1. Ryan
    February 29, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    What is the best way to go about keeping my fish while converting my tank if I don’t have a second tank and filter? I have a 30 gal. hex with 12 fish. I have experience in horticulture, so I fully understand the importance of adding dirt (both for the fish and the plants). I just bought a couple plants the other day, planted them in my gravel, and they look like they’re begging for some nutrients, Thanks for your help.


    • dwunderlich
      March 6, 2012 @ 12:27 am

      Get a big tub, or bucket and an airstone. (keep the fish in the dark for less stress) I did a video titled something like, “how to convert a tank in an hour” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWNmK_yANlk Let me know how it works out, sorry for the delayed reply. This blog is loaded with dirt info and the dirted tank guide is solid. Thanks for the line.

  2. Milos
    March 10, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    Hi, Dustin
    I got my 90 gal tank with no dirt i bucn of plants and fish in it. So taking out all that to put fish in will be hard to do. So today I got myself 35 gal tank and will fill it all the way with proper dirt and plants. I can’t wait to finish with all of it.

    You are the best mate.


  3. Craig Loughery
    August 19, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    Just converted my 75…was using gravel previously, and plants were doing poorly…also had to deal with hard well water…So I decided to try the dirt method…since plants feed at the roots…I mixed 30 pounds of organic potting soil, with several big scoopfuls of canadian organic peat…added water to make it the consistency of stiff pudding…place about 1-2 inches in bottom of tank…then used 75 pounds of pool filter sand- rinsed thoroughly- on top as a cap…I ran my canister filter using a paper towel as an element- and the water cleared completely in 2 hours- (it wasn’t that bad to start with- the cap kept the dirt mix in place)…The next morning, I planted the tank, which was full almost to the top, by wrapping roots around my fingertip, and slowly plunging my finger down thru the sand into the mud…as i slowly withdrew my finger, the sand gently caved in around my exiting finger, covering the roots and not releasing any black goo into the water above…then i gently tugged up on the plants so the crown was properly positioned…n o muss, no fuss, no need for lead plant weights…easiest planting I had ever done….AND THE ROOTS ARE INTO THE MUD, Where I know they will receive super nourishment…Plus, I know the peat will soften the water chemistry…what a GREAT way to do things…Only minor inconvenience was having to SLOWLY add water- do avoid sand disturbance…
    Makes me want to get another tank and do it again!

  4. Roy Daniel
    October 2, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    Hi, was gonna get ready to dirt my 29 tank. How much crushed coral should i mix in the soil, and do you use peat moss?

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