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Anubias are a fun addition to have, especially if you're limited in suppliers. It's a carpet plant; it's a canopy plant; it can float; it can be anchored to a rock. They have amazing roots yet don't really need a substrate in order to do well. I took apart one wall of a net breeder and used that as an anchor for two anubia barteri . I can disguise it with gravel or rocks and just remove the whole lid whenever I clean the bottom of the bowl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Anubias are a fun addition to have, especially if you're limited in suppliers. It's a carpet plant; it's a canopy plant; it can float; it can be anchored to a rock. They have amazing roots yet don't really need a substrate in order to do well. I took apart one wall of a net breeder and used that as an anchor for two anubia barteri . I can disguise it with gravel or rocks and just remove the whole lid whenever I clean the bottom of the bowl:
Thanks for sharing. I will be sticking it to something (still figuring out what) close to the substrate.

I've been sharing the progress with some locals and they have been so discouraging...all of them are like "you need CO2 for a pretty tank" or "what's the purpose of those plants if they aren't gonna be pretty? (Since there is no co2)". So thank you guys for helping me out.

I know the monte carlo isn't the best option for carpet. I honestly got them basically for free so I said, heck I'll try it out. No one had hair grass mini, so i had to improvise. I'm actually interested in using it once a family member brings me 2-3 cups of it.

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And you do need CO2 for a pretty tank, as well as a steady source of other nutrients, you just don't inject them from a bottle and instead rely on the biological decomposition of whatever you are feeding the tank to reach nutrient levels that are good enough for many plants. You won't get the amazing color variety, intensity and growth density that can be achieved with carefully controlled CO2 and fertilizers dosing, but you can still have a beautiful tank, and there are plenty of good examples in this forum.
That said, I think that this method is more about the fun than the looks (also a lot cheaper, particularly in countries where imported supplies are extremely expensive).
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
That's true. And for me is also the ecosystem...i like how the ecosystem can work by itself with little human interference. There's beauty in nature, and how it works...high tech for me feels artificial to a point. But that's my personal point of view.

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Taking parameters today with the API Test kit.

pH - 8.0
Ammonia - 0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 5ppm
KH - 100-150ppm
GH - 150-200ppm
TDS - 162ppm

So it seems the tank is cycling correctly? There's constant biofilm on the top of the tank, so I've been removing it twice a day, and I've been topping it with RO water so hardness and pH has decreased. Sand particles float to the top then fall again...no idea why that is happening...

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Taking parameters today with the API Test kit.

pH - 8.0
Ammonia - 0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 5ppm
KH - 100-150ppm
GH - 150-200ppm
TDS - 162ppm

So it seems the tank is cycling correctly? There's constant biofilm on the top of the tank, so I've been removing it twice a day, and I've been topping it with RO water so hardness and pH has decreased. Sand particles float to the top then fall again...no idea why that is happening...

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Yeah, I think you are well into the cycling process, judging from the amount of nitrate you have in the water column. Where do you think your beneficial bacteria is coming from, the soil substrate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Yeah, I think you are well into the cycling process, judging from the amount of nitrate you have in the water column. Where do you think your beneficial bacteria is coming from, the soil substrate?
I really don't know. I mean, I took a bit of water from an established that but didn't think that would accelerate the cycling process too much... Maybe it's the soil?

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Discussion Starter · #68 · (Edited)
Parameters seem pretty stable. I am thinking about adding a few neocaridinas I have in another tank. There are 2 nerites and 2 applesnails I believe. Not sure when to add the female betta since the tank seems to be cycling faster than expected.

Plants, on the other hand, seem to be slowly growing...monte carlo, as expected, is either not growing or dying. I'll upload a few pictures. I've received the dwarf Hairgrass so I'll be planting that one either today or tomorrow.

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Parameters seem pretty stable. I am thinking about adding a few neocaridinas I have in another tank. There are 2 nerites and 2 applesnails I believe. Not sure when to add the female betta since the tank seems to be cycling faster than expected.

Plants, on the other hand, seem to be slowing growing...monte carlo, as expected, is either not growing or dying. I'll upload a few pictures. I've received the dwarf Hairgrass so I'll be planting that one either today or tomorrow.

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Yes, let's see some pictures. How's the val coming along?
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Yes, let's see some pictures. How's the val coming along?
The vallisneria is growing! I didn't like how it looked but now I like it. Got used to it. Cryptocorines have a few yellow leaves. Guppy grass seems to be growing well. Monte carlo Is yellowish, yet I see new sprouts on a few places.

Water is becoming a bit yellowing/brownish. I don't know if it's the soil seeping in...but I read it was normal because of the tannins in the soil.



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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0.5-1.0 ppm
Nitrates 5-10ppm
GH 150-200ppm
KH 180-300ppm

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Yeah, it's too early to give up; every new tank is a battle. I think variety is your friend at this point. Do you clip your yellow leaves or leave them for the snails?
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Yeah, it's too early to give up; every new tank is a battle. I think variety is your friend at this point. Do you clip your yellow leaves or leave them for the snails?
Well, i didn't think about that. There are a few brown dead ones I was gonna remove but thought they'd be food for snails and/or nutrients for soil/water column. Yellow ones I was hoping they'd turn back green but doesn't work like that hahaha.

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I think tank looks very promising. What's nice is that you're now getting some plant growth.

Crytocorynes are slow starters. I wouldn't worry about dead leaves on them. Sometimes in a new setup, they'll melt, but will come back if roots are healthy.

Let's keep our fingers crossed! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
I think tank looks very promising. What's nice is that you're now getting some plant growth.

Crytocorynes are slow starters. I wouldn't worry about dead leaves on them. Sometimes in a new setup, they'll melt, but will come back if roots are healthy.

Let's keep our fingers crossed! :)
Thank you!! Vallisneria is growing which is promising, then some of the stem plants are growing very nicely. Water is getting cloudy so I'll be doing a 30% water change or so tomorrow.

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Thank you!! Vallisneria is growing which is promising, then some of the stem plants are growing very nicely. Water is getting cloudy so I'll be doing a 30% water change or so tomorrow.

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In terms of a water change, why? You're parameters are fantastic. Because it looks cloudy? I wouldn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
In terms of a water change, why? You're parameters are fantastic. Because it looks cloudy? I wouldn't.
It is very cloudy and it doesn't look like it's getting better. So maybe a water change would fix that, or so i thought.

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This is looking good. Don't worry about the cloudiness, to me it looks like algae and I see that happening very often in new tanks. Just change the water every time it gets too thick (so that it does not choke your plants), and as plants take over the tank you will need less frequent water changes. No need to start trying to adjust light at this point, just be patient.
 
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