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Old 06-07-2011, 08:56 AM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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Both of those would be good...here is a pic of my 2gal soil based sand cap....its about 3 years old
My biggest problem is the massive plant growth...lol......it gets or needs water changes about every 3 months...as you can see it needs a trim right now...lol......no filtration, no added ferts or CO2......RCS, trumpet snails, common snails and a single male Betta.......

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Old 06-07-2011, 09:17 AM   #12 
cableguy69846
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Very nice. I am planning on running a small filter though. I am going to use a Hagen Elite Mini. I have one in my 2.5 gallon and I love it. I am also thinking the only thing I will have to dose is some sort of CO2, but I can use Excel for that.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:17 AM   #13 
Tisia
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every 3 months, wow, that just seems crazy. may have to try that someday, lol
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:47 AM   #14 
Oldfishlady
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As the soil based tanks mature you have natural or normal decomp that goes on and this decomp process create CO2, the livestock also make a small amount of CO2 as do the plants with lights out.....

I have filters on some of my bigger tanks-but more for water movement...I found on the smaller tanks-not needed, however, I do use a filter sometimes when I set a new one up for the first 30-60 days...by then it is usually clogged and I remove it...lol.....

You think water changes every 3 months is wild....on my big tanks....water changes are 2-3 times a year at best......water change needs are different on natural planted tanks...its part of the design........you can't do this with regular gravel based tanks or tank with just a few live plants.....it takes lots and lots of plants and live soil for the soil based ecosystem to work together....plants function as filtration and use ammonia for food-they also use the DOC's which is also harmful to fish/livestock...its a balance.......and it doesn't take much to get it off balance.....overstocking can be a big issue since they are closed systems.......but once mature and balanced......awesome tanks to keep........
I have more pic in my album if you would like to see more of my natural planted soil based tanks....
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:58 AM   #15 
Tisia
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your tanks are amazing (cute kitty too)
I may just have to experiment with it a bit. I'm kind of concerned because I seem to have a bit of a brown thumb, lol
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:11 AM   #16 
cableguy69846
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Went hunting for plants the other day and could not find what I wanted. Also am thinking of using the FLuval Stratum instead of the soil for this one. We will see. Going to try looking for plants again this weekend.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:09 AM   #17 
cableguy69846
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Ok. So, I decided on a different light fixture. I had one of those reptile clamp lamps lying and a 13 watt CFL bulb lying around. Can you see where I am going with this? I think I am going to use that instead along with the soil and gravel cap. The soil is Ferti-Lome Ultimate potting soil and the gravel is just regular black fish tank gravel. I put about an inch of the potting soil and I will cap that with the gravel. Here is what it looks like without the soil.



Here it is with the dirt.



Do I need more? Maybe less? Let me know. And I also need to come up with a plant list. I think I want to use some Glosso as a carpet plant, but I have no idea on anything else at the moment. Give me some feedback. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:26 AM   #18 
Oldfishlady
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Nice light..whats the kelvin on that and how old is the bulb...this isn't the bulb you used for heating the reptiles...if so, it may be too much and you will end up with an algae farm....

Soil looks good.....the white stuff vermiculite or perilite....is not harmful...but it sometimes will float...just net it out when it does....I can't really tell how much soil you have...but I would use about 2 inches..it will compact some once you cap with gravel and add water too and you want enough soil for the plant roots.....

Look for water wisteria, hygrophilia species, ludwigia natans, rotala indica, vals, sags, naja grass and good floaters like water lettuce, frogbit, duckweed and adding some driftwood with java moss attached looks nice too....

If you have a sprayer on your sink...use that to spray water over the soil like you are watering it...add just enough water to cover to start the soil on its road to its submerged life while you are waiting on the plants....once it is water logged...day or so...add a couple of inches more of water and the perilite will float and you can net it out...

Once you get your plants-remove as much water as you can-plant the stem plants then cap with the gravel to help keep them in place-fill half way with water-drain-repeat until the water is clear...be sure and add the dechlorinater on the finial fill....gotta be really careful with filling with water so not to disturb the soil bed....

If you get any rosette type plants...vals, sags, swords...be sure and keep the crown above the gravel layer some for best growth....I like to lay the root on top the soil and then cover with the sand or gravel cap...too shallow is better than too deep for them

Glosso-may or may not work/grow since they tend to do best in high light CO2 tanks...it may not cover like you want and grow more upright...a good lawn would be micro swords.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 06-14-2011 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:35 AM   #19 
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First may I say you guys are my heroes right now. :) and second I can't wait to see how this turns out. I'm doing a simular thing as well cept using sand instead of gravel for my Cories. should look amazing when and if I ever get it done (working on getting the lighting right now..Do you need a hood for it? I have a 10 gal right now)
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:37 AM   #20 
cableguy69846
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Nice light..whats the kelvin on that...this isn't the bulb you used for heating the reptiles...if so, it may be too much and you will end up with an algae farm....

Soil looks good.....the white stuff vermiculite or perilite....is not harmful...but it sometimes will float...just net it out when it does....I can't really tell how much soil you have...but I would use about 2 inches..it will compact some once you cap with gravel and add water too and you want enough soil for the plant roots.....

Look for water wisteria, hygrophilia species, ludwigia natans, rotala indica, vals, sags, naja grass and good floaters like water lettuce, frogbit, duckweed and adding some driftwood with java moss attached looks nice too....
Thank you. That is not the same bulb that I used for heat for the reptiles. I took that one out. I will for sure have some moss in this tank and I am thinking the wisteria as well. Now to find it all. And as far as the soil, I will add some before I cap it. I have about an inch in there now, but it is bone dry at the moment. After a quick search, I am going to use the Glosso, Hygrophila difformis, and some type of moss. Probably Java moss.
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