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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After stalking the forums for a week or so, I've decided on a quasi- El Natural method planted aquarium. I'd like to eventually have a school of White Cloud Mountain Minnows in the aquarium and so I'll be working with an unheated 30 gallon (long) tank.

If I want something that can handle lower temperatures (68-72F), what plants should I be looking for?
 

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Hello, and welcome to APC!

Most, if not all, of the common easy species will be fine at those temperatures. Actually, people who keep their tanks very warm (85F +) have a harder time finding plants that will thrive.

Mosses, vallisneria, and sagittaria will all do well.

BTW, some other fish species that like cooler temperatures are gold barbs, panda cories, and the beautiful but aggressive paradise fish.

--Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Off topic, but a point of clarification. I read on the forum that you can mineralize soil by spraying it with water and letting it dry instead of soaking/drying -- is this the case? It'll be difficult to soak and dry while it's raining on and off in WNY.

Thanks,
Peter Lista
 

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Peter, there have been some recent posts about this in the MTS thread in the Library. If I remember correctly, concensus is that you need at least two or three soak, drain, dry cycles to remove excess nutrients, tanins, etc. After that, wetting and drying should work.

I have set up tanks with Miracle Grow Organic Choice straight from the bag, soaked and drained several times but not mineralized, and fully mineralized. If I couldn't mineralize it, I definitely would soak and drain before I put it in tank.

--Michael
 

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You could bake the soil, or boil it. I've done all three ways and have not seen a difference in plant growth. For my smaller tanks, I boil it, then bake for 20 mins or so to dry it out some. For my larger tanks I have done Aaron's method.
 

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Peter,

White clouds, a great fish, will do very well at temperatures from the low 70's to the mid 80's. While they originated in cool mountain streams in China, all of the stock now available have been bred locally for decades and have acclimated to many environments. During the summer mine experienced high temperatures in the 80's for several months and continued to eat with gusto and spawn with vigor.

As far as "mineralizing" soil is concerned, I soak mine for a week or two, changing the water several times. That helps to rid the soil of excess organics, andt it also removes wood, livestock, and other undesirables.

Bill
 
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