The 77 gallon tank project.

Patience has finally paid off.

I laid hands upon a 77Gallon tank for quite a short stack of cash. This gives birth to a long time project: A dirt tank.

What is a dirt tank??

A dirt tank is a planted aquarium which uses soil as it’s base layer. The soil is sometimes mineralized (I am doing this) and sometimes used straight out of the bag. There are pros and cons for each method but I believe the pros of mineralizing your dirt first are worth the extra effort you put into it.

Simply said, mineralizing the dirt is basically activating the biodegradation of the soil itself by introducing water to it. This will encourage bacteria growth that is vital for plants.


In this photo, I have wet soil that I mix once a day , I try to keep it moist to make sure bacteria propagates easily.

This soil will eventually get covered with substrate to make sure it stays at the bottom of the tank.

Once the mineralisation of the dirt was complete, I covered the dirt with substrate I already had laying around. Then, I arranged my hardscape, and finally, added the plants.


Once everything is to my liking, I need to fill this up as slowly as possible to avoid any substrate and dirt to be “kicked up” by the water turbulence.  After an hour, my tank was filled up, and fish were back in the tank.

Finished product

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