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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method?
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Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method?
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:05 pm Post subject: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

 Ok,  I  have  been  researching  about  the  'Diana  Walstad'  method  of  fertilizing  planted  aquaria  a.k.a  dirt  aquaria.  Now  I  have  a  lot  of  mixed  info  on  the  matter  and  I  dont  want  to  start  off  on  half  baked  knowledge.  I  am  planning  a  cheap  4  footer  planted  community  tank.
 
 So  my  questions  are  -  1)  What  is  the  final  substrate  formation  required  for  this  method?  Vermiculite,  Organic  Compost,  Peat,  Clay,  Aquaclay,gravel,river  soil...what  must  I  use  in  each  layer  and  how  much?  Give  me  ratios  or  percentages.  
 
 2)  The  original  D  Walstad  method  calls  for  low  lighting  say  -  2.5W/g..  Now  if  I  up  it  by  3g/W  instead  of  2.5g/W...wont  that  lower  the  CO2  concentration  in  the  tank?
 
 3)  That  said,  Do  I  need  to  up  my  CO2  with  added  CO2?  I  am  thinking  of  DIY  double  bottle  yeast  CO2  set  up  (which  btw  is  working  gloriously  for  my  2  footer).  So  does  that  help  the  plant  growth  a  little  and  balance  off  the  medium  intensity  lighting.
 
 4)  How  long  to  actually  cycle  and  put  in  the  fishes/  shrimps?  (don't  have  any  test  kits)
 
 5)  When  do  I  need  to  change  the  bottom  layer  fertilizer?  It  surely  wont  remain  fertile  forever!
 
 
 Please  share  your  insights,  experiences,  and  photos  of  your  dirt(Diana  Walstad)  aquariums.


Last edited by girlcookart on Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sandeepraghuvanshi
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:25 pm Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT method? Reply with quote

 You  are  mixing  two  things,  Diana  Walstad  method  of  Natural  Aquariums  is  based  on  Soil  substrates.
 There  are  no  layers  of  any  other  substrate,  it  is  plain  and  simple  garden  soil  topped  with  gravel
 She  uses  garden  soil  which  is  free  from  any  fertilizers.
 Check  out  these  links.
 http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/el-natural/
 Her  method  is  based  on  premise  that  natural  soil  is  a  big  reservoir  of  nutrients  and  are  slowly  released  in  the  aquariums,  as  the  release  is  slow  the  lights  are  kept  low.  Plant  growth  is  slow  but  steady,  and  these  substrates  last  for  a  long  time,  mine  ran  for  nearly  4  years,  before  the  tank  was  wound  up  due  to  my  shifting.
 
 
 There  is  another  way  of  mineralising  soil  substrate  for  aquariums.
 There  is  a  very  article  by  Aaron  Talbot  at  APC.
 http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/library/52554-how-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:31 pm Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT method? Reply with quote

                                                   
sandeepraghuvanshi  wrote  (View  Post):                
You  are  mixing  two  things,  Diana  Walstad  method  of  Natural  Aquariums  is  based  on  Soil  substrates.
 There  are  no  layers  of  any  other  substrate,  it  is  plain  and  simple  garden  soil  topped  with  gravel
 She  uses  garden  soil  which  is  free  from  any  fertilizers.
 Check  out  these  links.
 http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/el-natural/
 Her  method  is  based  on  premise  that  natural  soil  is  a  big  reservoir  of  nutrients  and  are  slowly  released  in  the  aquariums,  as  the  release  is  slow  the  lights  are  kept  low.  Plant  growth  is  slow  but  steady,  and  these  substrates  last  for  a  long  time,  mine  ran  for  nearly  4  years,  before  the  tank  was  wound  up  due  to  my  shifting.
 
 
 There  is  another  way  of  mineralising  soil  substrate  for  aquariums.
 There  is  a  very  article  by  Aaron  Talbot  at  APC.
 http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/library/52554-how-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html                

 
 Thankyou,  Sandeepji...I  was  thinking  of  a  semi-Walstad..i.e  adding  added  CO2  with  a  medium  intensity  lighting.  Will  that  freak  out  the  system  or  is  it  ok?  I  know  I  am  asking  too  much,  I  wanted  better  results  with  a  cheaper  method  than  what  hi-tech  has  to  offer.
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sandeepraghuvanshi
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:55 pm Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT method? Reply with quote

                                                   
girlcookart  wrote  (View  Post):                

 Thankyou,  Sandeepji...I  was  thinking  of  a  semi-Walstad..i.e  adding  added  CO2  with  a  medium  intensity  lighting.  Will  that  freak  out  the  system  or  is  it  ok?  I  know  I  am  asking  too  much,  I  wanted  better  results  with  a  cheaper  method  than  what  hi-tech  has  to  offer.                

 
 It  should  not  be  a  problem,  the  second  link  given  above  should  give  you  just  that.
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:57 pm Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT method? Reply with quote

 [quote="sandeepraghuvanshi";p="332812"]                                                  
girlcookart  wrote  (View  Post):                

 
 It  should  not  be  a  problem,  the  second  link  given  above  should  give  you  just  that.                

 
 Oh,  alright...thankyou:)
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jabba
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:12 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

 1.  I  am  not  sure  if  diy  Co2  will  be  sufficient  for  a  4  footer.....
 Anyway  I  am  sure  that  one  DIY  set  up  with  2  bottles  is  not  going  to  suffice.
 
 2.  The  light  of  2.5  per  gallon  without  proper  co2  is  sure  thing  for  algae.
 
 3.  I  think  walsted  method  is  more  of  garden  soil  +  low  light  (below  2  WPG)  or  indirect  sunlight  +  lots  of  fishes  for  giving  CO2  by  breathing  and  fertilizer  by  their  shit.
 
 Bottom  line  is  ......Don't  confuse  with  anyone's  method.
 
 What  you  need  is  proper  light,temperature  and  nutrients  
 1.  Fertile  substrate:  It  can  be  ADA(contro)  or  garden  soil.  The  former  is  specifically  designed  to  be  for  aquariums  but  the  latter  needs  some  adjustments.  The  best  method  for  that  adjustment  is  there  in  the  link  that  sandeep  gave  you.
 I  have  also  recently  learned  that  you  can  grow  plants  on  inert  substrate  by  appropriately  dosing  the  water  column.
 But  still  I  would  suggest  you  to  go  for  a  fertile  substrate.
 2.  Appropriate  light:  When  the  light  is  moderate  to  high  (above  2  WPG  ).  The  plants  tend  to  grow  faster  and  so  does  the  algae.  When  you  give  Co2  in  this  fight  between  algae  and  plants.  You  are  giving  a  upper  hand  to  plants  by  increasing  their  photosynthesis.  This  added  advantage  is  there  for  plants;  when  the  algae  in  question  is  the  ones  that  don't  need  light  for  preparing  food  like  black  algae,  blue  green  algae  etc.  For  green  algae  this  doesn't  work  since  they  are  just  like  plants  in  the  fact  that  they  also  prepare  food  with  light.  SO  for  green  algae  you  have  to  out  compete  them  by  adding  maximum  plants  when  you  start  with.  So  that  the  plants  will  win  the  war  with  the  huge  number  they  have(actually  here  the  more  plants  with  the  help  of  Co2  will  eat  all  the  nutrients  for  their  growth  and  there  by  taking  it  away  from  algae).
 
 So  at  lights  above  2  watts  per  gallon,  you  need  steady  CO2,  to  save  your  plants  from  algae  other  than  green  algae.
 
 Also  do  understand  almost  all  the  plants  (except  for  anubias)  like  high  light.
 The  only  thing  is  some  plants  can  even  survive  in  lower  light  by  adjusting  their  photosynthesis  and  there  by  growth.
 
 So  decide  on  what  is  the  light  you  are  going  to  keep  and  let  us  know  so  that  we  can  suggest  plants.
 
 3.  Temperature:  Yeah....This  guy  is  damn  important.  If  you  have  temperature  above  28C  you  will  have  a  negative  impact  on  plants.  No  matter  what  ever  right  you  do  in  others/
 You  can  control  it  by  using  computer  fans  to  increase  evaporation  and  there  by  cooling  the  remaining  water  in  the  tank.
 Only  thing  is,  it  works  in  areas  where  the  humidity  is  less  in  atmosphere  and  yes  you  need  to  add  water  to  top  up.
 Or  
 Chiller  is  the  best  but  it  is  damn  expensive
 This  is  the  very  reason  why  a  scaper  is  advised  to  start  his  planted  tank  at  the  start  of  a  cold  season.
 
 
 All  the  methods  you  will  read  is  one  way  or  other  to  get  these  3  things  right
 
 So  if  you  want  to  go  for  cheap  option.
 
 1.  substrate  :http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/library/52554-how-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html
 2.  Light:  Use  enough  number  of  36  watt  PLL  to  get  light  of  2  watt  per  gallon.  You  can  use  Sujos  method  to  make  the  hood
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=30541
 3.  Tempreature:  http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=34669  which  was  shared  by  shelly.
 4.  Nutrient  dosing:  When  you  start  seeing  nutrient  deficiency(Which  generally  occurs  after  1  month  of  set  up  for  a  high  light  tank  but  for  a  low  light  set  up  it  may  take  2  or  3  months).  You  can  make  the  liquid  fertiliser  as  I  have  finalised  in  my  thread
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=32959&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=walk&start=30
 5.  Filteration:  I  think  you  have  already  learned  on  this  one
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:28 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

                                                   
jabba  wrote  (View  Post):                
1.  I  am  not  sure  if  diy  Co2  will  be  sufficient  for  a  4  footer.....
 Anyway  I  am  sure  that  one  DIY  set  up  with  2  bottles  is  not  going  to  suffice.
 
 2.  The  light  of  2.5  per  gallon  without  proper  co2  is  sure  thing  for  algae.
 
 3.  I  think  walsted  method  is  more  of  garden  soil  +  low  light  (below  2  WPG)  or  indirect  sunlight  +  lots  of  fishes  for  giving  CO2  by  breathing  and  fertilizer  by  their  shit.
 
 Bottom  line  is  ......Don't  confuse  with  anyone's  method.
 
 What  you  need  is  proper  light,temperature  and  nutrients  
 1.  Fertile  substrate:  It  can  be  ADA(contro)  or  garden  soil.  The  former  is  specifically  designed  to  be  for  aquariums  but  the  latter  needs  some  adjustments.  The  best  method  for  that  adjustment  is  there  in  the  link  that  sandeep  gave  you.
 I  have  also  recently  learned  that  you  can  grow  plants  on  inert  substrate  by  appropriately  dosing  the  water  column.
 But  still  I  would  suggest  you  to  go  for  a  fertile  substrate.
 2.  Appropriate  light:  When  the  light  is  moderate  to  high  (above  2  WPG  ).  The  plants  tend  to  grow  faster  and  so  does  the  algae.  When  you  give  Co2  in  this  fight  between  algae  and  plants.  You  are  giving  a  upper  hand  to  plants  by  increasing  their  photosynthesis.  This  added  advantage  is  there  for  plants;  when  the  algae  in  question  is  the  ones  that  don't  need  light  for  preparing  food  like  black  algae,  blue  green  algae  etc.  For  green  algae  this  doesn't  work  since  they  are  just  like  plants  in  the  fact  that  they  also  prepare  food  with  light.  SO  for  green  algae  you  have  to  out  compete  them  by  adding  maximum  plants  when  you  start  with.  So  that  the  plants  will  win  the  war  with  the  huge  number  they  have(actually  here  the  more  plants  with  the  help  of  Co2  will  eat  all  the  nutrients  for  their  growth  and  there  by  taking  it  away  from  algae).
 
 So  at  lights  above  2  watts  per  gallon,  you  need  steady  CO2,  to  save  your  plants  from  algae  other  than  green  algae.
 
 Also  do  understand  almost  all  the  plants  (except  for  anubias)  like  high  light.
 The  only  thing  is  some  plants  can  even  survive  in  lower  light  by  adjusting  their  photosynthesis  and  there  by  growth.
 
 So  decide  on  what  is  the  light  you  are  going  to  keep  and  let  us  know  so  that  we  can  suggest  plants.
 
 3.  Temperature:  Yeah....This  guy  is  damn  important.  If  you  have  temperature  above  28C  you  will  have  a  negative  impact  on  plants.  No  matter  what  ever  right  you  do  in  others/
 You  can  control  it  by  using  computer  fans  to  increase  evaporation  and  there  by  cooling  the  remaining  water  in  the  tank.
 Only  thing  is,  it  works  in  areas  where  the  humidity  is  less  in  atmosphere  and  yes  you  need  to  add  water  to  top  up.
 Or  
 Chiller  is  the  best  but  it  is  damn  expensive
 This  is  the  very  reason  why  a  scaper  is  advised  to  start  his  planted  tank  at  the  start  of  a  cold  season.
 
 
 All  the  methods  you  will  read  is  one  way  or  other  to  get  these  3  things  right
 
 So  if  you  want  to  go  for  cheap  option.
 
 1.  substrate  :http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/library/52554-how-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html
 2.  Light:  Use  enough  number  of  36  watt  PLL  to  get  light  of  2  watt  per  gallon.  You  can  use  Sujos  method  to  make  the  hood
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=30541
 3.  Tempreature:  http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=34669  which  was  shared  by  shelly.
 4.  Nutrient  dosing:  When  you  start  seeing  nutrient  deficiency(Which  generally  occurs  after  1  month  of  set  up  for  a  high  light  tank  but  for  a  low  light  set  up  it  may  take  2  or  3  months).  You  can  make  the  liquid  fertiliser  as  I  have  finalised  in  my  thread
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=32959&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=walk&start=30
 5.  Filteration:  I  think  you  have  already  learned  on  this  one                

 
 
 Ah,  this  is  such  amazing  info!  I  surely  want  to  go  the  cheap  route  as  I  don't  have  20  grand  (guessing  it  takes  that  much)  to  spare  for  a  hi-tech.  I  wanted  to  know  if  PLL  lights  are  better  than  T5...and  which  is  cheaper  in  terms  of  cost?  P.S:  That  diy  Fan  thing  is  amazing!  And  I  thought  everyone  here  at  IAH  spends  big  bucks  on  these!
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Madan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:05 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

 You  have  to  sift  and  there  is  something  for  everyone  !
 
 If  you  want  to  mix  methods,  Dirt  +  DIY  CO2,  don't  look  at  PLLs  and  T5s.
 Put  in  3  or  4  x  40  watt  Phillips  4  feet  tubes.
 
 The  tank  will  probably  take  6  -  8  months  to  settle  down.  The  algae  issues  initially  will  be  high.
 Tide  them  over  with  patience.  Once  settled  down,  the  tank  will  slowly  bloom.
 
 If  you  have  the  patience  to  wait  for  a  year  for  a  lovely  tank,  go  ahead.
 The  tank  will  not  win  any  competitions,  but  it  will  be  beautiful  for  years  to  come.
 
 Too  much  interference  from  you  and  algae  issues  will  crop  up  again  each  time,  but  will  settle  out  in  2-3  months.
 
 You'll  not  get  much  help  as  what  to  do  or  routines  to  follow.  Every  tank  is  unique,  and  you'll  have  to  develop  a  routine.
 Keep  fish  stocks  low.
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vkv
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:32 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

 on  the  DIY  fan  thing.  Hope  you  read  all  the  posts  carefully  especially  on  page  1.
 
 Dont  pin  your  hopes  on  it.  Something  for  nothing  rarely  works  :-)
 
 regards,
 Venkat
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garothmaan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:54 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

 The  natural  way  is  the  best  way,  
 
 YOU  BRING  HOME  NATURE.and  thats  the  fundamental  perception  of  Planted  fish  aquarium.
 
 I  bought  about  15Kgs  of  river  sand  for  a  3ft  tank  in  mind.  
 
 Then  I  realised  that  if  I  put  all  the  eggs  in  1  basket,  it  will  not  give  me  variety  and  different  experiences.  
 
 So,  in  order  to  practice,  I  started  with  extreme  nonsense,  which  involved  many  other  fishy  materials  which  would  otherwise  get  discarded  if  I  remove  from  my  gold  fish  tank  vz  pebbles,  UG  filter,  corner  filter,  sponge  filter,  water  conditioners  etc.
 
 so  started  with  a  2X1X1  tank
 
 So  first,  inorder  to  get  perfect  results,  I  kept  making  mistakes  without  costs,  without  any  dead  fishes  and  without  any  disasters.
 
 I  didnt  use  the  river  soil  instead  I  used  garden  mud.  It  was  worth  it.  and  no  cost.  Just  dig  a  hole  in  the  nearby  cemetry  garden  at  charni  road  behind  my  school  and  get  the  brown  soil  Chuckle.  its  free.
 
 Plants  I  took  from  a  quiter  and  those  sticks  started  growing  into  plants.  So  a  beggers  tank  can  also  become  beautiful  but  with  patience  Chuckle  
 
 Then  I  decided  to  make  nano's  so  I  can  have  diferent  fishes  and  different  plants  and  different  lights.  So  I  mixed  the  mud  with  river  sand  and  three  layers  were  laid.
 
 bottom-  mud  above  that-  fine  river  sand,  above  that  coarse  river  sand.  Now  90%  of  the  micro  nieutrients  cost  is  eleminated  for  a  period  of  2  years.
 
 The  other  10%  are  the  Macros.  That  can  be  balanced  by  keeping  fishes  which  poo  out  those  macros  Chuckle   
 
 OR  home  made  stuff
 
 Carbon-  DIY  Co2
 
 Nitrogen-  No  need  we  have  it  24X7  in  the  tank-Nitrogen  cycle
 
 Calcium-  dead  fish  or  empty  snail  shells
 
 Potassium-  Have  you  heard  adding  banana  peel  in  garden  mud  for  potassium?  meshed  banana  peel  mixed  with  garden  mud  thoroughly  will  help-  This  can  be  done  before  adding  mud  to  the  bottom.
 
 Phosphorus-  Add  dried  crushed  green  peas  just  below  the  first  layer  of  fine  river  sand  with  banana  peel  Chuckle  
 
 Magnesium-  Hubli  water  will  have  in  good  trace  elements  in  already  quantity.  You  only  may  need  is  iron.  bring  home  a  fist  full  od  river  sand  from  river  in  Hubly  Chuckle  
 
 These  are  permanent  solutions  for  a  period  of  2  years  or  may  be  more.
 
 Remember  every  water  change  will  reduce  these  also.  But  you  are  ready.  Keep  soil  mixtures  and  drop  them  periodicaly.
 
 Exprets  you  comments  Smile
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:56 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

 @Madan:  Point  taken.  It  is  a  unique  experience  to  every  hobbyist.  
 @vkv  :  Yeah,  I  checked..and  I  saw  checked  it  on  Youtube  as  well..some  are  calling  it  a  hoax.  It  would  have  been  so  nice  if  it  were  true
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Athreyan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:03 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

 +1  Madan.  Patience  is  the  key  with  the  Diana  Walstad  method.  And  its  not  for  people  who  like  to  rescape  often.  Also,  when  you  start  a  dirted  tank,  plan  well.  In  all  aspects;  your  scape,  type  of  plants,  etc.  because  redoing  will  be  a  major  pain.  rescaping  while  using  this  method  will  cause  algae  blooms  especially  if  you  uproot  plants  with  large  roots.
 
 This  method  will  work  if  you  want  your  tank  for  the  next  five  years  or  so...
 
 A  small  note  about  CO2.  You  would  be  wise  to  have  a  non-CO2  tank  than  to  have  inconsistent  CO2  supply.  The  major  issue  I've  had  in  the  past  with  yeast  reactors  is  inconsistency.  And  that  causes  a  lot  of  algae  problems.  So  IMO,  you  either  have  a  setup  that  gives  constant  supply  of  CO2  or  not  at  all.  With  non-CO2  setups  you  may  not  even  need  to  fertilize  your  water  column.
 
 Don't  put  lights  as  high  as  2.5WPG.  That  would  be  algae  farming!  If  I'm  not  wrong,  the  original  treatise  was  written  way  back  in  the  90s.  So  back  then  they  probably  calculated  with  T12s  in  mind.  With  T5s  or  PLLs  keep  it  within  1.5  -  2  WPG.  Of  course,  as  Madan  pointed  out  if  you're  using  normal  tubes  then  you  could  use  a  bit  higher.
 
 With  regard  to  your  substrate,  don't  sweat  over  all  the  names  they  give.  You'd  probably  not  get  those  in  our  country.  Use  vermi-compost,  laterite,  red  soil,  and  river  sand.
 at  the  bottom  most  put  a  few  teaspoons  of  vermi-compost.  For  a  4ft,  about  7  or  8  tsp  should  be  fine.
 If  you  want  to  use  red-soil  (which  is  a  good  source  of  nutrients),  you  could  make  a  slurry  of  it  and  mix  the  vermi-compost  with  it.  you  can  make  this  layer  about  an  inch  high.
 you  could  use  coco-peat  next.  Westerners  use  peat  moss.  finding  that  and  paying  for  that  will  not  be  worthwhile  for  us.  just  use  enough  coco  peat  to  cover  the  entire  bottom.
 then  use  laterite.  this  layer  could  be  about  1cm  thick.
 Next  top  this  with  river  sand.  this  layer  should  be  at  least  1.5  in  thick.  2  or  more  will  be  better.
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:06 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

                                                   
garothmaan  wrote  (View  Post):                
The  natural  way  is  the  best  way,  
 
 YOU  BRING  HOME  NATURE.and  thats  the  fundamental  perception  of  Planted  fish  aquarium.
 
 I  bought  about  15Kgs  of  river  sand  for  a  3ft  tank  in  mind.  
 
 Then  I  realised  that  if  I  put  all  the  eggs  in  1  basket,  it  will  not  give  me  variety  and  different  experiences.  
 
 So,  in  order  to  practice,  I  started  with  extreme  nonsense,  which  involved  many  other  fishy  materials  which  would  otherwise  get  discarded  if  I  remove  from  my  gold  fish  tank  vz  pebbles,  UG  filter,  corner  filter,  sponge  filter,  water  conditioners  etc.
 
 so  started  with  a  2X1X1  tank
 
 So  first,  inorder  to  get  perfect  results,  I  kept  making  mistakes  without  costs,  without  any  dead  fishes  and  without  any  disasters.
 
 I  didnt  use  the  river  soil  instead  I  used  garden  mud.  It  was  worth  it.  and  no  cost.  Just  dig  a  hole  in  the  nearby  cemetry  garden  at  charni  road  behind  my  school  and  get  the  brown  soil  Chuckle.  its  free.
 
 Plants  I  took  from  a  quiter  and  those  sticks  started  growing  into  plants.  So  a  beggers  tank  can  also  become  beautiful  but  with  patience  Chuckle  
 
 Then  I  decided  to  make  nano's  so  I  can  have  diferent  fishes  and  different  plants  and  different  lights.  So  I  mixed  the  mud  with  river  sand  and  three  layers  were  laid.
 
 bottom-  mud  above  that-  fine  river  sand,  above  that  coarse  river  sand.  Now  90%  of  the  micro  nieutrients  cost  is  eleminated  for  a  period  of  2  years.
 
 The  other  10%  are  the  Macros.  That  can  be  balanced  by  keeping  fishes  which  poo  out  those  macros  Chuckle   
 
 OR  home  made  stuff
 
 Carbon-  DIY  Co2
 
 Nitrogen-  No  need  we  have  it  24X7  in  the  tank-Nitrogen  cycle
 
 Calcium-  dead  fish  or  empty  snail  shells
 
 Potassium-  Have  you  heard  adding  banana  peel  in  garden  mud  for  potassium?  meshed  banana  peel  mixed  with  garden  mud  thoroughly  will  help-  This  can  be  done  before  adding  mud  to  the  bottom.
 
 Phosphorus-  Add  dried  crushed  green  peas  just  below  the  first  layer  of  fine  river  sand  with  banana  peel  Chuckle  
 
 Magnesium-  Hubli  water  will  have  in  good  trace  elements  in  already  quantity.  You  only  may  need  is  iron.  bring  home  a  fist  full  od  river  sand  from  river  in  Hubly  Chuckle  
 
 These  are  permanent  solutions  for  a  period  of  2  years  or  may  be  more.
 
 Remember  every  water  change  will  reduce  these  also.  But  you  are  ready.  Keep  soil  mixtures  and  drop  them  periodicaly.
 
 Exprets  you  comments  Smile                

 
 Garothmaan-ji,  thats  a  funny  way  to  put  it  but  really?  Soil  from  the  cemetry...you  don't  have  zombie  hands  popping  out  of  your  aquaiums  at  midnight?  Creeeeeeepy!  Surprised  I  knew  banana  was  rich  in  potassium  but  putting  a  raw  peel  in  the  aquarium?I  am  not  so  sure...you  must  have  got  a  rotten  smell.  Its  one  thing  to  put  it  in  a  organic  compost  heap.  I  like  the  idea  of  dried  peas  though.  And  isn't  river  sand  inert?  And  what  lighting  did  you  use?  w/g?Ok,now  THATS  a  lot  of  questions!
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:12 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

                                                   
Athreyan  wrote  (View  Post):                
+1  Madan.  Patience  is  the  key  with  the  Diana  Walstad  method.  And  its  not  for  people  who  like  to  rescape  often.  Also,  when  you  start  a  dirted  tank,  plan  well.  In  all  aspects;  your  scape,  type  of  plants,  etc.  because  redoing  will  be  a  major  pain.  rescaping  while  using  this  method  will  cause  algae  blooms  especially  if  you  uproot  plants  with  large  roots.
 
 This  method  will  work  if  you  want  your  tank  for  the  next  five  years  or  so...
 
 A  small  note  about  CO2.  You  would  be  wise  to  have  a  non-CO2  tank  than  to  have  inconsistent  CO2  supply.  The  major  issue  I've  had  in  the  past  with  yeast  reactors  is  inconsistency.  And  that  causes  a  lot  of  algae  problems.  So  IMO,  you  either  have  a  setup  that  gives  constant  supply  of  CO2  or  not  at  all.  With  non-CO2  setups  you  may  not  even  need  to  fertilize  your  water  column.
 
 Don't  put  lights  as  high  as  2.5WPG.  That  would  be  algae  farming!  If  I'm  not  wrong,  the  original  treatise  was  written  way  back  in  the  90s.  So  back  then  they  probably  calculated  with  T12s  in  mind.  With  T5s  or  PLLs  keep  it  within  1.5  -  2  WPG.  Of  course,  as  Madan  pointed  out  if  you're  using  normal  tubes  then  you  could  use  a  bit  higher.
 
 With  regard  to  your  substrate,  don't  sweat  over  all  the  names  they  give.  You'd  probably  not  get  those  in  our  country.  Use  vermi-compost,  laterite,  red  soil,  and  river  sand.
 at  the  bottom  most  put  a  few  teaspoons  of  vermi-compost.  For  a  4ft,  about  7  or  8  tsp  should  be  fine.
 If  you  want  to  use  red-soil  (which  is  a  good  source  of  nutrients),  you  could  make  a  slurry  of  it  and  mix  the  vermi-compost  with  it.  you  can  make  this  layer  about  an  inch  high.
 you  could  use  coco-peat  next.  Westerners  use  peat  moss.  finding  that  and  paying  for  that  will  not  be  worthwhile  for  us.  just  use  enough  coco  peat  to  cover  the  entire  bottom.
 then  use  laterite.  this  layer  could  be  about  1cm  thick.
 Next  top  this  with  river  sand.  this  layer  should  be  at  least  1.5  in  thick.  2  or  more  will  be  better.                

 
 Thankyou,Athreyan..!  Now  thats  what  I  meant  by  the  layers.  Now  how  much  coco  peat?Should  it  be  a  thick  layer?  I  know  DIY  CO2  is  inconsistent..But  I'm  very  apprehensive  about  the  no  CO2  thing  and  pressurized  stuff  is  not  in  my  budget..ayyaaa!  I'll  take  your  word  for  it
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garothmaan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:26 am Post subject: Re: Can we talk about the DIRT (Diana Walstad) method? Reply with quote

                                                   
girlcookart  wrote  (View  Post):                

 
 Garothmaan-ji,  thats  a  funny  way  to  put  it  but  really?
                 

 Yes  realy,  I  will  post  pictures  how-to
 
 
                                                 
girlcookart  wrote  (View  Post):                

 Soil  from  the  cemetry...you  don't  have  zombie  hands  popping  out  of  your  aquaiums  at  midnight?  
 Creeeeeeepy!  Surprised  
                 

 
 None  yet,  I  dont  have  souls  friends  who  have  regreted  my  action
 
 
                                                 
girlcookart  wrote  (View  Post):                

 I  knew  banana  was  rich  in  potassium  but  putting  a  raw  peel  in  the  aquarium?I  am  not  so  sure...you  must  have  got  a  rotten  smell.  Its  one  thing  to  put  it  in  a  organic  compost  heap.
                 

 
 Not  in  the  raw  peel  in  the  aquarium  Knock  (dobs),....crush  it  and  mix  it  with  soll  before  adding  the  garden  mud  soil  to  Tank,  But  dont  dry  it.
 
 
                                                 
girlcookart  wrote  (View  Post):                

 I  like  the  idea  of  dried  peas  though.  And  isn't  river  sand  inert?  
                 

 
 Good  question.  But  who  needs  the  neutrients?  the  sand  or  the  plants?  
 
 sand  is  the  media  which  will  holds  it  and  supply  will  occur  as  per  the  plants  need.  
 
 Plants  will  take  it  as  per  their  requirements  in  a  natural  course.  Soil  holds  and  supplies.
 
 
 
                                                 
girlcookart  wrote  (View  Post):                

 And  what  lighting  did  you  use?  
 
 w/g?
 
 Ok,now  THATS  a  lot  of  questions!                  

 
 in  my  2x1x1  I  used  T5  X  2
 
 in  my  18"X1X1  I  used  PLL  36W  Philips  one  only
 
 
 All  the  regular  Products  are  tested  materials,  but  on  tested  substrates.  
 
 All  river  sands  are  imperfect  substrates,  so  applitacion  of  these  tested  materials  will  again  zero  down  to  trial  and  error  and  questions  comes  up  later  "  HOW  MUCH......  in  river  sand  Surprised  ?
 
 Then  why  not  use  the  naturopathy?
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