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small shrimp tank using dirt (first time) Advise please :)

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Hi Again

I am starting up my small 3 gallon shrimp tank trying to use what I already have. I wanted to try a dirt substrate tank because I don't want to buy a big bag of echo complete just for this tank. Its a cylinder tank (from Zen Aqua) and I am using a piece of Mopani wood and some smooth river stones. I purchased Java Fern, Pogostemon stellatus octupus, Anubias nana petite and Barteri, red melon sword, Brazilian penny wort and Crypt Lucens. 

How do I use the dirt and it being such a small tank, how deep should I go? Do I really have to use sand? I have some small gravel, and could go and get a bag of sand but would rather use what I have. 

I have to use crushed coral because my KH her is 5 out of the tap and has a tendency to drop in my smaller tanks. 

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