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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Oh, you can use google home to connect to these smart lights. You can schedule a routine on that.
Except, you first need to wrangle the set up in the original app then connect it to google. I found that to be a terrible experience. I don’t need to spend that much time on a single light. Further, the system is much less sophisticated compared to the Lumiman lights where I can set the color temperature by Kelvin number (6500 K).
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Hydrogen (peroxide) bomb for blue green algae!
So I have a solution if someone accidentally grows cyanobacteria (blue green algae) during the “dry start method” DSM:
My local freshwater plant expert informed me that before I try algaecides I should first try oxygen! He said cyanobacteria hates oxygen and it kills it. In a tank you can try pointing a powerhead at it and simply kill it with water flow or try an air stone temporarily. Since my tank was empty and didn’t have any animals in it, he suggested hydrogen peroxide, H2O2. I used a regular squirt bottle and sprayed the CB with 3% solution hydrogen peroxide. 48 hours later I think the results are pretty stunning. I suggest diluting it by at least half unlike what I did. My plants are fine but they look just a little “zapped” by the oxygen. My camera is also not helping with the odd color adjustment but I have noticed a change. Otherwise no damage to the plants and the cyanobacteria was fried! About week before I flood my tanks I’m going to add a scoop of pond water to restore beneficial bacteria.
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Discussion Starter · #43 · (Edited)
Well, the day has arrived for ”Jar #2”. I added many more plants and flooded the jar!
From my local fish store I picked up:
”Pink Flamingo” crypts (the most expensive acquisition today 🤯)
Cabomba, Caroliniana
“Fancy Twist” swords
“Green Wendtii” crypt
Plant Ingredient Houseplant Leaf vegetable Cuisine

I attempted to create balance. The middle of the jar will be “empty“ space so there’s a foreground with the pink flamingo crypts and the swords in the back with the alternanthera. I added a little more gravel in thin or messy spots.
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I’m going to leave it to settle for a day and change the water tomorrow. I will continue to move slowly. Ostrocods have already found their way into the jar from the cholla wood and I’ll add snails and frogbit in a few days too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I changed the water (almost 100%!), I added a big scoop of mature pond water, 3 frogbit plants, 5 mature bladder snails and a small “wonder shell” to the bottom of the jar. So far I have happy snails, happy plants and happy ostrocods.
I wonder when a good time will be to test the water for the first time- In a couple of days? In a week?
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Just tested Jar #2’s water. I would love some input if any of you can spare it.
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm
PH: 7.4
There are (almost) no animals. I have ostrocods and bladder snails and they look happy.
Should I do a water change? Should I let things settle for a while and do a water change later? Again, any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Just tested Jar #2’s water. I would love some input if any of you can spare it.
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 5.0 ppm
PH: 7.4
There are (almost) no animals. I have ostrocods and bladder snails and they look happy.
Should I do a water change? Should I let things settle for a while and do a water change later? Again, any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I did a 90% water change and after three days my test results are:
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
PH: 7.4
Whoo hoo! The system works! Go Team Walstad! 🥳
And the frogbit is NOT messing around. It is sucking up any gross chemicals in the water and putting out new leaves almost daily. I can’t wait for my little “Pink Flamingo“ crypts in the front to recover and start growing. I love the color but they are melting.
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Today’s a roller coaster! I’m telling myself “Remain calm”! 😂😭
So I like to check on my aquariums in the dark. Mainly this is to see what else is going on that is otherwise hidden by the light of day. Whew! Do I have some exciting developments! I have an explosion of baby bladder snails 🐌 Maybe hundreds 🐌🐌🐌 I knew the frogbit had snails eggs and well- they all hatched!
Water Liquid Plant Terrestrial plant Aquatic plant

I also seem to have had an explosion of what looks like detritus worms too! My aquariums are a safe and healthy place for life to develop apparenly.
Water Fluid Liquid Tints and shades Glass


I’m seeing hundreds of these worms. My water is “balanced” 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates and 0 nitrites, but I wonder if my plants are recovered enough to provide adequate oxygen for shrimp?! I’m seeing mixed results online that shrimp eat detritus worms. I know fish eat detritus worms but my jars here are on the small side. They are 2 gallon capacity but I probably only have 1 1/2 gallons of actual water. My plan was to introduce shrimp, get them breeding then add maybe one female betta to eat snails, worms etc to keep populations in check.
I’m definitely at the “What would you do?” part of this conversation 😂 Seriously, what would be your next steps?
 

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These are all good signs! I doubt shrimp will eat the worms but you never know what something will eat when it is hungry enough. You could always start out with a "canary" fish like a Tetra or Rasbora and see how it goes from there. Then add a shrimp or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
These are all good signs! I doubt shrimp will eat the worms but you never know what something will eat when it is hungry enough. You could always start out with a "canary" fish like a Tetra or Rasbora and see how it goes from there. Then add a shrimp or two.
The worms are so small I doubt the average person would even notice. I have extremely good vision, off the charts. These worms are much thinner than a human hair and their body mass looks less than half of an ostrocod. Fry sized fish would probably see them but even a betta might miss them. I need to just relax and ignore them.
Shrimp are coming this Friday or Saturday. My local fish store is getting them in soon. I ordered 10 Bloody Mary shrimp. I’ll test the water again tomorrow. Everything should be fine! I need new tank mates. The bladder snails are helping but they are also misbehaving. The alternanthrea melted but the snails have NO interest in eating the dead leaves. HOWEVER, they are munching on my crypts! I was told they won’t eat live plants but I watched them! I think it’s a matter of stressed crypts melting a little, but I have seen with my own eyes my bladder snails eat the crypt leaves. I’m hoping the next generation of leaves will not be of their tastes. I put a slice of cucumber to draw them away from the crypts for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 · (Edited)
1 week update on how the plants are doing:
  • ”Pink Flamingo” Crypts look just terrible and the bladder snails keep munching on them. I hope they recover.
  • Cabomba is growing and has reached the surface. I don’t even think it put out roots yet.
  • “Fancy Twist” Swords look pretty good but no change and no growth.
  • “Green Wendtii” Crypts looks shabby. No growth and the snails are lightly nipping at it.
  • Alternanthera is having a NUCLEAR MELTDOWN. I have healthy stems but almost all of the leaves have melted into goo. The snails aren’t interested in eating any of the leaf goo. Go figure.
  • Frogbit is growing, growing, growing. It just keeps going. I credit it for sucking up any free ammonia and stabilizing the water.
  • Anubias nana is happy on the cholla wood but isn’t perceptively growing. It’s green and firm.
  • Dwarf Baby Tears are still recovering from getting burned by the peroxide but It’s green and growing.
I hope the crypts recover. I really want to use them in my next tank because they add nice texture and color to the foreground.
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Pink Flamingo Crypts
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Alternanthera
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
There’s a weird floating biofilm about 1 inch above the substrate. It’s like a fog floating above the ground.
Plant Water Houseplant Liquid Terrestrial plant

Has anyone ever seen something like that before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
If you put a drop of that under a microscope, you'd be amazed. It's probably filled with protozoans.
Sounds cool. My water conditions are perfect. Most of the plants are happy (the crypts are melting from replanting). I guess it doesn’t mean any harm. I’m trying to get some shrimp. I’m pretty sure they’d eat stuff like this 😂 My local fish store won’t get my shrimp until next week. It’s just weird to see what’s happening in the tank after a week. Lots of unexpected things!
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
NOPE! NOT COOL! I did a little more investigating into the weird ”fog like” bio film floating an inch above the substrate. The tiny detritus worms were above but NOT below the “fog line“. Red Flag!! 🚩 I started to think “Is this two separate layers of water not mixing?” All of the plants above the fog line are doing great. The crypts and Alternanthera were not doing so good. The water in the jar tested perfect. So what could it be?
When I was doing water changes I was using a cup to scoop the water out. I had to stop an inch above the substrate because that’s as far as I could go! Today I just got my siphon in the mail so I sucked out the water starting at the bottom below the “fog line“. The water stank like rotten eggs! 🤢 The water on top smells clean and nearly scentless. I also poked the soil around the Alternanthera and lots of big bubbles came up from the soil. I think the soil and water layer got isolated by the way I was changing the water with a cup. Maybe now I’ll see a change in the behavior of the animals and how my sick plants recover.
 

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Crypts take awhile to adjust, so its not surprising that yours melted. The Crypt was probably in the emergent form when you bought it. Now it must convert to the submerged form. If the root system is strong (lots of stored carbohydrates), it may do fine.

Your soil is decomposing fast and has made the substrate very anaerobic. You don't have any water circulation in the bowl, so bowl probably has an anaerobic water layer over the substrate. Note, the setup I've described in my book always involved a large tank with some kind of filter or water pump. That brought oxygen near the substrate and counteracted the potential problems you are describing.

I'm not saying you need water circulation or aeration, but you'll need to counteract the lack of oxygen somehow until the soil "settles down."

Yes, poke the substrate gently with very thin object (opened paper clip) so as not to injure roots. Keep up water changes. If anything, the associated water movement with these activities will mix the anaerobic layer above the soil. The presence of all the animals suggests that there's a banquet of nutrients here. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 · (Edited)
Crypts take awhile to adjust, so its not surprising that yours melted. The Crypt was probably in the emergent form when you bought it. Now it must convert to the submerged form. If the root system is strong (lots of stored carbohydrates), it may do fine.

Your soil is decomposing fast and has made the substrate very anaerobic. You don't have any water circulation in the bowl, so bowl probably has an anaerobic water layer over the substrate. Note, the setup I've described in my book always involved a large tank with some kind of filter or water pump. That brought oxygen near the substrate and counteracted the potential problems you are describing.

I'm not saying you need water circulation or aeration, but you'll need to counteract the lack of oxygen somehow until the soil "settles down."

Yes, poke the substrate gently with very thin object (opened paper clip) so as not to injure roots. Keep up water changes. If anything, the associated water movement with these activities will mix the anaerobic layer above the soil. The presence of all the animals suggests that there's a banquet of nutrients here. :)
Thank you. I just ordered the tiniest pump to help get things started. It’s 2”x2” and pumps 50 gallons per hour on the maximum setting and even less on the lower setting. I’m going to use it to very gently circulate the water while things settle. I’m so happy I flooded only one jar at a time. This is giving me ample time to learn and figure everything out. I’ve been referring to your book and I thank you for the extra input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I just tore out the dwarf baby tears from Jar #2. The baby tears died. It was a rotten smelly mess. I put a handful of STS over the hole where the baby tears used to be. The local pet store had a healthy crypt and a sword plant for a total of $4.00. I planted them where the baby tears used to be. I’m hoping this will be the last big adjustment to get this jar up and running. I’m glad I decided to take this slow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
So I bought the tiniest pump I could find. I’m going to use this just to get tanks started with some water movement in the first weeks of setup. Jar #2 might not need it as water changes and poking the substrate seems to be working, but I don’t mind this as a “back up”.
It is super small! I placed it here next to President Lincoln for size comparison. It pumps at maximum 50 gallons per hour, which is very weak and exactly what I’m looking for. It will be just a light current of water in my 15 gallon fishbowl when I set it up. even the tiniest “power heads” were way too strong so this should work great. It’s amazing how hard it was to find a tiny weak pump! Everyone is trying to sell the most powerful pumps and power heads possible.
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If that creepy anaerobic layer of water returns, I’ll give this little pump a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 · (Edited)
It’s time for a picture update. The landscaping has changed because the dwarf baby tears died. I think I just had some bad luck. Today is a better day. I removed the baby tears, covered the hole with STS and added a little green sword plant and a very nice bronze crypt wendtii that was labeled “assorted potted plant”. When I removed the rock wool from the crypt it was three separate plants. The plants were only $2.00 each. Score! The plants were already submerged so I don’t expect melting like before. They seem to have spread out and look very happy so far. I really need my rooted plants to grow. I think that’s where most of my problems are from.
The cabomba must have doubled in length In the past two weeks. It was about 4 to 5 inches long when I planted it (I trimmed it that short to fit) but now it’s so long it has reached the surface and is growing diagonal 😂 I need to trim it but I want to wait until I can plant the trimmings into the next jar aquarium.
I believe the replanting and adding STS has changed my water chemistry slightly. Right now I’m at 0 ppm Nitrates, 0 ppm Nitrites, .25 ppm Ammonia and now my PH is 6.8. I did a 50% water change again sucking the water from the bottom. I’m also using a turkey baster to suck the water from the bottom for testing too. I think the bottom level water is giving me a more accurate picture of any bad news than water from the top of the aquarium.
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I also just made a “substrate poker“ with a paper clip, wire and a chopstick. That’ll make things easier!
Water Flooring Composite material Shadow Event


Hopefully I‘ll have smooth sailing from here. I want to add shrimp soon 🦐
 
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