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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to try AaronT's mineralized soil method on 2 of my tanks as I'm getting tired of measuring ferts and testing nutrient levels. Both tanks were torn down and rescaped this weekend.

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right on! i'm preparing soil right now and should be doing the same thing on 75g tank so i'll watch how things work out for you. best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm looking forward to not fertilizing. If this goes well (and I'm sure it will), I may start the process again for my other tanks.
 

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I am just about done with the first drying off cycle, so it will be awhile until my soil is mineralized. A family of raccoons turn the dirt over every night though. I really like your driftwood, keep us updated!:cool:
 

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I see precious few plants in these two tanks. Lots of bare areas with no plants. I would have used four times more plants and put plants in all those many barren areas.

NPTs require a soil substrate, good lighting, water that's not too soft, and a large selection of plant species. Often the NPT regimen doesn't correlate with aquascaping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Here are some close up shots of tank #1


While it looks sparce now, the middle will fill in with Hygro 'Porto Vehlo'. The back center is bare for now while I decide what to put in there. The sides are full of stem plants that after a few trims will hopefully become much bushier.

Tank 2 also has lots of stems around the wood and I plan on filling in some more Blyxa and I was also thinking of adding some Marselia in the very front.

I suppose what I'm doing is scaping, but with a El Natural twist. :-k
 

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Dianna, what do you suggest for regions with soft water? how to supplement?
Here's the procedure:

Below is the procedure that we worked out (see earlier page of thread below) for increasing the GH using calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate. This procedure is faster and better than adding oyster grit to the filter. It shouldn't increase the pH.

This procedure is designed for very softwater aquariums where GH = 0- 6 and plants aren't doing well)

Steps in Procedure:
Measure starting GH of your aquarium water

Prepare concentrated solutions of each chemical (MgSO4 and CaCl2)

Add a small portion of Mg solution to the aquarium and measure resulting GH increase

Add Mg solution until you get about what you want (I'd recommend a GH increase of about 1-2, no more)

Then start adding the Ca solution until you get a GH increase that is 4X that of the increased GH due to Mg

The final GH should be over 6, preferably around 8
 

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Here are some close up shots of tank #1

Tank 2 also has lots of stems around the wood and I plan on filling in some more Blyxa and I was also thinking of adding some Marselia in the very front.

I suppose what I'm doing is scaping, but with a El Natural twist. :-k
The new photos do show many plants, but they're very small. [I couldn't even see them in the earlier photos.] The total "plant biomass" may not take up nutrients quickly enough to prevent algae. For the first 2 months you've got a soil substrate temporarily pouring nutrients into the water. Right now the water looks a little cloudy. That could be soil turbidity or the start of green-water algae. Whatever it is, I would recommend changing the water.

If the plants start growing well, you do frequent water changes, etc, you might come out okay.

In addition, I would recommend adding some floating plants and other fast-growing plants, even if its just to help you get through the first 6-8 weeks.

Good luck! I hope I wasn't too discouraging. :)
 

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Excellent comments, Diana.

I went through the same phase with lots of algae and excessive leeching nutrients. They've stabilized now after about 6 weeks now. I will probably do one or may be 2 water changes in the next two weeks.

These comments will surely help controlling the algae bloom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The tanks were initially cloudy after filling. Both cleared after a couple days. I also have some new growth already from my Rotala sp. 'Vietnam" and my Didiplis has changed from a orangish/yellow color to more of a dark red. I'm very interested to see how my Rotala macrandra 'red' will turn out.

I have more plants on the way to fill in the back of the first tank, and part of the forground of the second tank. I'll see if I can find some floaters.

Just out of curiosity, how do ferns and mosses attached to branches get ferts if I don't put anything in the water column?
 
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