Dustin's Dirt Packs. (Aquarium Substrate Our own Premier Mix)

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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)

Customer Reviews

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Customer Reviews

Based on 72 reviews
Will Be Buying Again!

I loved the plants that came in! They were beautiful and there were plenty of them! I'm going to be establishing a second tank in the future and will be buying more!
I'm just having trouble getting the plant substrate to stop clouding my water, but that's just because I was too impatient to completely drain the tank like you're supposed to. I love it, I love ordering from this company as they take such great care of their plants and package them perfectly!

Dustin'sDirt Packs

Okay, this was a first for me -- introducing dirt into my acquascape? Madness! But I watched some of Dustin's videos and felt like, why not? On delivery, I watched more videos supplied by Dustin and got started. I was concerned that debris would be floating in the tank. However, I saw that it was important to tamp the soil base down before putting the gravel on top. This advice worked well for me. I also had plenty of gravel on hand to fill in any spots that might be revealed. So while it is still early in my process of setting up the tank, there is very little debris floating and it seems (but it is super early) that my plants are solidly planted. I have very positive vibes for the dirt substrate as I continue to build the takn.


This is my first order. I ordered for my 5 gallon tank for my betta. I just redid the tank with dirt pack. I am excited all my plants haven't been doing well. It came along with my plant order really quick. Neptune is not happy being in a smaller tank for next 24 hrs. Service was great and plants are stunning better than what I had.

My first dirt tank.

I just got home an hour ago and my package was waiting for me by the door. So at this time I can't really say much about it. I am looking forward to getting it set up. I will be ordering some plants in a couple of days. I will leave another review later once I can say more.

Tank On

Great Product

I was able to add to my dry aquarium last night and it went in very well. I would not suggest putting it in a full tank since it is far easier to position the dirt where you want it when its in a semi dry state. I went with three (3) large bags for a 90 gallon tank. I would do (4) if I had to do it over. Waiting for the driftwood to clean up a bit before I add it, I can't wait to see it!!