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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
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.
Thank you. I think it has to be algae because even if the soil was sipping through, shouldn't get this cloudy and this color. I did a 1/4 of water change yesterday. Will do another later this week.

Anyways, inspecting each plant, i can see some bottom leaves have either turned yellow or died but all plants overall seem to have some growth.

Cryptocorines had 1 leaf each that turned yellow and died. The rest seem to be ok.
Vallisneria is thriving. Only 1 leaf was turning yellow on the top and it stopped. 3-4 leaves already at top of tank.
Monte carlo I thought it was stunned...since it's not super green but not very yellow...yet, i just saw 2-3 sprouts on different places.
Two stems of the guppy gras are already as high as the valls. I will trim and replant!
Anubia is very green, and the roots seem to be moving down looking for the soil.
One of the dwarf Saggs had a few brown leaves but both are doing well. I don't know how quick or slow it grows, but it doesn't seem to be growing as the others.
Luwidgia, lobelia cardinalis and reineki? (Now I'm not sure) they all seem fine and growing but not with the super red color 2 of them had.

Overall I'm happy with the progress. Obviously I'm impatient and I wish to have a forest/jungle already but I'm reminding myself patience is key.

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
I had to travel and was unable to tend the tank. Thankfully wife kept up the light schedule but tank got very cloudy. After 5 days out of the house, today k was able to do a water change. Did a 60% water change or so.

The top had a lot of biofilm and many dead leaves. Most interesting part is that I'm seeing several sprouts from the montecarlo! The rest of the plants seem to be doing well. Guppy grass is overtaking everything haha. I'll trim it and replant.



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Interesting and appreciate your hard work to get the plants and get them going. If successful, you probably will never have to spend on a plant again and harvest from your own tanks for others or future aquariums of yours. I also had to buy online because the three local stores I frequent usually aren’t big on plants. I‘m still trying to see what survives while not following the natural approach completely. I call it my experimental tank. The experiences gained will come in handy in the future for new projects.
 

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5 days for that color is just fine, not very pleasing to see but the tank is on the right track. At this point I'd let the Najas shade the tank a bit until the other plants catch up on growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Interesting and appreciate your hard work to get the plants and get them going. If successful, you probably will never have to spend on a plant again and harvest from your own tanks for others or future aquariums of yours. I also had to buy online because the three local stores I frequent usually aren't big on plants. I'm still trying to see what survives while not following the natural approach completely. I call it my experimental tank. The experiences gained will come in handy in the future for new projects.
Thanks! Yeah, it was hard to find suppliers but i was able to find what I needed according to recomendations. Excited to see how much it grows.
5 days for that color is just fine, not very pleasing to see but the tank is on the right track. At this point I'd let the Najas shade the tank a bit until the other plants catch up on growth.
Shading the tank will affect lighting for bottom plants, no? The color...well, i had seen some Natural tanks with clear water, but i guess this won't be one of those!

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
After water change yesterday, parameters today:
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 1.0 ppm
Nitrates 5ppm
GH 200-300ppm
KH 300ppm
pH 8.2

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Shading the tank will affect lighting for bottom plants, no? The color...well, i had seen some Natural tanks with clear water, but i guess this won't be one of those!

I would just give the tank a little more time. Keep doing what you are doing. GWA has a maddening habit of seeming impossible to get rid of and then all of sudden, presto, it will go away. I'm not sure I would shade the tank and set your Monte Carlos back. It would be better to add some floating plants, which can compete efficiently with the GWA. That or a UV sterilizer, which would take care of the GWA in a day or two.
 

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Shading the tank will affect lighting for bottom plants, no? The color...well, i had seen some Natural tanks with clear water, but i guess this won't be one of those!
Don't shade the tank, just let the Najas grow a along the surface and/or apply Diana's floating plants/UV sterilizer suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 · (Edited)
Update:

Plants seem to still be growing. See new monte carlo around here and there. Guppy grass took over so i had to trim it. I added a 1 hornwort, not that it will impact the tank a lot but will be adding more next few weeks.

I also added an amano shrimp. Even though they are supposed to like low pH water, I spent like 3 hours acclimating him and he seems to enjoy the tank. Gets lost between the background plants but comes out from time to time.

Question;
When i planted the hornwort the soil felt "soft" or airy...like it didn't give any resistance. Is that normal? I thought it be compact.

Edit: what is GWA? green algae? The tank has salvinia natans as floater plants. It's been multiplying and some of them dying too.

Edit #2: something like this: Fish Tank UV Light Sterilizer 5W-13W Clean Lamp Submersible Aquarium Pond US | eBay

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Soft soil is good. GWA stands for green water algae. UV sterilizers work very well against GWA, but you are just treating the symptom, although sometimes a little GWA will always be present a healthy mature tank and some people don't like it. Your tank looks fine, and the green water will most likely clear up within two months. At this point the algae is probably helping your tank mature.
 

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Soil is buoyant in the beginning because it contains trapped CO2 gas. It should become more dense over time as decomposition and gas generation slows. I would poke substrate a little with a sharp object to speed up decomposition. GWA (Green water algae) can be a problem, because it drives the pH up such that stem plants and others--that cannot use bicarbonates as a carbon source--have trouble competing. You can get rid of GWA quickly with UV sterilizer. If plants are growing okay, though, you could just wait it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
Thanks! I woke up today to find the tank with dirt around different places...and bubbles at the top..apparently a bubble came up from soil? I dunno what else it could be. I've been poking the soil but apparently didn't poke some place.

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Thanks! I woke up today to find the tank with dirt around different places...and bubbles at the top..apparently a bubble came up from soil? I dunno what else it could be. I've been poking the soil but apparently didn't poke some place.

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Sometimes these things happen. It's good you're poking it. Hope the plants are growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Sometimes these things happen. It's good you're poking it. Hope the plants are growing.
Thank you!

I will upload a picture with before and after of the UV light. Also plants are growing! The red plants lost many or most of the leaves but sprouted new ones and smaller stems too.

Montecarlo is growing! I thought it was gonna die but i see new bright green leaves coming out of soil.

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
So spent like 3-4 days with UV light on for 4 hours or a bit more.

Before


After


Then a few pictures...


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UV light can burn your eyes just like direct sunlight. When I said UV light, I meant a UV sterilizing filter where the lamp is encased in a filter-like cylinder through which water is pumped. (You never see the light itself.) I would place your UV light in the back of the tank. The glass and several inches of tank water will absorb the majority of the UV rays and make it safer for tank viewing. That said, I'm glad to see that the light has cleared the water of green water algae. Plants should do much better now-- more CO2, more light, more nutrients for them instead of algae. Making headway! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
Wow...oh my...well, i stopped using it. Thankfully nothing bad happened. Today I finally saw the amano shrimp I added a few weeks back. I really thought it was dead since I hadn't seen him in a while. Had my hopes up when I found a molt.



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Glad you've gotten rid of the green water and you've found your shrimp. The UV light is probably not harmful if you keep it at the back of the tank and don't stare at it for hours. (UV rays are absorbed by the water and the tank glass.) The guppy grass seems to be taking over the tank and outcompeting plants making it hard for them to get started.

Also, all that substrate upheavel is abnormal. Dirt's all on top. Without any fish predators, I suspect some kind of aquatic worms have been "busy as beavers" during the night. (Check your tank late at night with a flashlight.) Aquatic worms, perhaps harmless blackworms, could explain the cloudiness and the upheavel. If that's the problem, you may have to add some fish to this tank. Most fish relish blackworms and if choose carefully (dwarf cichlids, Cory catfish?) you can get fish that will eat the worms but not the shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Glad you've gotten rid of the green water and you've found your shrimp. The UV light is probably not harmful if you keep it at the back of the tank and don't stare at it for hours. (UV rays are absorbed by the water and the tank glass.) The guppy grass seems to be taking over the tank and outcompeting plants making it hard for them to get started.

Also, all that substrate upheavel is abnormal. Dirt's all on top. Without any fish predators, I suspect some kind of aquatic worms have been "busy as beavers" during the night. (Check your tank late at night with a flashlight.) Aquatic worms, perhaps harmless blackworms, could explain the cloudiness and the upheavel. If that's the problem, you may have to add some fish to this tank. Most fish relish blackworms and if choose carefully (dwarf cichlids, Cory catfish?) you can get fish that will eat the worms but not the shrimp.
Thank you! I will be trimming the guppy grass.

Now that you mention, i have seen 2 worms. No idea what type, i guessed they must have come with the substrate. I've only seen them because sometimes they move near the glass. But I've never noticed them poking into the water. They do that?

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