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

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NOTE: We ship Plant orders first. These ship later in the week as they aren't alive.

These go out later and might be delayed. WE ALSO MAKE THESE IN HOUSE SO THEY MIGHT BE BACKED UP....

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

Based on 143 reviews
Adam Soltis
Healthy & High Quality

First time planting my 10gal. Purchased 2 of the “Can’t Kill” packs. They look great with some good variety. Also added the soil and water plant food.

Amy Majtyka
Dirt fail no detailed instructions

I wish there would have been better instructions than with what I had to research/YouTube etc. I spent 160 on 2 large bags of dirt and two plant packs, which might not be a lot of money to some but for me it was, I was so excited to have a planted 55 gallon tank. Thankfully I have a 30 gallon I tried using for my plant tank originally so thankfully the fish are in the 30 gallon. Now Rookie mistake watched YouTube videos tried reading Dustin’s website instructions to figure out what I had to do. Drained water took out fish etc placed in other tank, drained all water into buckets. Had maybe 1/2 inch of water just bc I didn’t have a shop vac so I did my best alone. Moved all stones to one side, added dirt, mixed together the dirt and water on the right side of the tank, then moved the rocks over from the left on top. Then whatever water was left on the left side I added the dry dirt(that had never been opened previously, just right how it came) and poured it on then I added my watered down gravel I had in a bucket and just added gravel on top of the sorta wet soil. Then made trenches on side and front and added more gravel across the top. Then started adding water I had a little bowl I was using to add water on the side of the tank using a little common sense to make this right. So that took way to long kept adding water etc. Filled tank to top of 55 gallon tank started planting plants of course the soil was loose ish and before that my tank was pretty clear(I actually thought wow I did it) then all of the sudden puffs of brown coming from the bottom I’m like I read this somewhere after I realized I messed up. That I hit a bunch of air products and the video I found after told me to water the soil after I put it on the almost bare bottom.

Plants growing at better rate!

I set up my dirted tank about a month and a half ago( April 1- may 24) and have seen a lot of growth! I think with 1 large bag would have been more than enough for my 20 gallon long, I went with the suggested 1 large 1 small bag. I didn't use the whole small bag, and I shouldn't have even opened it, because I'm dealing with anaerobic gasses, not a big deal, but I've seen growth with red tiger bulbs, emersed pink flamingo melted back and are now growing submerged, plus one of them started having these silver dots on the leaves! Pinatifida, yellow bacopa, ludwigia lilacina, compact hygrophila are growing well.

Marshall Walker
No instructions

I added a large and half in a 36 gallon and had 3 inches of dirt with 40 pounds of gravel ended up with 36 gallons of algea life

Daniel Schmidt
All dirted from now on

I transitioned a 10 gallon tank to dirted, using Dustin's Dirt, about a month ago. Didn't see much change initially, then after two weeks they really accelerated their colors and growth. So, ordered more for a new 36 gallon bow-front that I'm excited to build that will feature pea puffers and very heavy vegetation to support them.