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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thank you for your comments, Ravi.

For my tank, I currently have about 2 wpg light and the tank is placed by a South-facing window to get the natural sunlight.

I did make the mistake of adding DIY CO2 to the NPT.

As of now, the Cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp and the Otos are doing fine and are healthy. I've been feeding them blanched zucchini and brussel sprouts. In addition, I've been adding some flakes to contribute to the tank as fertilizer when they break down.

Thoughts, comments, ...?

regards,
Ravi
 

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Nothing much to do Ravi.
Just add some fast growing plants to keep the algae away.Keep your lights on for atleast 10hrs a day.As per my experience,the plants do good with a 25-30% water change every month as they get some fresh nutrients from the water.
I have a 4" Albino Red-Fin Shark,who is always looking out for algae on the leaves,11 Harlequin Rasboras,4 Cardinal Tetras,6 Purple Emperor Tetras & 4 Pearl Gouramis......they all are a happy family for almost 6 months :)
Last but not the least,you can scape your tank which depends on your patience,creativity & search.....
Ravi
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Thank you for your response, Ravi.

One of my goals with going to NPT was to experience for myself to go the very low-tech way. Based on Ms. Walstad's book, once you get past the first 2 or 3 months, you can minimize the water changes to once every 4 or 5 months. In my experimental mood, I added DIY CO2, which I should not have done in the first place.

As for scaping, I did not start with any plan on the plant placements. However, now I'm noticing that the tank being a 20-Long, I'm running out of room in the top for the Amazon sword.

Anyway, here's teh update:
1. Removed the CO2
2. Added 3 Caridina Japonica (Amano Shrimp)
3. Added 3 Otocinclus
4. Added 6 Cherry Shrimps
5. Added 4 Paracheirodon axelrodi (Cardinal Tetra)

The tank is stable and going well so far. The fishand the shrimps are healthy. I'm adding some extra food to supplement as fertilizer.

Thank you for all the help and comments. This has helped me learn so much. :cool:

Question: The water is slightly yellowish. Is this normal and expected?

I'll add some pictures of the tank soon.

regards,
Ravi
 

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Initially even I had this problem of water turning Brownish Yellow.I think this was due to some extract from the bottom layer soil entering the water column.I din't find any deaths in the tank.I had to just do some weekly water changes for about 2 months & now I see its fine.So don't worry.Just stick to some water changes & the rest would be ok.

Here is an update of my tank.I did some trimming & removed some plants from the front which had over crowded.Pushed all the Crypts to the right,added a Nuphur Japonica & some sore of a round leaved Amazon.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1

Ravi
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Will probably have to do another water change, I think. Will do that this weekend. The fishes and the shrimps are doing fine.
 

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In my case I just bought some cheap potting soil from a nursery after confirming that there are no added ferts in it.Let it dry in the sun for 4 days.Layed it on the bottom for 2",covered it with sand for 2".I put a plate on the bottom,slowly filled it with water for 10",planted the plants & filled it completely with water.For the next 2-3 days I kept on adding plants.
Hi all. Just joined. Am currently (Nov. 25) apprx. where Ravi was in August: i.e. beginning :rolleyes:
This is a perfect forum and thread for me, 'cause it is current. There have been so many I've read over the past month that are dated 2003, 2005, LOL. And then on top of that, this thread is frequented by The Woman Herself :cheer2:

I bet that I am going to get my number one question answered. And my question may indicate a hang-up of sorts, I can see how that might be. Anyhoo...

My question has to do with planting. And please keep in mind, will y'all?, that I am an ornamental horticulturist and botanist - completely terrestrial! So a little knowledge...is....dangerous :D Using the 'hi-tech' approach obviates my question. Using low-tech generates it.

How does one plant the plants in the low tech approach without getting the soil substrate all stirred up?

Parenthetically: I did see Betty's Hex tank demo. She planted her plants with the substrate barely wetted (and this may help with not stirring up soil). This is OK, as far as I can see, when the plants are rosette-types and/or those that can grow emersed, and hence, have some stiffness to their foliage. But with the stem types, and obligate submersed types, it seems to me that it would be awkward and challenging to plant them without the water to buoy them.

My image is that plants should be planted by making some sort of small depression, space, hole, whatever you want to call it, so as to be able to spread out the roots somewhat before pulling the substrates back over them. Doing it this way I can't see how I am not going to stir up the soil and get cloudiness, etc. Not to mention unintentionally mixing the top gravel layer with the soil layer.

Does all this make sense? I won't even get into the other stuff I am wondering about. Or begin to commune publically with Ravi (he is already in my mind my brother-in-spirit! we have a tendency to do things the same: research first! plants first then fish LOL :cool:).
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Glad to find a colleague who experiments too. :cool:

Anyway, in my tank, I have topped the substrate with an inch of aquarium sand. You could use regular play sand, but have to be careful to make sure that it doesn't contain anything that affects the water parameters. The advantage I see is that when you plant the free flowing soil quickly covers the gap up before any stirring up of the dirt happens. I've also planted quite a bit of Glosso in the tank and that went well as I used a pair of forceps. They're growing like crazy.

However, pulling out a plant is a completely different question.:mod: That said, you can empty about 80% of the water, uproot the right plants, let it settle, move some sand over the dirt and refill. I have to do this next week as I'm redoing my 38-gallon tank (has a UGF and have to remove it) and going with Mineralized Soil Substrate. Let's see how the uprooting goes. I may just decide to trim the plants and plant the trimmings.

Good Luck and welcome to the club.:clap2:

regards,
Ravi
 

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Walstad-Method Tank: WATER CONDITIONER?

Thank you Ravi! I do see what you are telling me. Also, by the way, I read over the process of "mineralizing" soil and intuitively I resonated with that. It just makes sense. For instance, re: the question of the newly submerged soil "chaos" - mineralizing the soil gets that submerged process going beforehand, as far as I can tell.

I have a very straightforward question for Diana. So I hope she is tuned in. In your book, in the section VIII on Substrate, page 138, you wrote:

"I usually let the tank run overnight with the heater, lights and filter hooked up. The next day I'll add a water conditioner and the fish...".

I looked everywhere in the rest of the book to find out what you mean by a "water conditioner" and couldn't find any other reference to same! So, what is it? :confused:
 

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'Water Conditioner' is mainly sold for dechlorinating tap water. It also has some ammonia binding property. Not enough for the ammonia from fish waste, but enough to catch the ammonia that is given off from the dechlorination process. It also has binders to reduce heavy metal toxicity in water.

On my last set up (Oct 5). I topped the dirt with gravel and filled the tank to about 4 inches of water. The stem plants lay down, but they all stayed wet. I also used forceps for the first time. It made such a difference! Almost no dirt escaped into the water in three hours of planting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Update on the tank folks:

When I rebuilt my 38-g tank with the mineralized substrate, I had a spare Marineland Biowheel Filter. Based on Diana's recommendation earlier, I added the filter to the tank and removed the powerhead that I had in the NPT before. Wow, what a difference. It's night and day. The tank had a lot of green water over the past two months and as soon as I added the filter, the water was crystal clear the next morning. The tank is very healthy with very little green algae now.

I have 3 Rosy barbs, 8 Harlequin Rasboras, 2 SAEs, 2 Otos and a few Red Cherry Shrimp in the 20 Long. All of them seem to be very happy in the tank.

Here's the picture of the tank from yesterday:


Thank you for your comments, critiques and suggestions.
 

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hey gravy9 and everyone,

I was reading this thread and was just curious. I can't understand why would green water be so dramatically affected by this last filter change of yours.

As I understood, you had simple mechanic filter running in your 20g NPT for water movement, and then just removed it - right? Or did you install bio-wheel filter to this tank afterwards?

In any case, - how could it have cleared algae in one night? With less water movement, there is just less water/air mixing, and this probably results in more CO2 in your tank. Could it be that your mechanic filter was way too powerful, causing CO2 shortage in your tank, and after you've changed it, more CO2 was available to plants to fight algae?

And if you installed bio-wheel filter, well it just provided a medium for bacteria to grow and metabolise organic waste etc, but looking at your tank's picture, it seems that there's enough surface for bacteria to attach to already.

As I said, i'm just curious of this case, and if I'm missing something, it would be nice to hear any thoughts.

Btw, it looks like your tank is doing really well, gravy9! I hope it keeps on going like this!

Simas
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
hey gravy9 and everyone,

I was reading this thread and was just curious. I can't understand why would green water be so dramatically affected by this last filter change of yours.

As I understood, you had simple mechanic filter running in your 20g NPT for water movement, and then just removed it - right? Or did you install bio-wheel filter to this tank afterwards?
Hi Simas,

I did not have a filter before. I only had a powerhead in the tank for water movement in the tank. I probably did not experience the green water initially (during the first 3 months) because I was changing the water frequently until all the nutrient leaks were done. It started after I stopped changing the water.

All I had done to the tank was remove the powerhead and installed a biowheel filter at the same time.

Two reasons I can think of for the greening of the water are (1) Since the power head was lower in the tank there was not surface agitation and had minimal surface air intake and (2) The tank was getting too much sunlight in addition to the fluorescent lights

In any case, - how could it have cleared algae in one night? With less water movement, there is just less water/air mixing, and this probably results in more CO2 in your tank. Could it be that your mechanic filter was way too powerful, causing CO2 shortage in your tank, and after you've changed it, more CO2 was available to plants to fight algae?

And if you installed bio-wheel filter, well it just provided a medium for bacteria to grow and metabolise organic waste etc, but looking at your tank's picture, it seems that there's enough surface for bacteria to attach to already.

As I said, i'm just curious of this case, and if I'm missing something, it would be nice to hear any thoughts.

Btw, it looks like your tank is doing really well, gravy9! I hope it keeps on going like this!

Simas
I wouldn't say that it cleared the algae in the tank. It just removed the green water and made it clear.

Also, the biowheel filter was preestablished in my 38-gal tank. I just moved it to this tank after rebuilding the other tank. As for the power, it may be a bit too powerful for this 20-gal tank. The difference that this filter makes to the NPT would have been the preestablished bacterial colony along with a lot more water movement in the tank.

Does this explain the clearing up.

Thank you for analyzing the changes. I did not think too much into it myself. Thank you for the feedback.
 
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