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Old 04-01-2023, 08:29 PM   #1
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Dirted tank

hello from Australia. Yesterday I set up a "dirted" tank following Father Fish's videos. I still need more plants and I am still hesitant about putting fish in on the second day (his advice) although when I tested the water today it was fine. Has anyone done one of these before and if so what was the result. my tank is 70 litres (about 20 gallons).
thanks, and glad to be here.

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Old 04-02-2023, 12:16 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum

Tanks with dirt substrate are often problematic and regularly have prolonged issues with ammonia being released by rotting organic matter in the dirt. These tanks can't be gravel cleaned and eventually they fail because of the massive build up of gunk (mainly fish waste) on the bottom, which harbours harmful disease organisms. This gunk also makes it harder to treat the tank if the fish get sick. After a period of time, the ammonia being released by the substrate stops and you end up with mud on the bottom of the tank.

Having a dirt substrate is in my opinion a waste of time. If you want a heavily planted tank, use a fine gravel, add aquarium plant fertiliser, provide lots of light and after things have settled down in a month or two, add a few small fish.
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Old 04-02-2023, 03:27 AM   #3
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Dirted tanks are some of the most successful tankís Iíve owned as far as plant growth goes.

They can be problematic initially because the decomposition will release a lot of ammonia and reduce oxygen levels. I would wait a good while before adding livestock and plant it with as many plants as you can afford or you will get algae.

Be wary moving plants especially if they are deep rooted. Like with any planted tank, disturbing the substrate all at once can cause issues with the cycle and harm fish.

Other than that just enjoy watching your new ecosystem evolve.

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