02-17-2014, 09:21 AM
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Cleaning more cleaning and then more cleaning.
I knew that after not having this tank set up for numerous years that everything would need a good cleaning if I were to use any of my old set up. I scraped the inside of the tank then washed it with a water vinegar solution three times then rinsed it out thoroughly and let it sit while I built the stand. After the stand was done I got my collection of old rocks, driftwood, heaters and filters out and gave them the same treatment except using a solution of bleach on them prior to using the vinegar and water solution. I had stored all my gravel in clear plastic bags and sealed them when I put them away many years ago, but I still washed all of it numerous times until the water ran clear.
When I found out that people were using dirt in tanks I thought that was what I'd like to do. I did a lot of web surfing and came across the "wkndracr" on the planted tank website and read it from start to finish. Although he is very technical as far as water analysis goes he made it look rather easy so I thought since my previous experience with plants wasn't good maybe this was the way to go (I didn't use this as my only guide but I liked his approach).
So the journey with dirt begins.
(Photo # 1 & 2) This is the tank with the "Miracle Grow Organic Choice" potting soil and some gravel and driftwood (I used gravel around the edges so the potting soil substrate wasn't visible).
(Photo #3) This is what it looked like after capping.
(Photo #4) This is the tank being filled after capping the potting soil. I only had a couple of floaters from the potting soil come up to the surface. As you can see I added the stones and rock.