After my snapping turtle reached her Godzilla size and I moved her to a bigger tank, I've been having this tank sitting here just for some goldfish, anubias and java ferns, and I wanna turn it into something more interesting. I've been planning to breed shrimps, but I want to try dirted tank too, so I put them together. At the very beginning I'm already picturing at least half the tank would be sand only, more open space would make it easier to locate the shrimps, so it will be a half "dirted tank".
This was a display tank from Big Al's, the front panel is lower, the actual height is about 18".
Lighting: Philips T8 32watt daylight X2
I'm not sure if it is good enough for the red plants, but it's a low tech tank right, let's try it out. Surprisingly it is 6500K, so it's not so bad.
Filtration: Ehem 2217
The waterflow is a bit strong for the tank, but better over power than under. I got bio balls that came with the filter, and...what else should I say? In Eheim we trust.
Anubias and java fern - they are from this same tank, they've been doing really good.
Cabomba - very hardy plant, fill up a big piece of background.
Proserpinaca - donno much about this plant, but I want to have something red-ish to go with the pink Rotala
Pennywort - interesting plant, they create layers of leaves underwater, and usually grow above water as well.
Pink Rotala - They've been in a low light (LED) tank for a while and turned completely green now, let's see how they'll do in this tank, this one is gonna be a challenge.
Baby tears - I'm not sure why some people say they are hard to grow, to me they are very hardy, and I tucked some baby tears under the driftwood.
Red tiger lotus - they've been in a couple of tanks, they are not growing at all, maybe it was because I put them into gravels, let's see how they do with dirt and sand.
Blyxa - it's been uprooting itself in a gravel bottom tank for a million times, I've been replanting it and it is in really bad shape, hope it'll get better here.
Vallisneria - not a big fan of them, but I got one that has no place to go, so yeah.
Couple of unknown plants - collected at a lake one day (in Toronto), not sure what they are.
Animals: none! For now. I want to do at least one water test before I put any animal into the water.
After 2 hours of struggling, this is the scape I'm going with.
I'm using garden soil instead of potting mix. Research told me they are not very different from each other, the garden mix just contain more fertilizer and needed more water change to reduce it into a suitable level for water plants, and I chose it because it is half the price of potting mix. The sand is pool filter sand.
This is the actual dirted area, 2 inches of garden soil.
Soil is capped with 2 inches of sand, same with the back of the tank, front is 1 inch.
Planting the dirted area. Some plants are too short and can't be seen behind the driftwood for now.
I hope the red tiger lotus would show me something with dirt :\
And the setup is done, except the driftwood starts floating, so I put a rock on it until it stays right there.
I pretty much over planted this area, so I expect to expend the dirted area.
Also I dropped a little water pump with floss into the tank to clear out the particles.
Day2: 50% water change. Too busy to get some test kit but I can do that later.
Day3: dropped a water sprite and some duckweed to absorb extra nutrition.
Here is Day 4.