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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
When my frogbit roots start getting too long i usually just stick those into my bigger tank. for some reason it doesn't grow as well in that tank tho. But my guppies do like to pick on the roots..
I'm hoping to get rid of the floaters once the pennywort and ludwigia start growing emergent. They are finally starting to break the surface instead of growing around the bowl submersed. I'm pretty excited:)
 

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When my frogbit roots start getting too long i usually just stick those into my bigger tank. for some reason it doesn't grow as well in that tank tho. But my guppies do like to pick on the roots..
I'm hoping to get rid of the floaters once the pennywort and ludwigia start growing emergent. They are finally starting to break the surface instead of growing around the bowl submersed. I'm pretty excited:)
Awesome! Yeah I do the same and my flagfish trim them all down :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Figured I will post a two month picture of the shrimp bowl. Unfortunately I'm going to have to take it down in about a month due to moving. I'm hoping to save the plants and shrimp and use it to start a new 29 gallon tank at the new place. If my SO lets me get another tank :) if not then I'm gonna stick with my 7 gallon bow front for now. This was a cool experiment tho and I'm definitely making the new tank Walstad as well!
 

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Started my planted aquarium journey yesterday with a 1 gallon small planted tank for a shrimp, following the guidance on Diana Walstad's website! Been reading "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" and many of the very helpful posts on this forum to prepare to start a 20 gallon tank, and figured the shrimp bowl would be a good place to learn and experiment. Any input, suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.

I used "GardenScape All-Purpose Potting Soil" I found at my local flower shop, ingredients listed on the back were: Organic Compost, Peat Humus, Sand, Composted and Aged Softwood Bark Fines, and Perlite. I added water, skimmed off the perlite, put about an inch down in a gallon glass jar I had. Then I planted Sagittaria subulata, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Anubias barteri, and a Cryptocorene I picked up at my local pet store, added an inch of play sand, then added conditioned water and 4-5 Malaysian Trumpet Snails. I'm in Brooklyn, and my water is quite soft, I got a KH and GH of 2, so I'm planning on following Diana Walstad's "Increasing Water Hardness Recipe" once I get materials in a couple of days. 1 day later, my readings (best I can tell with my test strips) are a pH of 7, 0 ppm Ammonia, 0 ppm Nitrite, 5 ppm Nitrate, and a water temp of 76F during the day, day 2: pH of 6.6, 0 ppm Ammonia, 5 ppm Nitrite, 40 ppm Nitrate. Wondering if the nitrites that showed up on day 2 are from incomplete nitrification, or coming from manure that's part of the organic compost. Should I wait it out to see if it comes down or change out the water?

Been mineralizing a couple bags of the potting soil to prep for the 20 gallon, excited for what's to come! Apologies if I should be starting a new thread, seemed like it would be helpful to add my experience to this existing one.

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Good luck with your project. Looks promising.
You wrote: "Wondering if the nitrites that showed up on day 2 are from incomplete nitrification, or coming from manure that's part of the organic compost. Should I wait it out to see if it comes down or change out the water?"

The nitrites probably came from the soil. (There's plenty of nitrification going on in bagged soils before they are ever put into the tank.) I would change the water for sure.
 

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Thank you for the advice and your wonderful book! Over the last 6 days, I've been testing levels daily, and have changed the water whenever ammonia or nitrite levels seem high, have done 3 water changes so far. Things have settled down a bit, latest readings were 6.4 pH, 0.25 ppm Ammonia , 2 ppm Nitrite, 5 ppm Nitrate. I'm not sure if my ammonia test is giving me readings for combined ammonia and ammonium or just the ammonia, it's the API test. The slash in the label "NH3/NH4+" is a little ambiguous, I could interpret it to mean it's giving me the ratio, or giving me a combined figure.

If it's combined, and I'm understanding the relationship between pH and the ratio of ammonia to ammonium outlined in Ecology of the Planted Aquarium (10x increase in percentage of ammonia to ammonium for every unit increase in pH, with a pH of 7 having 0.33% ammonia), the percent ammonia from my combined 0.25ppm reading is ~ < 0.1%, or less than 0.00025ppm which is a very different reading than 0.25ppm.

I'm also wondering if there's some kind of threshold for ammonia and nitrite that should trigger a water change, or how much I should leave things be and let the bacteria do their thing.
 

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I hope your plants are growing. That's critical to bringing the ammonia and nitrites down.
Aquarium test kits measure NH3 plus NH4+
I would use your own judgement on when to do a water change.
 

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My kids' mom wants something like this for Mother's Day and I'm wondering what kind of light you're using there?
I set up a small bowl for my dad for his birthday last year, I used a $5 desk lamp from Target and a regular LED bulb for a home. It grew great with the lamp, but when I visited last he wasn't even using the lamp, the bowl was just sitting in some ambient sunlight and growing fine.
 
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