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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello
yesterday I just tried to make my first aquascape after watching few videos about how to make aquascape with walstad method on youtube its makes me interested to try it, it looks very easy in the video but what I experienced was quite difficult.

my first difficulty is soil, i cant find any suitable soil except to buy dedicated soil for aquascape as well as fertilizer and others things..So I decided to take dirt soil in the mountains near my house and try to filter out unwanted particles such as big gravel , worm , bug and other pests.
my second difficulty i have no idea what gravel or sand to use for top layer..and so i decided to use cheap black volcanic sand.
and my last difficulty is i have trouble planting plants because the sand is too light , i have to several times to replanting because the plants float after being filled with water.

-the volume of the jar are 2 liter and 4 liter ( i did 2 jars at the same time)
- size of the substrate dirt is 2.5 cm (1 inch)
-size of the sand is 3cm (1 inch more)
-plants are used (vallisneria spiralis, ludwigia sp red, cryptocoryne wendtii , bacopa monnieri , sagittaria subulata)
-for bulb i use cheap white LED bulb (3W for 2 liter and 5W for 4 liter)

some of the plants are turning yellow especilly vallisneria maybe this is because i had to pinch the plant too strong tight with my tweezers when replanting , should i worry about it?

here are some photos i took today
Plant Water Green Fluid Food storage containers

Plant Food storage containers Drinkware Liquid Ingredient

Plant Flower Houseplant Terrestrial plant Flowerpot

Plant Houseplant Flowerpot Terrestrial plant Flower



thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One day is too soon to know much of anything, but, I have to tell you, your water looks remarkably clear for a brand new NPT! How much soil do you have in there?
how long does it usually take to know if something is wrong or not?
maybe its because i used dechlorinated water or the cloudy dirt already settle? i dont know exactly how much , but i put 2.5cm (1 inch) of soil and 3cm (1.2 inch) of black sand for top layer
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's too early to tell, but you have done quite a bit right. Thank goodness I don't see any driftwood!

Jar looks sealed. You need gas exchange. I would take the lid off and lower the water level an inch.

Make sure that the light is on for at least 11 hours/day.

Make sure that your water has medium hardness, GH greater than 4-5 degrees (i.e., 70 ppm CaCO3). If you are using R.O. water or a house water softener, then Val, being a hardwater plant, would be the first to show its unhappiness. Ultra-soft water is a common problem for people living in New York, Seattle, Raleigh, all cities where the water is too soft. Water without calcium will actually kill hardwater plants (my book, p. 114).
thank you for the advice , im super excited with my first planted tank looks like i really need to be patient.
for the water i used tap water and i let it sit overnight i didn't know soft water would be bad for some plant , is there any recommend method to increase the water hardness?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would just wait. Even if your water is too soft, the soil may release enough calcium into the water for the plants. Therefore, I would advise not changing the water unless you feel you have to. Increasing water hardness is complicated and may be unnecessary.

If ALL the plants collapse, then I would start worrying about water hardness. In that case, investigate your water department or talk to a local plumber. A basic rule of thumb: If water source is ground water or from desert area, it will be sufficiently hard. If it is surface water from a rainy region, it may be too soft. Ideally, you should know whether your tapwater is hard or soft before growing aquarium plants. All USA municipal water department release statements on the Internet about the chemistry of their waters. You can always phone them.

I would give the plants two weeks. By then you should know whether your venture worked out or not. Remember that planted aquariums are complicated and have hundreds of variables. Some plants may adjust, others may not.

In Summary: I applaud you for starting out small, using soil, lots of good growing plants, no driftwood, and consulting with this forum.

Write back in a couple of weeks with your results and we can go from there.
There are a few recent-ish threads on the forum about increasing water hardness. There is a recipe in Ecology of the Planted Aquarium to increase hardness, there are Wonder Shells which are dissolvable "shells" that increase hardness, or you can try using crushed coral/aragonite/etc (although this tends to release more slowly and may not be adequate on its own, depending on your base water parameters).

Couple of threads that may interest you:
thankss for a lot of informations!
I heard from my father that the tap water in my city uses a filtration system with chlorine so I believe that the tap water I'm using may be too soft, but i think i should check it again just to be sure.
today i decided to replace some of the water by about 50%, i used dechlorinate water and also added a bit of dolomite sand (with ratio 4 gallon water and 1 teaspoon of dolomit sand) I read that on google about dolomite sand can increase water hardness and contains calcium and magnesium but im not sure about what I did just by dissolving it in water now i regret it perhaps i should change again the water next day? or just let it be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
update after 2 weeks some things happen
  • i experience brown algae (i believe its diatom algae but not sure) added snails to take care of the algae after few days its almost clean.
  • i saw some white worms swimming around , i did research on google they called detritus worm i read they're not harmful i think its probably a good sign for my tank.
  • trimmed the sag subulata , added little amazon sword and amazon frogbit.
  • haven't changed the water at all since first water change 2 weeks ago (I can't wait for the next water change looks like it's still no needed to water change right now).
  • seems like my ludwigia red will not make it , i dont know why i think its lack of some nutrients from the substrate 🤔and the vals bit more greener now but some of the leaves still looks like gonna melt.
  • bacopa moneri and crypts seen growing new shoots.
will keep update after few months 😃😃

Plant Water Houseplant Green Leaf
Plant Terrestrial plant Yellow Grass Flowering plant
Plant Fluid Terrestrial plant Water Organism
Plant Water Plant community Green Leaf


i planning to make next walstad method tank in bigger aquarium (12x8x8 inches) should i mix dirt with vermicompost (worm casting)? will it give better nutrients and boost the longevity of the nutrients? or it just waste my money because im planning to buy the vermicompost
Green Plant Pet supply Flooring Grass

Plant Ingredient Compost Insect Mixture
 

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