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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, folks. Reading EPA brought me here. I wish I had learned about dirted tanks a long time ago. I have a 10g tank I will try converting.

But my big question/concern is for my big tank, 120g. It's in a covered patio, so receives a good amount of natural light. Substrate is gravel and sand (sand has spread out under all the gravel over time). Floating hornwort and duckweed grow like crazy, and a few anubias float about fairly happily. But I haven't succeeded in planting/growing anything else. Plants float back up out of the gravel and/or melt away. I wish I had known about dirted tanks and started it right, but now I'm not comfortable starting over because there are so many little critters (including fry, tons of shrimp, and a veritable army of MTS) and hard-to-catch fish in there, I'm afraid of hurting them by trying to remove them. So I'm looking for ways to improve the tank without draining it.

How can I add more plants to this tank? I thought about soaking dirt in separate tubs for a few months and then trying to add it to the tank, but I'm afraid that would be too messy to transfer. Hanging pots on the side for emergent plants? Potted plants in the bottom? And if so, what is the recommended container/media?

A neighbor gave me a bucket filled with FlorinVolcanit RioOscuro-F that's been soaked for months already. Could I add that in select locations under the gravel as a sort of non-floating soil? Or is there another product that might work better in this situation?

All advice and suggestions appreciated. Thank you!
 

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Floating hornwort and duckweed grow like crazy, and a few anubias float about fairly happily. But I haven't succeeded in planting/growing anything else.
All of these plants are ones that do well in low nutrient conditions (especially duck weed). Dirt substrates all provide nutrients as well as fish waist or fertilizer. Plant need 14 nutrients to grow. If just one is missing the plant will not ground will eventually die.
 

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All of these plants are ones that do well in low nutrient conditions (especially duck weed). Dirt substrates all provide nutrients as well as fish waist or fertilizer. Plant need 14 nutrients to grow. If just one is missing the plant will not ground will eventually die.
Thanks! But what is the best way to manage a transition for an established tank? Potted plants only, or is there a substrate or method to add dirt without tearing the tank down?
 

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I would second the notion for potted plants. I cant see any way of transitioning the tank standard plabted tank without tearing everything down.

My advice would be to go over to Dianas website or her post on here about potted plants in guppy breeding tanks and read through those.
It is going to be a different look but its the only thing i can think is you are not tearing it down and starting from scratch.

It is a simular situation to what i was in a year ago with my betta tank, work with what i had or start over. Of course it was only 3 gal so much easier to make the decision to start over then with a 120gal.
 
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