Dustin's Dirt Packs. (Aquarium Substrate Our own Premier Mix)
This is unlike anything you have ever tried before and there is NOTHING else in the Aquarium market like it. This is "The Next Level" of your planted aquarium....literally.
This is the dirt layer....Welcome to the Dirt Side.
A quick story here. Dirted Tank's have always been my signature setup. This is my Zone. I have done custom client installation, 900 gallon aquariums at the public Newport Aquarium and yes...MANY of my own "Dustin's Fishtanks" with Dirt.
So Way back in 2013 I wrote THE original "Dustin's Dirted Tank Guide" This is a 64 Page FULL Color digital (or Hard Copy) guide of EXACTLY HOW to create your own aquarium substrate just like it do. And yes- you can still grab of copy of that guide today and do it yourself.
We can "teach you to fish" You can grab exactly how I (Dustin) setup ALL of my display tanks.
OR "We can catch you a fish" ...provide you our own dirt recipe.
Here is how it works. A simple understanding of a basic principle will dramatically improve your aquarium.
and that basic principle is this. "PLANTS ABSORB 4 to 400 times MORE NUTRIENTS through their ROOTS, than through their stems and leaves."
STOP. That's a big statement. We need to unpack that a bit. Have you ever seen someone do that trick where they pull a noodle through their nose and it comes out of their mouth? Yes- Theoretically you could "eat through your nose" but wouldn't it be more effective if you ate where you were meant to eat?
The same can be said about aquarium plants. YES- They CAN and DO eat through their leaves, but that doesn't mean it is their preferred method.
There is obviously some species variation here, but AGAIN. "Plants absorb 4 to 400 times more nutrients through their roots than through their stems and leaves.
So- Would you like to feed your plants where they eat? I thought so. Here is how it works.
I have taken the time and the long bumpy road to learn how to create the Aquarium Substrate layer. The NEXT Layer, the forgotten layer, the dirt layer.
NOTE: Notice I am saying "LAYER" here. We will still need to COVER this layer...more on that in a bit.
Ok- So you have to understand that the "Dirt" we use has to go through a process. We have to make it so the dirt does NOT destroy your aquarium. We do the work for you. I personally have prepared EVERY Dustin's Dirt Pack. It's kind of fun too, I get to help get our customers get a better aquarium from the ground up.
You don't need to source all of the ingredients. You don't need to be standing around at Home Depot trying to figure out which kind of dirt to buy. You don't need to figure out how to add clay to the mix or how to increase the calcium levels. You don't need to worry about how to put it all together. NOPE.
We (ok me, Dustin) have done the work for you....most of it. We have done the BOTTOM Layer of your aquarium substrate. YOU need to do the TOP Layer.
Here is what you need to do.
The "Dustin Dirt Packs" come in TWO size. Small (for a 10 gallon) and LARGE (for the footprint of a 20 high or you could stretch it to a 20Long)
Here is my recommendation for the most common aquarium sizes. This is based on the FOOTPRINT of these aquariums
- 5 gallon = 1 small dirt pack (You will have a slightly above average thickness of dirt
- 10 gallon= 1 small dirt pack
- 15 gallon= 1 Large dirt pack
- 20 gallon (High) = 1 Large dirt pack
- 20 gallon (Long) = 1 Large and 1 Small
- 29 gallon =1 Large and 1 Small
- 30 gallon (Long) = 2 Large Dirt Packs
- 38 (40 Tall) = 1 Large and 1 Small
- 40 (LONG) = 2 Large
- 55 gallon = 2 Large
- 75 gallon = 3 Large
- 90 gallon= 3 large
- 125 gallon (6 footer) = 5 Large
Select the appropriate size of Dustin Dirt pack for YOUR aquarium. We will ship it out to you with instruction of exactly HOW TO DO THIS.
NOTE: This is NOT an ALL IN ONE Product. You will need to PURCHASE (Or REUSE) Aquarium gravel in equal proportions to the amount of "Dustin Dirt Packs" that you purchase.
I can't make this more simple. If you are looking at the bag of a Dustin Dirt Pack, you are going to need AS MUCH GRAVEL as the size of the bag (or More)
SO. For example. If you select ONE Small "DDP" You will need the equivalent size amount of gravel"
If you grab ONE LARGE DDP, you will need gravel enough for the same amount as ONE LARGE DDP or more.
If you are doing a 125 Gallon aquarium and you grab 5 Large DDPs. YOU WILL NEED 5 (Or more) bags of gravel of the equivalent size.
Got it? This is NOT a "Dump it in and it's ready product. If you pour a bag of this in your aquarium, make a mess and kill your fish. don't come crying to me. WE WARNED YOU.
The DDPs work best with a bare bottom empty tank it. (I do NOT recommend trying to add dirt to an existing tank with fish already in the tank. Think if you were the fish?). Get a tub, siphon the tank water into a tub and add the fish temporarily into the tub. (They will be fine- how do you think they go to the pet store anyway- worse conditions than this!)
Place the DDP to the bottom of the bare aquarium.
***Cover the dirt with Equal portions or more of gravel*** I recommend an inch or more of gravel on top of the DDP dirt mix. When in doubt add MORE gravel. Note: Don’t cap the dirt with the following- play sand, ECO-complete or anything too fine. 2-6 mm gravel works best.
Fill the aquarium just past a slow drip so as not to disturb the DDP layer. If the water is cloudy do a water change later in the day. Plant heavy and enjoy!
(I recommend adding fish after 24 hours just to be safe if the tank was cycled just to be safe)
Watch your tank grow like you have never seen!
Grab a DDP today! Welcome to the Dirt Side!
NOTE: This product might not ship instantly as we have to dry it out in the sun for best use prior to going into your aquarium. We literally make this stuff.
Dustin's Dirt Packs. (The DDP)
Plants were absolutely great, all healthy and big. My only issue was that I'm not sure if I received only 1 out of 2 of my large dirt packs. Already shot an email and call to Dustin, just waiting for a response :)
Had to be careful to not make a mess. So drained tank to basically empty and 3 bags were used for a 90G tank and it gave the tank a nice base of dirt. Then put 2-3 inches of sand on top of the soil. Now to see how well the plants do in this. Didn't cloud up the water much. Have done one water change after putting in the soil.
This is like black gold! I ordered enough for a 20gal and man! Great color to it and it didnt dirty my tank too terrible upon setup and having the plants put in. I also didn't know there were clay balls in the soil but it was a welcome surprise! Cant wait to set up another planted tank!
DDP came looking good in wet packs and double bagged. Recommendation on a 20Long tank was spot on -
I used 1 whole LARGE bag and 1/4 - 1/2 of a second [Dustin recommended one LARGE and one SMALL for a 20L]. Looks packed with good quality soil and clay pieces. Very very few stray wood-like chips which was easily removed. I did NOT pre-rinse and water was cloudy when I put my head to pillow and 85% clear when I woke up. I went with a sand cap on top which might have added more to the cloudiness then the DIRT.
Planted the tank up with some quality plants from Dustin and cannot wait to see results come soaring in. I was really troubled in getting plants to grow well in sand alone (yes yes with clay and root tabs!) so hoping this quarantined-inspired substrate swap gets some maintenance and wasted money out of my life!