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Old 11-06-2012, 05:18 AM   #21 
ravenwinds
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With stem plants, it is usually better to ( painstakingly) plant each stem separately...just slide it into substrate just about as far as it will go...remove leaves that are to be buried...if left on they may cause stem to rot...watersprite and anarchis are good stem/bunch plants...for what to look for: go to aquariumplants.com or aquariumplantscentral.com....both have good info, just look in their stem/bunch plant sections...this way, you can see a good picture and get info....both companies are great to purchase from as well...for future endeavours!

For crypts: a seller on aquabid (another awesome place to buy from) told me: plant the crypt, carefully as they can be delicate stems and all, and then gently pull plant up ever so slightly....he said everyone wants to plant it completely but crown area (where roots end and leaves begin...usually whiter area) does a bit better if its farther out of substrate than you initially plant it. I know, its a bit convoluted :) but he said just plant it how you normally would and then gently pull it up a bit. I find this does help with melting issues.

Swords: they usually have a rosette pattern, plant roots, anything green keep out of sand! When they start growing, they usually take off fast...so, plant towards the back or one side and leave growing room around it. They also have higher light needs, so be careful not to shade it with other plants.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:23 AM   #22 
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I would get 5 or 6 Malaysian trumpet snails ...you could start off with less...not a specific number needed as they will usually over run your tank if unchecked :)
MTS don't have egg sacks...they birth live babies, so more than likely, you will awake one morning to a tank wall or part of the substrate littered with these tiny, perfect shells that look like unicorn horns!
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #23 
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Ok, so it was a long night last night! I tied the anubias and java fern to the driftwood. I had no glue and was too lazy to go out and grab some :P


I planted the wisteria and anacharis in the back.

I did plant the crypt wendtii and brazil swords, roots only, and left the green out of the substrate.

My only worry is this. I have the soil at the bottom and then a cap of sand. The sand is only half as thick as the soil. Should the roots reach all the way into the soil?

Also what are your opinions on using soil as opposed to a special aquarium plant substrate like fluval?

I have not been able to find the snails :( i'm going to call more LFS tomorrow and check.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:15 PM   #24 
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MTS are common hitch hikers. if your lfs arent hobbyist, they may not know what you are talking about. They are viewed as pest snails by the amateur aquarist :)

you can get those fore free usually if you'd just ask the shop keepers.

the plant roots will grow to reach the soil, you really dont have to worry much about that.

I cant answer much about the substrates, I treat all sustrates the same way.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:59 PM   #25 
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Hi.. I read your thread and went to aquariumplantscentral.com and it didn't bring anything up. Could this be www.plantedaquariumscentral.com? I found it when searching for the other... Thanks!!
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:06 PM   #26 
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Agreed with aokashi. Roots will grow to reach soil like the plant will grow towards the light.
It is possible you already have some trumpet snails....but if you want more, I will send you some if you pay postage...just PM me!

I am a dirt girl! Since I did 1 NPT/dirt tank, I have done them all that way....goes along with my pagan naturalist lifestyle ...easier to deal with as I don't have to use fertilizers, except occasional iron for my swords and other iron lovers. Once they are set-up, they are as close to a true ecosystem as possible. My first planted tank, I did with caribsea's version of eco-complete. It required a lot of rinsing, but then I could replant as desired for first month without mud cloud, but it seemed to me that it was harder to keep stems in the substrate...and after 1 month, dirt will no longer try to escape when you move things around AND since you don't vacuum eco-complete like gravel, after 1month, you get some "dirt" clouding the water, so those expensive substrates lose their primary advantage.
Of course, I LOVE the smooth sand cap...I use Petco black sand...it's kind of messy while planting and filling tank first time, but even that is OK after you get rhythm of it: sprinkle peat on bottom of tank (should be able to see through it to glass), add your sifted dirt (tried wet or dry...not much difference), put water in to make wetter than damp but not soupy, pour on dry sand, add enough water to fill above sand about 3 inches (pour water into shallow bowl that is sitting on sand so as not to disturb substrate....main thing is don't get impatient; fill verrrry slowly), I let sit for a bit to help everything get saturated....and then plant slowly and carefully!
I'm sorry that you had such a hard time with sand but honestly the "high tech" substrates have just as many drawbacks with rinsing four dozen times (darn near literally) and then always having to dose aquarium with ferts.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:10 PM   #27 
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Yeah sorry....that's the right site you have. The owner is wonderful and normally has a selection of plants for sale on aquabid site, as well. From aquabid, I've purchased from her, p_volitan, mikeswetpets, snail_chen, and a few others. You can get some good deals from them...it was great working with ones I have listed.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #28 
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I regret to inform one java fern has died and one crypt also has passed. :(

Everything else I think is looking pretty good. I haven't found trumpet snails..Are there any other ones I should buy? Should I be feeding my plants or be doing anything else?

I saw on youtube all these videos and i should have bought the fluval edge kit for planted tanks...it comes with the cool substrated and CO2 stuff..Oh well maybe for the next one. Anyone have experience with these?

On another note. My anubia in my 1 gallon tank where I have my female betta in seems to be idk. Hurt? Could my betta possibly be eating/biting it?
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:15 AM   #29 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenwinds View Post
Agreed with aokashi. Roots will grow to reach soil like the plant will grow towards the light.
It is possible you already have some trumpet snails....but if you want more, I will send you some if you pay postage...just PM me!

I am a dirt girl! Since I did 1 NPT/dirt tank, I have done them all that way....goes along with my pagan naturalist lifestyle ...easier to deal with as I don't have to use fertilizers, except occasional iron for my swords and other iron lovers. Once they are set-up, they are as close to a true ecosystem as possible. My first planted tank, I did with caribsea's version of eco-complete. It required a lot of rinsing, but then I could replant as desired for first month without mud cloud, but it seemed to me that it was harder to keep stems in the substrate...and after 1 month, dirt will no longer try to escape when you move things around AND since you don't vacuum eco-complete like gravel, after 1month, you get some "dirt" clouding the water, so those expensive substrates lose their primary advantage.
Of course, I LOVE the smooth sand cap...I use Petco black sand...it's kind of messy while planting and filling tank first time, but even that is OK after you get rhythm of it: sprinkle peat on bottom of tank (should be able to see through it to glass), add your sifted dirt (tried wet or dry...not much difference), put water in to make wetter than damp but not soupy, pour on dry sand, add enough water to fill above sand about 3 inches (pour water into shallow bowl that is sitting on sand so as not to disturb substrate....main thing is don't get impatient; fill verrrry slowly), I let sit for a bit to help everything get saturated....and then plant slowly and carefully!
I'm sorry that you had such a hard time with sand but honestly the "high tech" substrates have just as many drawbacks with rinsing four dozen times (darn near literally) and then always having to dose aquarium with ferts.
are trumpet snails the best to use? I heard they reproduce like craaaazy! lol

Yes my experience was bad lol but I did learn from it thanks to you guys!

Should i get some iron too or any other supplements to help?

I will post a pic tonight after I remove some of the dead ones and get some more opinions from everyone.

Thanks again!

P.S i had bought the expensive fluval substrate. It was hard to work with too. Turned the water black and you pretty much had to change the water until it clears. Idk how the people on youtube did it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:18 AM   #30 
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Sorry about late response...was offline for a couple of days.
Don't have experience with fluval edge...most of composite substrates have to be rinsed in a bucket like forever :( and they don't last any longer, and most of time a lot less, than your dirt tanks ...ok, what I have had to come to turns with is this: do I want this tank to be a self-sustaining ecosystem (or close to it)...or do I want high-tech lighting and co2?
I have done both and for most part, I like my little ecosystems better. But I am still fidgeting around with low-tech setup, trying to get everything working how I want it to...and let's face it, at this point in my life, I cannot afford $5000 or more for 1 tank setup in high-tech...which is what your looking at to compete with the "true aquascaping" breed out there!
So, someday I want to aquascape a huge aquarium, but I am still learning about the plants and how they behave underwater...so, for now, I will perfect my ecosystems and maybe make a hybrid someday soon...so many options...;)
You will never be happy with your tanks if you keep up an internal debate between high and low-tech, so choose one or the other, or hybrid of the two, and don't look back after you begin.

MTS: like any snail, they can be a pest and breed like crazy...but, they are the only choice to help you aerate your soil under sand cap to keep out pockets of dead anaerobic soil....you can poke holes with a pencil/stick/fork to help, but I don't know how effective that is. With MTS, I just leave soil/substrate alone because I know between snails and plant roots, my soil is taken care of adequately. I know they sell them on aquabid and I have plenty available if you just want to pay shipping.

...yes, you might have to, on occasion, dispatch some extras (or you could attempt to sell them on aquabid ...or give them away...;)
OldFishLady states emphatically that your "ecosystem" needs snails to work, to be an ecosystem. I will defer to her experience...even if pond snails love munching on aquatic plants and even with my Brown ramshorns that seem to eat my plants when they say ramshorns don't eat your plants (huh...could have fooled me!). Seriously though, at least my MTS don't eat my plants!
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