Walstad 10g with Worm Compost - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 12:13 PM
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Small update again:

Scaped the tank! I think I did really well actually with the plants and driftwood I found and how I arranged them. No plant deaths... Yet. Will be getting a test kit this weekend to monitor all the parameters, though I might just get the tools to do it.

Images to come later today.

That said: thoughts on fish? I want to stick with species from the Indian subcontinent area or SE Asia but, if I need to, I'm open to other species.
In southeast asia there are plenty of small fish. Microrasboras like boraras brigittae are great, and small danios like Danio Margaritatus or Erythromicron as well.

~Alex
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 12:33 PM
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Would give the tank time to run sans fish until plant mass is thriving.
The worm casting's (poo), are rich in organic matter and this could very well produce ammonia for a few week's in excess of what fish may tolerate.
Should one choose to place fish in straight away,,I would suggest heavy plant mass,and monitoring of water for ammonia and perform water changes as needed with dechlorinator such as PRIME which can detoxify ammonia and nitrites for around 14 to 24 hrs.
Lot's of plant's will also use up ammonia much better than just a few plant's.
I tried the worm casting's once mixed with topsoil,sand, and Azomite as expieriment.
Plant's performed well, but I think the metal content in the azomite had negative effect on the few fishes I placed in the tank,but I have no scientific evidence to prove this.
Could just as easily have been ammonia spike between near daily water changes to try and keep it in check.
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 01:28 PM
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EDIT: Went to Pacific Aquarium in Chinatown, and I have to say, I'm impressed by their tanks! Quite beautiful really. I picked up the following for about $50 total:
  • (2) Rotala indica
  • (2) Crypt wendtii red
  • (1) Crypt lutea
  • (1) Dwarf Sag
  • (1) Anubias nana
Are you saying you paid $50 for just these plants or, plants listed + driftwood? If you paid that for JUST the plants then please browse the FS/RAOK section of the forums! You could easily get all those plants listed for $20 shipped to you!!! I hate to see hobbyists pay exorbitant prices on plants when our community offers such a wide selection at unbeatable prices!!

Been following this journal BTW !! I'm in school to teach science right now and look forward to utilizing aquariums in my classroom as well. I recently padded my MTS batch with worm castings and am curious to see the results. Post tank pics ASAP!! I don't remember if it has been addressed already but make sure you get a timer for the weekends holidays.
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Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 02:20 PM
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You could easily get all those plants listed for $20 shipped to you!!! I hate to see hobbyists pay exorbitant prices on plants when our community offers such a wide selection at unbeatable prices!!
Exactly! Use the power of fish people providing other fish people self subsidized aquarium plants.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Are you saying you paid $50 for just these plants or, plants listed + driftwood? If you paid that for JUST the plants then please browse the FS/RAOK section of the forums! You could easily get all those plants listed for $20 shipped to you!!! I hate to see hobbyists pay exorbitant prices on plants when our community offers such a wide selection at unbeatable prices!!

Been following this journal BTW !! I'm in school to teach science right now and look forward to utilizing aquariums in my classroom as well. I recently padded my MTS batch with worm castings and am curious to see the results. Post tank pics ASAP!! I don't remember if it has been addressed already but make sure you get a timer for the weekends holidays.
It was just the plants that I got I have a grant to pay for the plants and materials, so I am now a bit peeved that I didn't decide to get to the For Sale section. I'll look it over this weekend.

As for the science teacher - huzzah! Very glad to see that you're one as well. I couldn't take pictures today (classes were a bit crazy today) but will take pics on Monday. Leading a PD on live animals in the classroom and teaching my colleagues about habitats and humane education. We'll see how that goes.
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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 10:50 PM
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@TheGreenWizard glad to hear you are a proponent of humane education regarding live animals etc. I don't want to see you posting anything about the soda bottle terrarium/aquarium energy cycle "experiment" unless it's about the inhumanity of it!!

Also, I really like the deGrasse quote.. that sums up why I already have a history endorsement and why I'm getting a science endorsement as well. Through grade school I had both enthusiastic and passionate science and history teachers. I remember many of my friends always complaining about how boring their history and science classes were - how they weren't learning anything, how they would NEVER use the stuff. That's part of my inspiration.. the other half is the lack of emphasis on both sciences and history in common core. My wife is a 1st grade teacher and she and the other teachers on all levels only teach science and social studies on the occasion they finish ELA and Math.. so maybe once or, twice a month?

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 11:44 PM
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Would give the tank time to run sans fish until plant mass is thriving.
The worm casting's (poo), are rich in organic matter and this could very well produce ammonia for a few week's in excess of what fish may tolerate.
Should one choose to place fish in straight away,,I would suggest heavy plant mass,and monitoring of water for ammonia and perform water changes as needed with dechlorinator such as PRIME which can detoxify ammonia and nitrites for around 14 to 24 hrs.
Lot's of plant's will also use up ammonia much better than just a few plant's.
Pretty much the same thing I dealt with. I just did 50% water changes twice a week the first two weeks to keep the ammonia down at an acceptable level for cycling.

Btw OP, if you have the chance, check out Monster Aquarium out in Flushing.

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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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@HDBenson - I've seen those contraptions and would never use them. Too cruel for the animals. I think the only thing that could live in the "aquarium" portion is a shrimp. Just one. But that's boring and still cruel.

As for NDT - he's one of my role models. I loved his version of Cosmos, and I'm trying to figure out what portions to use in my own class. There's a LOT of material he goes over.

RE: science teachers - I am also grateful for my really eccentric science and social studies teachers. Middle school was amazing for me because my teachers were super interested and passionate about the content they were teaching. My history teacher had animals in his classroom because he loved them and wanted his students to be exposed to them. Need to catch up with him soon... hmm...
@Monster Fish - I'll try to do the schlep out there, but it's FAR from where I live by subway (Washington Heights). I'll check out your website soon :-)

"Personally, I would be delighted if there was a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out." ~Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"I can't tell you how many people say they were turned off from science because of a science teacher that completely sucked out all the inspiration and enthusiasm they had for the course." ~Neil deGrasse Tyson.
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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 10:40 PM
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Hurray for passionate teachers!

My mom is one (retired). I have several aunts who also used to teach (also retired).
Currently a sister-in-law and her husband both passionate about teaching as well. The only gripe I hear from them is when parents want their kids excused for not doing the work. Come on, parents need to teach their kids good habits too!

Back to the tank, please post some more pics!
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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 11:36 PM
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@HDBenson - I've seen those contraptions and would never use them. Too cruel for the animals. I think the only thing that could live in the "aquarium" portion is a shrimp. Just one. But that's boring and still cruel.

As for NDT - he's one of my role models. I loved his version of Cosmos, and I'm trying to figure out what portions to use in my own class. There's a LOT of material he goes over.

RE: science teachers - I am also grateful for my really eccentric science and social studies teachers. Middle school was amazing for me because my teachers were super interested and passionate about the content they were teaching. My history teacher had animals in his classroom because he loved them and wanted his students to be exposed to them. Need to catch up with him soon... hmm...
@Monster Fish - I'll try to do the schlep out there, but it's FAR from where I live by subway (Washington Heights). I'll check out your website soon :-)
Lol not my website or store but you should check them out.

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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 12:49 PM
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We want pics! We want pics! *holds up picket signs*

I will have your plants out to you by sometime today if I can get to the post office in time OR by Saturday so nothing is held at the post office over the weekend. I'll be sending the following:
- Sandwich bag of Java Moss (I'll try to not send too much since you only have a 10 gallon)
- Ludwigia Repens (a few trimmed stems)
- Water Wisteria (a few trimmed stems)
- Unidentified stem plant that looks and grows like wisteria but has finer leaves. I'll post pics so we can ID them. I received it from another person on this site and it's been growing amazingly so I'll send you some.
- Dwarf Sag (I don't know how much I can spare because mine isn't doing that great but I'll definitely send you some)

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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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By Popular Riotin - I mean demand, here are the pics of my tank so far. Enjoy!!

https://goo.gl/photos/cMjaMXtSa2cpXES49

https://goo.gl/photos/p3r8ihXFEDrou5SJ6

Left side of the tank (excuse the horrible quality): https://goo.gl/photos/Sx2xhr83MKJ5n8Jy6

Right Side of tank (again, excuse the quality): https://goo.gl/photos/G2N1BDW9umX2RL5Y7

Thoughts? There is currently no filter in the HOB - I'm running it without one because I couldn't find the filters that I stored away last year until now. Just need to take out the carbon first.

As for fauna, I'll be adding a Betta splendens with other species, OR Pearl Danios. I'm trying to stay in the Southeast Asian biotope (then again, the one plant doesn't make sense...). Any suggestions? I'm also considering shrimp in there.

As for parameters:
pH: 7.0
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates = 0.

This tank was recently set up, so I'm going to give it a few more weeks to cycle. I am considering a fishless cycle... or should I do it the way Diana Walstad does it and put the fish in already?

"Personally, I would be delighted if there was a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out." ~Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"I can't tell you how many people say they were turned off from science because of a science teacher that completely sucked out all the inspiration and enthusiasm they had for the course." ~Neil deGrasse Tyson.
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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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@Aquarium_Alex: I'll keep those species in mind but I don't think I'll be able to get them locally... Thoughts?

I was also thinking White Cloud Minnows - I saw how small they are but I'm concerned about the low temps they require.
@roadmaster: Thanks for the advice! I'm about to replicate what I did at school with one of my personal tanks (a 20g High) because the plants are not thriving as they once did. That and it's due for a rescape haha.

Bump: UPDATE:

Added the filter portion to the QuietFlow 10 to get rid of the gunk that I kept seeing cycle around. Also I moved around a few of the Rotala indica - they're starting to die off - I don't know if it's due to not enough light or what, but I'm trying to keep them alive.

While I do want this tank to be as close to a biotope as possible for the Southeast Asian area, I just got a shipment of plants from someone (Victor??) and I am going to add the Java moss, some of my Java ferns, and the Anubias nana to this tank for more plant mass. Also considering putting in two cuttings of Lucky bamboo into the substrate or into the HOB, OR do a "bog" planter on the tank... Still a few ideas, but we shall see.

"Personally, I would be delighted if there was a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out." ~Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"I can't tell you how many people say they were turned off from science because of a science teacher that completely sucked out all the inspiration and enthusiasm they had for the course." ~Neil deGrasse Tyson.
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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:50 PM
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@Aquarium_Alex: I'll keep those species in mind but I don't think I'll be able to get them locally... Thoughts?
Many LFS can do special orders. Mine gets their stock from sunpet.com, which has a list of their inventory so you'll know what you can order and what you can't. Just ask your store if they are able to do specific orders from their supplier for you. They probably won't even ask you to pay shipping.

~Alex
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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Been a while since the last update, so here I go.

Added in the java moss I got, along with the Anubias nana from Victor into the tank. I also added a sponge to the output of the HOB to slow down the water flow - it was pummeling the Rotala indica; now the sponge acts as a bridge between the HOB and the water surface. The java moss I added to the top of the driftwood, and it is both out of water and in it. Didn't tie it down or anything - just letting it sit there. We'll see how it does over teh next few weeks.

The lighting is bothering me a little bit and I found a Hydrofarm light in my classroom (where it came from, I have no idea. Things magically come into the classroom to be used by me). The one light bulb is SUPER bright, so I'm debating if I even want to use it due to the limited nutrients/ For those interested, it's this light fixture, and I think it takes these lightbulbs. Should I switch to this system instead of using teh stock Aqueon hood?

Lastly, I've been doing weekly tests, and I'm finding that Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates are still 0. I'd expect a bit more at this point, or do we think the plants are eating it all up?? Since I just got paid, I'll go and get a fishless cycling kit tomorrow from Fauna (and check out their stock if they have any!).

"Personally, I would be delighted if there was a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out." ~Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"I can't tell you how many people say they were turned off from science because of a science teacher that completely sucked out all the inspiration and enthusiasm they had for the course." ~Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Last edited by TheGreenWizard; 11-20-2015 at 03:40 AM. Reason: Addition of hyperlink
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