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Old 09-30-2012, 11:59 PM   #1 
leafythegreat
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Should I convert my 8g gravel-only to a half dirt, half gravel?

So, I have a lovely 8 gallon (can be seen by hitting my aquariums tab over there) that's been having some serious blue-green algae problems.

After setting up a little Walstad bowl and having a good bag of organic soil still sitting around, I've been eying my "big" tank... I mean, the results in my little bowl are shocking, the plants have doubled in size in a week and a half, wow!

Only problems are thus: I have five fish living in the "big" tank, so they would have to be taken out and put back in. Would it be okay to toss them right back into the tank once I'm done with redoing substrate?

It would be messy, heavy, and take some time. Not quite sure what I can do with my fish other than plunk them in some Ziplocks and float them in temperate water in the bathroom sink. (Dorm life, it's fabulous.)

But I am seriously loving the results my native Hygrophila are giving me in my bowl, and if the Hygrophila in the tank would love the dirt that much, I want to put them in it.

What are your opinions? Should I take the plunge?
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:10 AM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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Soil can encourage algae and can contain dangerous chemicals they do make aquarium soil.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #3 
toad
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Organic potting soil is fine :)

I say go for it! The ziplock idea should be fine, I think. OFL says she puts her fish in the tank immediately. As long as you have the right lights to support the NPT, I think it's a worthwhile project :)
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #4 
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As long as it is organic great keep us posted.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:55 AM   #5 
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Go for it! Your tank is very nice btw.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:04 PM   #6 
starrlamia
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i wouldnt top the dirt with gravel, you are apt to get a lot of floaters and a murky tank.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:37 PM   #7 
leafythegreat
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Quote:
Soil can encourage algae and can contain dangerous chemicals they do make aquarium soil.
I can go to PetCo, or I can go to the really crappy local pet store that treats their animals worse than PetCo... Closest true LFS is an hour away, and I haven't been there yet. I really don't want to go just to find out it's a disappointment. Special soil's too expensive to ship for me.

Quote:
Organic potting soil is fine :)

I say go for it! The ziplock idea should be fine, I think. OFL says she puts her fish in the tank immediately. As long as you have the right lights to support the NPT, I think it's a worthwhile project :)
It's MiracleGro Organic Potting Soil. I didn't want to risk it, so I got the stuff that Walstad herself used with her bowls. Figured if the microbiologist/planted tank goddess says it's okay, it's probably okay.

Light's just the stock that comes on the Aqueon 8, which is strong enough to support a small coral reef, nevermind a few Hygros that have been loving it so far. They've doubled in size over the past month.

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Go for it! Your tank is very nice btw.
Thanks!

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i wouldnt top the dirt with gravel, you are apt to get a lot of floaters and a murky tank.
I actually "washed" the dirt for my bowl, which turned out pretty well. It was a messy process, and unfortunately, I had to do it all in my room. I mixed the dirt well with lots of water in my empty 2.5, let it settle out, took the top floaters out, and scooped out the remaining soft, lovely silt at the bottom. Repeated several times til I had what I needed. Granted, I haven't had any moving inhabitants in my bowl yet to stir anything up, but the water is crystal clear and free of floaters a week and a half in.



Thanks for the advice guys! I'll have to find the time to do it, but I think I might give it a go. I'll keep you posted!
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