| | Re: high tech tank?
When you put water on the dirt it will make mud (don't add any more water. The gravel will sit on top, the dirt is more dense than you might think. Don't cap too much (1/2 to 1 inch). Once you get the cap on, plant your plants, add decor, etc, then put paper towels over everything on the bottom. Set a dinner plate in a stable spot, and if you have a collander set that on top of the plate. Make sure your water is dechlorinated and temp is around 75 degrees. Begin adding water. The reason for all this is so you don't start disturbing the soil underneath. If you disturb the soil you will end up with brown water. After you've got the water in and things have settled you will want to begin poking the gravel/soil with something (a bamboo skewer will work). Do this every day to every few days, and try to hit most places in the substrate. What you are doing here is releasing potential hydrogen sulfide bubbles (These will stink when they break the surface). Hydrogen sulfide, in a large enough concentration, can leech into your water column and begin to make your fish very sick (I just had an issue with this.....not fun). It can also rot the root systems of your plants. Poking the substrate will help to release this potential threat before the concentration gets too high. This may need to become part of your daily routine for quite a while as (depending on what soil you use) it may take the soil a while to finish breaking down.