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El Natural Diana Walstad's low-maintenance, soil-based 'El Natural' method for keeping plants and fish.

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Old 07-21-2020, 05:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2 days post DSM flooding questions...

Hello! After reading the Ecology of the Planted Aquarium book I decided to try my first Walstad.
I did 2 and a half months of DSM and finally flooded the tank 2 days ago (ramshorn snails appeared in my tank since 2 weeks ago).

My questions are the following:

1. I currently have 5 hours of light, 3 hours siesta 5 hours of light. Is this too much? Also, should I put the lights higher up? They are 2x Philips 13W 6500k led bulbs.

2. I ordered 5x x-ray tetras, 5x cherry shrimp and 10x malaysian snails and they were expected to arrive later this week, yesterday they told me they will arrive today! Is it to fast to add them to the tank after only 2 days of flooding? Diana talks about adding fish in day one but i'm kinda concerned there is not enough bacteria to handle this livestock.

Thanks a lot!

BTW: I haven't flooded the tank to the top since I want to have some emerging plants and slowly keep rising the water level.

My tank:

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Old 07-21-2020, 02:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2 days post DSM flooding questions...

With that amount of biomass and growth, I think that you could add a huge number of animals. Great plant growth in this tank!

You need to tell us what tank size it is before we can say whether light is adequate or too much. However, in the end, it's the results that count!
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2 days post DSM flooding questions...

Thanks for the response, the tank is an 8 gallon.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2 days post DSM flooding questions...

I have never measured the light intensity from screw-in LED bulbs, nor have I ever seen any data from other people. That makes it difficult to figure out what light intensity you have. But, I also don't know what the range of intensities for El Natural tanks is.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2 days post DSM flooding questions...

I was using 10W LED bulb on my 2.5 gallon bowl and it was ok. I find algae to be the best bioindicator of imbalance between plants requirements, light (intensity and duration), co2 and other nutrients.

Assuming that fresh NPT has plenty of nutrients and adequate levels of CO2, I use this time to setup my "ideal" light schedule. I start with duration and intensity which suits my preference (if the tank's in a bedroom or living room, etc.). Usually it's hard to nail the ideal combination on the first attempt, so once algae appears (staghorn and green spot in my case), I slightly decrease intensity and/or duration. If by any chance I don't have any algae and I want to push it to the edge, I increase both until algae appears and then tune it down a little. After few weeks of tweaking I have my tailored schedule for the given tank.

These days I strongly prefer having lights with automatic intensity control, it allows me to have even 15 hours of light with minimum algae (I do not use siesta break) and livestock is not stressed by sudden light changes.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2 days post DSM flooding questions...

I want to be reincarnated as a shrimp and live in this tank.
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Old 07-24-2020, 02:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2 days post DSM flooding questions...

Hahaha I hope my shrimp start breeding soon, I could have easily more than 5 right?
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