 30/60 instead. It says both on the bag, and the checkmark can be in-between. Most of the stores online only carry 30/60. A dead giveaway are where the stories include "half the volume washing away" in the rinsing. 20/40 is too heavy to even suck all the way up your python when vaccing.

Tractor Supply Company has 20/40.

caricell
11-11-2013, 08:03 PM
I have numerous tanks with BD sand from Northern Tool. I've never rinsed it. Right in the tank it goes. It does get a little foggy initially, and a bit of crap floats on the top, but it cleans itself up real quickly after running a filter overnight. Personally, I love the stuff.

spidangular
11-11-2013, 08:12 PM
agree, it is awesome. i believe it is an industrial byproduct, so I didn't trust it. I rinsed mine in a 5 gallon bucket and there was a LOT of film that immediately gathered at the top. I spent about 30 minutes per bag, washing 1/3 a bucket at a time until there was no more film. I was worried for a while that residual film would kill my fish immediately or slowly poison them. It's been 5-8 months, I think, and the tank is fine. looks amazing,

jmcb1984
11-11-2013, 08:36 PM
Never rinse my bd sand out either, just dump in and fill. I currently have 3 dirted tanks, one 20 with white large grain blasting sand cap, one 55 with bd cap, and a 75 with florite cap and I'm running pressurized co2 on it. I won't ever go back to a planted tank without dirt. For the past year I tryed to do the high tech thing with my 75 with horrible growth and a lot of plant die off. Tank was running 4 6500k 100watt equivalent spiral bulbs, florite substrate, dry fert dose of macros and micros, pressurized co2. I just converted it about 2 weeks ago to dirt with florite cap, heavy planted and I can already see good growth, got a little algae growth too I'm sure it's from the extra ammonia but I haven't put my fish back in yet so I'm not too worried about it.

Hilde
11-14-2013, 06:21 PM
How about a pic of it?

jmcb1984
11-23-2013, 04:25 PM
Pic from who?


How about a pic of it?

Hilde
11-23-2013, 08:09 PM
I want to see a pic olddog tank, the orinator of this thread.

olddog
11-24-2013, 01:50 AM
I want to see a pic olddog tank, the orinator of this thread.

I'll try to get some tomarrow after my water changes are done.

Jeff

AShin
11-24-2013, 06:26 PM
i picked up 2 bags of the 20-40 BD sand and wasn't very pleased to find what looked like glass! I was quite petrified of the stuff as i home alot of bottom dwellers and was going to use it to keep my kuhli loaches comfy. Havent done anything of the sorts acuse i feel like its to jagged for their sand sifting manner. I just acquired a a long chick feeder type tray with roughly 20 holes on the top and i plan on using that as a den for them. Still ahve to get the proper sand but does anybody else fear this substrate for their bottome dwellers? It looks so much like glass to me.... was just wondering what your guys's aopinion would be.

Hilde
11-25-2013, 11:16 AM
i picked up 2 bags of the 20-40 BD sand and wasn't very pleased to find what looked like glass! I was quite petrified of the stuff as i home alot of bottom dwellers and was going to use it to keep my kuhli loaches comfy.
Have read that many at planted tank (hoppy) use it with corys'. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=414706&highlight=loaches Read that there are many variations of it depending where it is dug from. Test it by rubbing it between your hands. If it cuts your hands don't use it.

Mog Carns
11-25-2013, 11:38 AM
BD is coal slag.

Coal slag is an black, glass matrix alumina-silicate which is produced when wet bottom boiler power plants burn pulverized coal. The bottom ash is kept in a molten state until it is tapped and introduced to water. The water quenches the molten slag and instantly vitrifies it producing the raw glassy slag which Ensio Resources recycles through its processing facility to produce a variety of beneficial products for market. It has the optimal hardness, density, and particle shape to provide for an exceptional silica free blasting abrasive, roofing granule, non-skid, and sealcoating surface material.
Coal slag is not to be confused with fly ash or other forms of coal combustion byproducts which have completely different physical and chemical characteristics.


http://www.ensioresources.com/images/icon_eco.gif
Coal slag is an inert material and environmentally safe. ERI coal slag products do not exhibit any hazardous waste characteristics and pass all tests concerning heavy metals analysis, TCLP testing, and is approved by the United States Navy for blasting at our nation’s major warship and submarine bases. Because Coal Slag is vitrified, the chemical attributes within the amorphous glass-like structure are encapsulated even when the granules are shattered at highspeeds during blasting.


http://www.ensioresources.com/images/icon_recycled.gif
Because Coal slag products are recycled, their production don’t impact our environment like mined sources of competing products like garnet or sand.


http://www.ensioresources.com/images/icon_health.gif
Coal Slag products are Low- Free Silica in nature and are THE safer alternative to silica sand and other crystalline silica-rich materials. Learn more: Silica-Free Explained (http://www.ensioresources.com/Learning_Center/silica_free.html)


When dry, the stuff has a lot of sharp edges. Press your finger into it, and you will get a splinter of what is essentially obsidian, or a volcanic glass. Underwater, however, and the sharp edges will no longer stick you. I do not know the physics behind it, but it is the way it is.

AShin
11-25-2013, 01:25 PM
Well if a sifter like a kuhli loach was to sift sharp jagged substrate I don't think it'd be to good for their health. I think il stick the the non obsidian sands. Other than that I guess be is perfectly fine I just don't get why people are sticking up for the stuff and that one guy even said he had one sifting it and 'eating' the stuff.

olddog
11-25-2013, 07:40 PM
If you really don't like the 20 - 40 BD I would consider buying it from you - let me know . Trying to get pictures to down load ... may have to wait until my daughter can help.

Jeff

Elleabridges
04-07-2014, 08:03 AM
I have catfish, coaches, and cory for over a year on the bd and been great! If anything seems they liked it better.