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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone, I've been popping up here and there in some discussions but wanted to send out an official hello. I began experimenting with Ms. Walstad's method back in college, but gave up the hobby for a few years as I was figuring out "Ok, now what do I do with my life?" haha. Anyway, I'm back at it! I started with a small 2.5g jar to make sure I was still indeed interested. One thing led to another, and now I have a 12g long and low tank.

I'm big on keeping notes, so I wanted to share my trials and tribulations as I jump back in the game. I'll update here and there as the weeks and months go by. But as a warning, this first post may be a little long... I'm happy for feedback and suggestions.

12g Long
Start date: 3-22-21

Aquarium Set-up Details:

12 gallon long, low-iron, rimless.
Dimensions (LxWxH in inches): 35.5x7.9x9.9 inches.
MarineDepot.com

Potting soil base, aquarium gravel and black sand topper.
  • Gravel was used in the back portion of the tank and around the left/right sides.
  • Sand was used in the front portion of the tank.
Two pieces of driftwood that were soaked for 2-3 weeks with a purigen filter and scrubbed with a kitchen scrub sponge half way through the soaking period.
  • Driftwood was placed on the glass and substrates were added around it.
Marina S10 Power Filter
  • Slim design, has 3 different chambers for media. One chamber will be for course sponge, one for fine sponge, and the third will be for purigen in the beginning to aid in any remaining tannins. After a few weeks the purigen will be removed and only the sponges will be used for mechanical filtration.
  • The filter will be used for gentle water movement and mechanical filtration.
FREESEA 50w Heater

Plant Information:

Initial Plants:

• Dwarf Sag
• Flame moss
• Christmas moss
• Nana Anubias
• Glossostigma
• Java fern
• Dwarf hair grass
• Banana plant
• Crypt wendtii
• Val Asiatica
• Water Wisteria
• Hornwort
• Frogbit
• Bacopa
• Madagascar lace bulb
• Lucky bamboo


Plant Notes:
Frogbit, bacopa, water wisteria, and Christmas moss were taken from a submerged state from other small tanks.

Dwarf sag, flame moss, crypt wendtii, dwarf hair grass, Val asiatica, glossostigma, nana anubias, and Java fern were received and floated in jars for 1-2 weeks where they were mostly submerged, but had some direct air access.

Madagascar lace bulb and the banana plant were received in water and were left in there with the bag cut open for around 1 week.

Concerning the lucky bamboo, I only used stems that currently had some root growth. The leaves and top of the stalk are kept out of water, but the base was pushed into the soil layer.

Thought process behind the above notes, regarding the second section describing plants floating in holding jars:
I’ve had a lot of problems with submerging plants and having them die within a few days. The leaves nor stems recovered.

I am testing the idea of floating plants in holding jars where they are mostly submerged but have access to the air, as an alternative to the dry start method. I realize the methods are very different, but by floating them I wonder if the leaves will melt more or less than going directly from an non-emergent to a fully submerged state.

1-2 weeks of holding may not be enough, but during the holding period I didn’t see any leaf loss or other problems. I will then monitor these plants now that they have been fully submerged.

73206
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
March 27, 2021

Plant updates:

Val Asiatica and Dwarf Sag:
Some leaves are experiencing leaf melt, but not all of the leaves. Some Val’s have not experienced any melt (on the top half of the leaf in particular), but over half of the specimens have had melting issues.
More Val and Dwarf Sag was added to the tank.

Nana Anubias:
The only plant experiencing some pearling.

Flame moss:
Most of the moss is experiencing melt, but 2 small sections appear very green and healthy.

Christmas Moss:
Transitioned fantastically. A section of the moss has hair algae, but I’m not overly worried about it at this time. As the tank matures I believe this won’t be an issue.

Glossostigma:
A little leaf melt occurred, but on the whole, the plants have remained healthy and strong looking.

Water Wisteria:
This plant came from an existing aquarium, but the bottom section’s leaves are browning and dying back. The top of the plant is bright green with no issues.

Bacopa:
One stem is looking fantastic, the other is turning brown and dying back. This plant came from an existing aquarium.

Dwarf Hair Grass:
I am surprised there hasn’t been melting issues with this plant, but at this point it is looking fantastic.
Another section of DWG was added.

Crypt wendtii:
Two additional plants were added.

Frogbit:
Additional frogbit was added.

Note:
In the mail are a few bunches of: Anacharis, Pennywort, and Ludwigia Repens (dark red). They will be added to the tank upon arrival.

Livestock:
A few Melanesian Trumpet Snails and a few Rabbit Snails were added and are periodically seen. More of each will be added in the coming weeks.
Ramshorn snails will be added next week.
Red Cherry Shrimp will be added in the next week or so.

Tank Notes:
Since set up, general plant LED lights that I had on hand have been used with no specific schedule or siesta. A new LED light system has been ordered. Once it arrives, it will be set on a timer schedule with an added, daily siesta period.

Hydroten/LECA balls that were boiled and pre-soaked have been added primarily for aesthetic reasons around the driftwood*.
*As a reminder, the driftwood was soaked and scrubbed before being added to the tank. It was placed directly on the glass bottom and the substrate was built around it.

A half-coconut “cave” has been soaked and boiled and may be added. This tank was set up and designed with corydoras and shrimp in mind. Additional Flame Moss and maybe a Java Fern will be attached.

pH is low, but ammonia is a little high. However, the levels are stabilizing each day and I’m hoping the plant addition’s will help.
IMG_1405.JPG IMG_1406.JPG IMG_1408.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
March 31, 2021

Tank Notes:
  • Ammonia has decreased to a safe level, but in turn Nitrates and Nitrites have increased dramatically.
  • Leaf melting seems to have come to a stop. One stem plant was removed as it did not survive the transfer.
  • Initial snails have survived the varying water parameters.
  • Biofilm has begun collecting on the surface of the water.
  • New LED light fixture will be installed tomorrow.
I’ve had another algae bloom. Green algae has attached itself to a large section of the glass.

I have decided to add the small coconut shell cave (that will be covered in moss and java ferns). Essentially it gives me more surface area to add plants. I intend on sticking it near plants that will fill in around the shell to mask some of its look. I decided to add this element to provide another source of privacy/hiding for shrimp.

Livestock:
More MTS and Rabbit Snails will be added this week. Also, a batch of blue ramshorn snails as well as a small batch of black worms* have been ordered.

Plant Updates:

Nana Anubias:
One of the leaves has yellowed and looks like it will die.

Christmas Moss:
Still experiencing hair algae. I’ve been doing research on the various kinds of algae (both from Ecology of the Planted Aquarium and online). I am going to gently remove some of the hair algae and discard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Woah! The posts, haha. I'm trying to keep it as clean and organized as I can.

General questions at this point:
  1. Should I remove the clump of hair algae?
  2. Should I wipe off the algae on the glass?
  3. Does an HOB filter with mechanical filtration degas co2 if it only provides a gentle surface movement?
  4. As ammonia has declined, I've noticed an increase in nitrates and nitrites. Normal? (for a new set up)
  5. It was recommended to add floaters and reduce lighting. What would an appropriate amount be? My set up allows for a 10, 32, 55, 77, and 100% levels of brightness.* (more info below).
*I have a 20watt full spectrum LED lighting system. I read in Ms. Walstad’s book from a question and answer segment that this is too much light for most submergent plants.
Note: I do have frogbit as floaters. Usually covering 50-75% of the surface area.
 

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Nice looking tank and excellent notes! Everything looks good, except rabbit snails Tylomelania will eat plants. I have them for a while and had to rehome them.

1. Yes.
2, Yes.
3. Usually no.
4. Yes.
5. You will just need to try different settings and coverage of floaters. I suggest that you decide how many floaters you like for aesthetics, then adjust the lighting to keep algae under control.

Good luck!
 

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An organized, logical mind. Bravo!
Unlike submerged plants, floaters can use very intense light [my book, page 146 (Fig IX-2)]. So instead of reducing lighting, I would maintain a nice cover of floaters to reduce your light levels. If those floaters are growing well, they are removing ammonia very efficiently. Floaters have the 'aerial advantage' over algae; they can protect your submerged plants in a new setup.
 

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Very nice! I’m looking forward to watching your progress. I have a 6 gallon from Marine Depot and wish I’d gotten the 12 instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
April 2, 2021
  • New LED light has been attached.
  • Two bunches of Pennywort were added to the tank. They arrived in “ok” condition. So we will see how they adjust.
  • Glass algae has been wiped off and a large part of the hair algae has been removed.
  • A partial water change was made.
Plant updates:

Water Wisteria:
Roots are growing and new leaf growth can be seen.

C. Wendtii:
One of the plants was seen floating after the water change so it was placed back in the substrate. The other two wendtii plants have perked up and are looking strong.

Bacopa:
I thought the bacopa was dying, so I was about to pull it from the tank. When I grabbed the leaves though, I noticed it is just covered in a brown algae. I wiped some of the leaves off gently with my fingers.

The fact that the wisteria is rooting and growing a new stem, and that the wendtii has perked up gives me reason to suspect the other plants are settling in as well. I hope to see more growth (from various plants) over the next few days. — which will be a very welcomed change, haha.

Livestock:

Red cherry shrimp have arrived, but my parameters aren’t balanced quite yet. I’m going to up my water changes for today and tomorrow and keep them in a holding tank for now.

I also have two nerites in my original planted jar (3g), and would like to get one acclimated to the 12g as soon as I can.

April 3, 2021

General notes:
  • New lighting system was given a siesta period, and shrimp were added.
  • Some plants continue to look healthier than others, but I’m allowing nature to take its course.
  • I moved the floating hornwort in front of the filter.
  • More frogbit was added from another tank, but the existing frogbit is spreading.

April 4, 2021

We have reached stabled water parameters!

One Nerite snail will be acclimated today.
8CF57590-5C26-408C-8EA9-F0D37645BF84.jpeg
 

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This tank was set up and designed with corydoras [...] in mind.
As all tanks should be. 😉

The dimensions of that tank are pretty interesting. Being so shallow I reckon it'll fill up pretty fast. Do you intend to trim a lot or allow the plants to grow above the water too?
 

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They usually will eat DECAYING plant matter (or just, unhealthy leaves that are just starting to rot off/decay) but they mostly eat soft algaes. 😷 😩
My Tylomelania were kept in their own tank with anubias and cryptocoryne. They were fed algae wafers and blanched fresh vegetables. They mostly ignored the wafers, and preferentially ate the live, healthy plants instead. When I was researching them I found an underwater photo of their natural habitat, a lake on Sulawesi. There were no higher plants visible at all.
 

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I read that rabbit snails will eat some plants but not others. When I had them, I did not notice them eating the plants I had.
 

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Interesting. There are several different species, perhaps some are herbivorous and some not.
 

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Perhaps different species have different plant eating behavior. I had the yellow spotted snail if I remember correctly. These guys are so slow To feed, I’d recommend a species only tank for them. I think mine starved to death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
As all tanks should be. 😉

The dimensions of that tank are pretty interesting. Being so shallow I reckon it'll fill up pretty fast. Do you intend to trim a lot or allow the plants to grow above the water too?
Haha! I agree, corydoras have been my favorite for the longest time. I intentionally got a long and low aquarium with them in mind.


Also I plan to let any that go emergent to do so as they’ll get the “aerial advantage.” However, some will be trimmed as needed.

For now, I’m letting everything grow as it wishes and to take over a bit. It’ll let me see which are successful and which aren’t. Then I’ll dial in from there.

————

Also, thanks everyone for the input on rabbit snails. It’s really interesting and not what I found in the light research I did. It’s making me want to look into it further! ...because I like the extra info any life in my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
6B467938-3782-4719-92A5-93579175357F.jpeg April 5, 2021

Plant updates:

Pennywort:
Has shed a few of the leaves that didn’t ship well, but the good growth that was there is maintaining.

Anacharis:
Added to the tank today. Two small bunches. Plant had lost a lot of its green during shipment, but no black, rotted sections.

Ludwigia:
2 stem branches added to the tank today.
The third stem had partisan black, Rot. I pinched it off and am going to place it in my “catch all” tank until it grows more.

Livestock:

The nerite snail was added yesterday, as well as a gold mystery snail.

The cherry shrimp have adjusted wonderfully and many are carrying eggs.

Three male Endlers were purchased and added. One did not survive overnight, but the other two are active and eating. I plan to add a handful more in the coming days.

April 7, 2021

Livestock:

Five new male endlers have been purchased and added to the tank. Mixed variety. One is very likely to be a endler/guppy hybrid.

My only concern is the hybrid may be female? Any thoughts?

Tank Notes:

Nitrates, ‘trites, and ammonia are zero.
73255
 

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View attachment 73255 April 5, 2021

Plant updates:

Pennywort:
Has shed a few of the leaves that didn’t ship well, but the good growth that was there is maintaining.

Anacharis:
Added to the tank today. Two small bunches. Plant had lost a lot of its green during shipment, but no black, rotted sections.

Ludwigia:
2 stem branches added to the tank today.
The third stem had partisan black, Rot. I pinched it off and am going to place it in my “catch all” tank until it grows more.

Livestock:

The nerite snail was added yesterday, as well as a gold mystery snail.

The cherry shrimp have adjusted wonderfully and many are carrying eggs.

Three male Endlers were purchased and added. One did not survive overnight, but the other two are active and eating. I plan to add a handful more in the coming days.

April 7, 2021

Livestock:

Five new male endlers have been purchased and added to the tank. Mixed variety. One is very likely to be a endler/guppy hybrid.

My only concern is the hybrid may be female? Any thoughts?

Tank Notes:

Nitrates, ‘trites, and ammonia are zero. View attachment 73255
I don't see any females. Males have color and the gonopodium fin. Females have a gravid spot near the anus and no color. I have never heard that hybridization would change this equation?
 
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