Edge: dry start, dirt substrate, no ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Edge: dry start, dirt substrate, no ferts

This is a Fluval Edge I have planted with crypts and anubias. It has a lone gourami and olive nerite inhabiting it.

I used an organic potting mix substrate and capped it with Black Diamond blasting sand. It has a piece of manzanita and some larger creek pebbles for decoration.

I let the crypts and anubias take root for about 1-2 months (got them at different times) before filing the tank. I used the hybrid dry start method, doing frequent 50% water changes and dosing excel before tapering off to very infrequent water changes and no excel.

Lighting is simple LED upgrades over the stock fluval lighting. See tank profile for specs.

These pictures are from late July, and the tank has been running very stable. Crystal clear, with no algea. The wendtii needs a prune soon, but otherwise it has been slow-growth, low maintenance. Also, some mold grows a bit off the manzanita, but is easily vacuumed off when I change water. I'm hoping that just goes away after a while.

I figured this should qualify as low tech. This is my second tank, and the first I felt comfortable actually sharing pictures of. I welcome any feedback.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 06:06 PM
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I would have to say, excellent job. Very nice looking tank.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 07:41 PM
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Amazing job for a second tank. Keep up the good work.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 08:10 PM
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Beautiful tank

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 08:25 PM
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How deep is your substrate? How deep is your cap?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 09:22 PM
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very nice I like the crypts! He has access to air right?
I'm always tempted to get an edge when I see them in the shops.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments and questions.

The substrate and cap are each about 1.5 inches. If I had to do something different, I would have sloped the substrate and cap from the front to the back, up to 4 inches total maybe.

The gourami has space to breathe. He was a bit confused at first about the partially enclosed top, but he figured out where it's open for the filter/lights. He doesn't get along with anything, and the space seems plenty large enough. He really seems to enjoy the crypts.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 01:02 AM
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The above tank was a gift to me from Wheaties back in April. The decision to go low tech was partly because he wanted to try it out, but mostly because how lazy I am.

Here is the tank when we first filled it up with water after the dry start:

I started with 50% water changes twice a week and slowly worked my way to about once a month.

Aside from this stuff growing on the wood that I vacuum off each water change, the tank has been looking good. For several months there have been no outbreaks of slimy algae on the glass and this fish has gained some color. That is until a week ago when the fish died. It was about two weeks since the last water change, and a water test gave me good results. I have a nerite snail in the tank that I assume would be a canary in a coal mine for bad water parameters.

Now I think I'd like to put some shrimp in this tank. Any ideas if the current plants would provide enough cover for a shrimp colony? I'd like to add in some small schooling fish once the shrimp are established. Maybe celestial danios, or chili rasbora if I can find a tank bred source. I haven't settled on color of shrimp, but most likely some kind of Neocaridina. I am open to any suggestions.
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