How to: Natural Planted tank - Page 19 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #181 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 06:32 AM
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Can you replace silica sand with the soil? or should I just use soil?
And, also, could I have a filter one if it is a top filter? With a baffle?

- Thanks! x
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post #182 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 07:45 AM
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I thought pool filter sand as all silica sand, but of you mean replacing the soil with a traditional substrate, I think that can work but I haven't done much reasarch on it.

I have a top filter (you'll frequently see it abbreviated as HOB), but OFL suggested not putting the charcoal in.

I had to buy some NLS food today, so I ordered a copy of Diana Walstad's book, The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, yay!
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post #183 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 07:46 AM
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Is this a good choice for soil?

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post #184 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Sagat, I love my Walstad book...I think I have read it about 20 times along with notes written in the margins when I talk with her to clear something up that I don't understand...Its pretty deep scientific based book-but well written IMO.

I cover my soil layer with just enough water to cover so when I add my dry sand-it kinda soaks it up-Then I fill the tank half way with water-then siphon most of that off so I can plant-Note-that I do this different depending on the size of tank too-Not really a right or wrong way per se-these are just general directions. Once planted and scape-I fill-siphon-fill...etc...sometimes I may need to do this 3 or 4 times and sometimes only once-Your goal is clear water for good light penetration to the plants. I don't stress over a bit of soil on top of the sand or soil that floats in the water column-I will get that later if needed.

If you need to use dechlorinator in your water-you don't have to use it if you need to make some back to back water changes when you first set it up-since you don't have livestock in the tank yet-plants will be fine. Just remember to add the proper amount on your finial fill.

It can take weeks-months for the soil to start its life underwater-It should be water logged in a day or so. It is not uncommon and even expected to see the soil "Burp" on occasion-this is normal and nothing to worry about as long as it doesn't smell like rotten eggs.

Filters-they are fine-be sure and place the HOB before you scape and if you plan to use a lid-make sure everything fits right-I learned the hard way...lol...had to tear one down and I had to cut the intake tube on one because it was too long. Be sure and place a hard scape item under the overflow so you don't get too much kick up on the sand-especially in the smaller tanks-plants will work too. Its a good idea to do a dry placement of everything before you start IMO/E. I do it once I add my soil-before I wet it-If I am using a wide base item-like a big rock or driftwood-I sometimes will place it before I add dirt or when I add half the dirt so it sits better in the tank and less chance of the soil going anaerobic under it-especially if I am going to use more than 3 inches total dirt/sand.
Nothing wrong with using filter-I don't in a lot of my tanks-but this is a personal choice-HOB, canisters and sponge filter all will be fine. Sometimes I will start with one and remove it later.

Sorry about your shrimp acadialover, however, you might be surprised and find them later. I keep my shrimp in the same temp that I keep my Bettas...about 76F more or less...

JAGalletta-that soil should be fine-I don't see any additives-be sure and either sift or pick though the soil to remove any large piece of organic matter
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post #185 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:38 PM
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Thank you :)
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post #186 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 11:11 PM
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Thanks for the post. OFL . I am reading all the stuff on line about the Walstad method.
Well, I don't think they are hiding anymore.... boo hoo. I am worried about some plant matter that is on the bottom. If I have no shrimp ? I have two common snails in the tank.
I've also noted that originally my temp may have been too high..... close to 80. Seems my small bronze wendetti (sp ) leaves sort of melted a little
. Everything else looks good except both of those plants.
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post #187 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Your temp should have been fine-its within range and its not uncommon for crypts to melt when moved or going from emersed-submersed leaf change-just be sure the crown is slightly above the substrate line-better to plant rosette too shallow than too deep.
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post #188 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 10:55 PM
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Ok !!
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post #189 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 04:49 PM
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OFL, you mention it can take up to 3 months for the tank to establish. What kinds of things should we expect to see in that three months?

So far, I've seen this in the first 3 weeks:

Stem plants
  • Leaf die-off as leaves ill-adapted for current tank conditions die off
  • New growth, as the plant develops new leaves
  • Occassional floaters, as ill-planted or jostled stems get dislodged. (I seem to find myself replanting stems every few days for the first week)
Rosettes
  • Die-off of ill-adapted leaves... ESPECIALLY crypts
  • Slow growth, overall
  • Potentially needing to split off child plants, for rosettes placed in optimal locations
Floating plants
  • Fast growth/multiplication
  • Fast root growth
  • Some pruning/replanting
  • Java moss and ferns growing root systems.
Other things I've observed, but aren't sure are normal:
  • Algae growth!
  • Tannins, tannins, tannins... After 3 weeks of not changing the water, I finally gave in and did a 5% water change. I'd read that excessive tannins could affect light getting to the plants, so hopefully the new water will help.
  • Leaves simultaneously turning transparent and yellow
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post #190 of 662 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 05:44 PM
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How do you trim sowrdplants? Specifically Amazon ruffled sword plant? My friend really needs to know quick
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LillyMae~ It's two L's not one :)
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