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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Interesting find in my researching how to properly prune cabomba that illuminates the difference between high tech tanks and low tech dirted tanks. While reading in a certain high tech aquarium forum people were reporting that if they pruned their cabomba, they would have to replant the pruned tops because the bottom section would turn yellow, then brown and die. The people with low tech dirted aquariums reported that pruned cabomba would send off three or four offshoots when pruned AND they were able to successfully plant the pruned tops. This is a pretty good illustration of the differences between dirted and “high tech” tanks. In the high tech tanks, the cabomba is essentially a free floating plant drawing its nutrients from the water column. The “planted” part in the inert substrate either has no roots or roots that are drawing no nutrients. When trimmed, the top continues to grow while the bottom withers and dies. In a dirted tank the cabomba is apparently drawing nutrients both from the water column and the soil. People reported offshoots from pruned stalks, runners sprouting from the root system and being able to replant the pruned tops. Dirted, low tech tanks provide a holistic approach to plant growth and nutrition.
 

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Looking good. I wouldnt give up on dwarf. I had mine just about all died off in my high tech. Then few patches stayed and then took off. Now its doing well. Tanks look good and sound like they are doing well. People dont realise that you will need to over feed or use root tabs depending what your growing if you dont use rich nutrient soil. Great little post you did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Looking good. I wouldnt give up on dwarf. I had mine just about all died off in my high tech. Then few patches stayed and then took off. Now its doing well. Tanks look good and sound like they are doing well. People dont realise that you will need to over feed or use root tabs depending what your growing if you dont use rich nutrient soil. Great little post you did.
Thanks. My other shrimp jar has very healthy dwarf baby tears. I think it’ll do much better. I‘m going to plant more plants and flood it this coming week! I’m going to avoid the mistakes I made with the first jar 😭
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
So I was away for the weekend and I couldn’t “mess” with my jars for three whole days! On Jar #2 I did a near 80% water change just before I left. Today I tested my water. I used water from the bottom of the jar near the substate using a turkey baster. I don’t notice that ”foggy” anaerobic layer any more. My test results were:
0 ppm Nitrates
0 ppm Nitrites
PH 6.6 (slightly acidic since I added STS)
Ammonia 0 ppm to 0.25 ppm (the solution is ever so slightly green)
I think this is a good result! The jar is stabilizing and I’m over the anaerobic bump for now. I’ll continue to poke the substrate until the plants grow in more. I’m thinking of the slight ammonia as fertilizer for my plants. I’ll do a water change next week.
Plant Water Green Fluid Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
I wanted to highlight these little guys that have been helping out in my jar. As the jar was settling down after planting I got a sudden bloom of all sorts of creatures: worms, ostrocods, larvae (maybe even mosquito!). It was getting a little out of hand so I caught these three micro (super) predators from the neighborhood pond: mosquito fish! They are very small. They have definitely lowered the population of microfauna down to more manageable levels. I want to breed shrimp in this tank, so I’ll probably move them to my patio pond when I order the shrimp. They are teaching me about my water quality too and oxygen levels too. So far they are alert, fast and swim at all levels of the water. They follow me around the tank as I fuss and poke at plants. I see them eating things as I stir up the tank. I think they’re cute!
Plant Terrestrial plant Tints and shades Shade Wood
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
The day has arrived for Jar #1! I stuffed it full of plants. I have a better feeling on this one than how Jar #2 started.
Plants inside the jar include:
Dwarf baby tears (In the middle, started with the DSM)
Alternanthera
Several unknown “dwarf” crypts, (possibly Cryptocoryne parva)
Red tiger lotus
“Fancy Twist” swords
Java fern windelov
Cabomba (trimmings replanted from Jar #2)
Banana plant
Plant Terrestrial plant Houseplant Flowerpot Grass

I capped off the white gravel I used in the “dry start method” with STS. I have a big bag of STS and it’s starting to grow on me. I like the color and size and it’s easy to work with. I suspect that it could be a source for minerals as I understand it breaks down slowly. I’ll probably end up using STS on my giant fishbowl.
Plant Water Houseplant Aquatic plant Terrestrial plant

The water is cloudy but I expect it to settle. I’ll do a water change tomorrow. This time I have lots of healthy rooted plants on my side so no anaerobic layer! I’ll do weekly water changes or more until the soil settles and the plants take root. I already added bladder snails and they went right to work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Jar #1 and its plants is really handsome! This is the jar today after its first 100% water change. The water is crystal clear! The STS and a wonder shell has really cleared up the water. I think we’ve got some electro-checmical binding going on. I’m not even bothering to test my water yet. Maybe next week. I’m focused on giving the plants what they need to grow and water changes. I’ll add frogbit sometime today or tomorrow.
Plant Houseplant Flowerpot Leaf Terrestrial plant

Plant Terrestrial plant Groundcover Leaf vegetable Evergreen
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
I added the frogbit. These are the new “mini” offspring from my original “giant” frogbit order. I hope they do a good job sucking up ammonia!
Food Plant Ingredient Tableware Recipe
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Jar #1 has excellent chemistry so far! I took the test water just above the substrate.
0 ppm Nitrates
0 ppm Nitrites
0.25 ppm Ammonia
PH 6.6
Why is my water chemistry better on Jar #1 so far? I think it’s several factors. Jar #1 sat longer, about a month, in the DSM allowing the soil to “cool down” chemically. Jar #1 started with more healthy, live plants and bigger plants like more swords compared to Jar #2. I also think the use of STS is helping. STS definitely changes the PH and I wonder if it absorbs other chemicals in the water, like nitrates (?). Water “movement” will be key so I want to poke the substate of both jars just a little and do partial water changes from the bottom for at least a few more weeks. Even 20% water changes, siphoning from the bottom, is enough.
Liquid Fluid Solution Bottle cap Bottle
 

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These have turned out wonderful! I have been boycotting this journal because I have wanted to try shrimp jars my self and i knew that seeing your success would have me tearing my house apart to try and make room 😂
They look really really good. Mosquito fish are wonderful little native fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
These have turned out wonderful! I have been boycotting this journal because I have wanted to try shrimp jars my self and i knew that seeing your success would have me tearing my house apart to try and make room 😂
They look really really good. Mosquito fish are wonderful little native fish.
I wouldn’t call this “success“ yet! lol! I‘m still stabilizing and troubleshooting problems. I would even say my shrimp jars aren’t even ready for shrimp yet! I need a few more weeks to make sure the soil is “cooled down”. The mosquito fish are a great help but they’ll be a problem later if I want to breed the shrimp. They will happily eat baby shrimp. I’m close though and the plan is working!
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
I tested the water in both jars today:
Jar #2 is 0,0,0 ppm ammonia, nitrates & nitrites, 7 PH.
Jar #1 is <.25,0,0 ppm ammonia, nitrates & nitrites, 6.6 PH
I think I‘m ready for shrimp! What’s KILLING me is it appears that the dwarf baby tears is also now dying in Jar #1 🙃 That’s two for two dwarf baby tears dying. Jar #1 had a much better start with the baby tears and they are STILL dying. There’s not much room for ”melting” with dwarf baby tears. The leaves are just all detaching from the bottom, floating to the top like gross duckweed and everything left behind on the bottom looks like it’s rotting. When I took out the baby tears from Jar #2 they lasted about the same time (two weeks) and became a stinking, rotten mess. I’m preparing to rip them out and I don’t want to try them again 🤬
My local fish store had some crypt “tropica” or “florida sunset”. They labeled it “bronze”. No way. It was multi colored and very beautiful. Each plant had green, bronze and pink leaves typical of ”florida sunset”. There seems to be a lot of mix up between crypt wendtii ”red”, “bronze”, ”Florida sunset” and “tropica“ between sellers. I’ll try to sort it out.
Bladder snails and ramshorn snails have been selectively munching on the frogbit. I guess they’re eating older leaves. That’s fine with me because my frogbit is my most intensely growing plant. I’ve been supplementing the diets of my invertebrates with slices of cucumber and there isn’t any traces of algae to be found. I wonder how these impacts the “Walstad Method” as how I am “feeding” my various tanks. I’m not “feeding” in the traditional sense because I lack shrimp and aquarium fish at the moment. I am not feeding the mosquito fish because I am depending on them eating the micro fauna in the tanks. While everyone seems to be enjoying the cucumber I wonder if the “mulm” created from the cucumber is enough to provide nutrients to the rest of the tank and plants. This is temporary anyway because I plan on adding more animals and then feeding them at a later time. We’ll see. I hope it keeps in balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Today was a BIG maintenance day for the jars! I had to tell the people in my household to leave me be so I can get some much needed work done! 😂
“Do you have a moment to. . .”
“No!”
”Can you take care of. . .”
”When I’m done”
“Do you want to. . .”
“Not right now!” 😂
I bought some new bronze crypts to take the place of the rotten dwarf baby tears. I’m a sucker for differently-colored aquatic plants so I couldn’t resist the crypts at my local plant store. I drained the water from Jar #1 almost completely. Then I tore out the rotten baby tears and added the new crypts. I was able to split the bundle of bronze crypts into six separate plants. I planted four in Jar #1 and planted the other two crypts in empty spots in jar #2. I’m trying to get a plant and roots in every section of both jars to prevent anaerobic patches. I gave the cabomba a trim, replanted tops and any loose “floating“ plants. STS was sprinkled around in bare or low spots.
The cabomba is growing at a rapid rate, like about a foot a week. This is both good and annoying. I have a much easier time with the rosette style plants. If someone else is planting a nano or small tank I recommend crypts, small swords (like “fancy twist” or “aflame”) and other rosette plants rather than stem plants. There just isn’t room for stems to grow. Small Java ferns and anubias seem to be doing alright too.
I took out the frogbit and gave it a trim and threw away some clumps. It was getting out of hand. So far I have healthy plants and animals and I hope it continues! My local fish store is awaiting shrimp. They said they haven’t seen them available from their source as of late. One day, my shrimp jars will have shrimp! But I’m glad it hasn’t happened yet because of the more dramatic replantings and water changes I’ve been doing to get things settled. While the plants and water is “stable” enough for shrimp I don’t want to disturb them other than occasional plant trimmings. I think I’m at that point now though. Maybe my LFS will finally get my shrimp order within the next month?
Plant Terrestrial plant Houseplant Glass Liquid

Jar #1
Plant Water Pet supply Organism Terrestrial plant

Jar #2
Plant Leaf Aquatic plant Terrestrial plant Grass

Also a note about cylinders. They are hard to see in! I have a hard time seeing the interior/middle of the aquariums due to the warped and curved exterior. I put the jars on lazy susans to make it easier to see around, but the distortion does make it harder to see in the middle. Keep that in mind if you want to plant in a cylindrical shape like me. Otherwise I’m happy with the look of the jars.
 
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