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Jimbo205 said:
That would be good bacteria and not bad bacteria, correct?

Bottom line to me is - will it make my Mollies sick?

I have cleared out 1/3 of my 10 gallon tank because I think the lush growth of my plants was causing crowding my Mollies and causing them stress.

I have been losing about 1 Molly a week in either one tank or the other.
I just lost a 2 inch gorgeous Black Lyretail Molly.
The other Mollies again look fine and so do the 4 new neons that I added.

I have been using the Daily Dosage Schedule with my Seachem products, but wanted to slowly incorporate some things I learned from your book.

Should I take the mulm out, let it dry and then put it beneath the substrate afterwards? I thought this stuff and excess fish food was good.

(It has been 20 years since High School.)

Hmm.....
I would also take a look at your nitrate levels. Many fish can be sensitive to above average levels of no3. It seems to me the El Natural style would be a low consumption setup of nutrients. (i dont know alot about it and this is only a casual observation) If you are adding nutrients to the water column and also using enriched substrate, you may have nutrient buildup that is adversely affecting your fish.
 

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Mollies

Good news.

I have not had any problems with any fish for the last 3 weeks. I have trimmed a good amount of plants out of the tank and had at least 1/3 of the tank opened up for free swim for the fishies.

Of course the Rotala Rotundifloria Green grows like a banshee and I trimmed them so that they were at least as long/tall as the water.

But it does spread quickly.

Did I read from a post in the last day or two that you can take fast growing plants or their offshoots / trimmings to the store to trade for more expensive plants?

I would love to learn how to have an assortment of plants for a 10 gallon tank (someday the 27 gallon tank also) that looks proportional to the tank.

I am just very happy that I finally have plants growing and not just fighting algae and plants that barely survive!
 

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my question would be do you have any salt in your tank, mollys love salinity (can even be converted all the way to salt) and do wonderfully in a brackish tank, but only a little salt is necesary to make them happy, but not all plants do well with salt, so u might want to look into that
 

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Seachem Live Bearer Salt. I try to make them happy. Being able to trade in trimmings for Fish Food or other supplies makes my life easier. ( I hope my 2nd trade with the other local fish store was as successful as the first. I have to call back and find out how much credit they ended up giving me but I diverge from the topic and tread.

Seachem Live Bearer Salt. I aim for happy plants = happy fish.

:yo:
 

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They have been fine for the longest time now. They have not had any more babies that I can see, but they sure do try!

They were all from the same Mother Silver Lyretail I purchased about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago and they were all fine for the longest time. I think maybe that the size of my tank and the number and size of the fish may have had a lot to do with it. Since I have left some clear swimming area in the tank, I have not had any problems that I have found in the last 2-3(?) months.
 

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Jimbo205 said:
They have been fine for the longest time now. They have not had any more babies that I can see, but they sure do try!

They were all from the same Mother Silver Lyretail I purchased about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago and they were all fine for the longest time. I think maybe that the size of my tank and the number and size of the fish may have had a lot to do with it. Since I have left some clear swimming area in the tank, I have not had any problems that I have found in the last 2-3(?) months.
Sorry, I wasn't paying attention. If you haven't introduced new fish lately to this tank, then what I wrote about problems with diseased fish doesn't apply.

Diana
 

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Hallo,
i'm an aquarist from Italy and i have good experience with low and high-tech aquaria. I enjoy "Ecology of the planted aquaria" (italian version) and Ilove it. I think european and american aquaria are very different and I have some doubt. I would like very much to make some questions to Diana Walstad:
1) In Italy we don't have distinction between pot-soil and garden-soil, but we have "universal soil" - it contains: High % of peat(>50%) and organic matter and few clay (we have also special soil like cactus-soil, geranium-soil grass-soil...). Is it good for natural aquaria? I have good results with it.
2) Many fishes love and need fine sand, can organic soil became too anaerobic under it? under the sand is to use clay or/and black peat better?
3) In Europe there are many different kinds of lamps. I use succesfully full spectrum cool-white (osram/Philips 4000K de luxe). It,s less blue than "vita-lite"(6500k) but it includes all the colors of sunlight. What do you think abaut it?
4)Finally I think that hard-water and soft-water plants can live well together in hard water but with few bicarbonate,(without CO2 addition).
Thank you very much,I think I will have other questions.

P.S. I'm sorry for my english!
 

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pesciolino said:
Hallo,
i'm an aquarist from Italy and i have good experience with low and high-tech aquaria. I enjoy "Ecology of the planted aquaria" (italian version) and Ilove it.
There's an italian version?! Cool! Our own Diana Walstand, an international celebrity!

I think european and american aquaria are very different and I have some doubt. I would like very much to make some questions to Diana Walstad:
1) In Italy we don't have distinction between pot-soil and garden-soil, but we have "universal soil" - it contains: High % of peat(>50%) and organic matter and few clay (we have also special soil like cactus-soil, geranium-soil grass-soil...). Is it good for natural aquaria? I have good results with it.
Sounds like your soil contains a little more peat moss than most soils I've encountered here. The cactus soil is very good. It probably contains bone-meal or other such additives that will provide hardwater nutrients for the plants.

3) In Europe there are many different kinds of lamps. I use succesfully full spectrum cool-white (osram/Philips 4000K de luxe). It,s less blue than "vita-lite"(6500k) but it includes all the colors of sunlight. What do you think abaut it?
You'll find that most people here use a variety of lights. I personally (and, mind you I'm not Diana) haven't seen the Philips 4000K you describe but it sounds perfectly adequate. I've changed all my single-tube fixtures to cool white. Those tanks also get sunlight so there's no need for a full spectrum bulb as that is provided by the sun. My double fixture has a full spectrum bulb and a cool white. I get very good growth in all tanks.

4)Finally I think that hard-water and soft-water plants can live well together in hard water but with few bicarbonate,(without CO2 addition).
Thank you very much,I think I will have other questions.
Both hard water and soft water plants will do well in hard water. However, hard water plants will not do as well in soft water.

Well, I know your questions were meant for Diana, but I hope you don't mind me answering. I'm sure she'll chip in with her thoughts too!

-ricardo

PS No need to apologize for your English, it's a lot better than my Italian!
 

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p.h. changes

I love the simplicity and cost efect. sound of the soil subtrate method. I did test my first soil sample and unfortunately it did cause the ph to drop and as well as the buffering capacity. I was just wondering if this is common or are there many soils that will not effect the ph? My soil did contain peat which I have heard does effect the ph, but I've heard it's also good for plants, any thoughts on the matter? Thank you for you help!
Dennis
 

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Diana said:
>so that you don't set up massive decomposition and anaerobic conditions in the substrate

Well... it's not all bad. For about 15 years now Jim Robinson and I have been putting manure, washers, steel wool, what have you under 5" of fine beach sand. They rust, but under anaerobic conditions the iron reduces to a form usable by plants. We've actually dug up pants whose roots all went for and wrapped around a washer, like a hungry beast going "Mmmmmm... iron".

As long as it's *locked in* by enough fine beach sand (1/5" of #2 silica wont cut it) then an extremely rich substrate does seem to work, and last about 10 years before healthy bunch of plants use most if not all of it up.

Besides, I don't know if you've noticed or not but if you pull up rooted water plants in the wild there is often a strong h2s smell indicating anaerobic conditions. It seems to be pretty natural.

Here's a pic of one of my tanks with this:

 

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The whole thought of using a miracle grow product to house my fish in is a bit disturbing.
Has any one here really looked at the contents of some of their products. I wouldn't even
raise my vegtables in them. large traces of lead,mercury and arsenic.. for example
mircle grow seed starter soil contains 16.3 ppm arsenic.. I get left wondering if they get
their soils from nuclear waste sites and distribute it around the world to scatter it around,
instead of being charged for waste dumps, they make a "killing" in everyone's yards..and the
levels of mercury is staggering also.. http://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Fertilizers/FertDB/prodinfo.asp?pname=2625
 

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Javalee, can you give us some examples of generic potting soil? There's so many out there but which one works in a planted tank and what brand are suitable. Thanks :)
I used organic top soil. I my plants love it. It only cost $1 at Home Depot.
 

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Wow, I am glad I found this site! I have a 90G tank and I am interested in setting up a natural planted tank. I am interested in mid to highlight plants. How much light would you recommend and where would you recommend I purchase it? Thanks in advance!
 

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Wow, I am glad I found this site! I have a 90G tank and I am interested in setting up a natural planted tank. I am interested in mid to highlight plants. How much light would you recommend and where would you recommend I purchase it? Thanks in advance!
For lighting I just have 2 flouresant bulbs screwed into wall-mart tank top and light from a south window. Most of my plants hygrophila, java fern and sags. There are all growing.

Diana prefers a mix of sunlight and fluorescent lighting--one to two watts per gallon if the tank does not receive sunlight, less if the tank receives sunlight.

You can build an array of mirrors to concentrate sunlight if you need more than a window. Just cut a mirror into 1" x 1" tiles and siliocne glue one edge to a piece of wood. Use woodscrews on the back, two of them to adjust each tile in two axes. Info found.
 

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I have a coralife 130W fixture and I have an Eastern exposure I get a few hours of sunlight in Spring and Summer not to much in Autumn and none in the Winter beinng in Mn.
 

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According to rs79 anaerobic conditions the iron reduces to a form usable by plants. As long as it's *locked in* by enough fine beach sand. Thus sometimes pulling up plants you also pull up some nasty stuff than can kill fish. Info found at other thread. Just wanted to make those whom use sand beware of problems others have had when transplanting plants.
 
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