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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve spent a few hours rummaging through old threads, and wanted to re-address some of the topics, ideas, and experiments I found.

Essentially, I thought it would be fun (and helpful) to create a thread topic that gears towards discussing experiences about our NPT’s after the basics and set up.

For example I found a thread concerning keeping various worms in the main tank where they colonize and become a constant food source (not the occasional treat). Diana mentioned experimenting with this but between the worms and the Cory cats, it was creating a mess.

Any update on this? Or any other experiences? It touched on the pro’s and con’s and even different types of worms.

Another post asked about what to do and how to recognize when your tank has too many plants.

At what point is trimming not enough and one needs to consider culling?

When trimming, how low to the root system can you go before the plant won’t recover?

But not only these things. Has anyone done anything to their established tanks that took it to a new level (such as adding less common stock or other creatures)?

Any interesting, successful, or unsuccessful experiments?

(But I would love input on establishing an in-tank colony of worms and knowing when the plants you have is too much of a good thing)
 

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I tried hard to grow blackworms as a live food source. I found it very difficult and gave up. I never could grow that many in a 5 gal tank. One club member set up a nice tub system with a pump that seems to work. See photos. Another club member has a 40 gal with a few catfish and seems able to maintain an ongoing tank colony of blackworms. Still the club keep buying and importing blackworms from California for members, so who knows?

I've done plenty of "plant culling." If left to themselves, Crypts will take over a tank completely.

The aquascapers are probably the masters at plant trimming, culling, and thinning. In this instance, I think it's really a matter of practice and experience.
 

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Tubifex might be easier to culture Since they’re more prolific but can get messy feeding them fermented food matter, even horse/cow manure.
The best worms to culture are the terrestrial whiteworms and grindal worms.
 

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A tank has too many plants when you don't like the way it looks anymore, LOL. Seriously, I don't think you can have too many plants for the health of the tank or fish. But some species can out-complete others, or create too much shade for low growing plants.

Plants can be cut close to the substrate. Depending on the species and how healthy they were before the cut, they may or may not recover. Rooted plants can be pulled out for permanent removal. People are often afraid to do this in Walstad tanks because it can disturb the substrate layers. The trick is to do it slowly. Ease the plant out of the soil and cap. You don't have to get all of the roots. For example when removing crytocorynes, pull slowly until you can see an inch or two of roots, then cut them at the substrate. This leaves enough roots on the plant to allow replanting. The rest will die and decay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for the insight.

I think I’m going to stick to frozen worms for now. I’m not really ready to tackle a worm only tank. In the future I think I’ll try my hands at establishing a micro worm set up. It seems easy enough and takes up much less space.

Also, thanks Michael on the detailed plant info. I do trim, but it’s usually half way down, and I wasn’t sure how far to push the limits.
Concerning how many plants are too many, I was reading previously about how some where crowding out others and causing lanky growth. Now that I’ve read your post and thought about it more, it’s made me more confident on where to be aggressive and where not.

I just posted about this on my 12g long thread, but if I want to cull my headache of guppy grass, should I cut below the substrate, or right at it?
 
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