Last update was over 6 months ago. This dirt tank has been an epic failure for me!
Right now, the tank is a dump. I'm a high school teacher/coach, so my hours during the fall are a tad bit ridiculous. I fell behind in my tank maintenance around the middle of August, and it's been a downward spiral ever since. Right now, the tank smells of something dead. My wife is about to go insane if I can't do something about the awful smell coming from our office!
The anubias and java ferns are actually thriving in this tank. The anubias have put on probably 5-10 new leaves each and the JF has grown out of control!
The MTS that I created must not be too bad, given the growth that I've seen in this swamp of a tank. The only issue is that it's more of a pond than an aquarium, and that brings forth the issue of having the pondish smell throughout the house. It really is horrible! I can't stand paying bills in my own office....
Consequently, I have decided to move in an alternate direction. I have ordered 40 pounds of eco-complete to replace the MTS.
I have had eco-complete before and had good success with it. I like it because it's ready to use as soon as I cut the bag open. I'm confident that it's going to be a good change for me.
I am going to retain some of the MTS that I made and start up a smaller (10 gallon) dirt tank. This smaller tank will be in my classroom where I can assign its maintenance to my advanced classes. This should prove to be a good project for them!
Once the eco-complete arrives, it will be time to siphon the tank, turn out the MTS, and re-do this tank. The manzi and plants will stay right where they are, as the manzi is glued down with silicone and the plants are anchored firmly to the wood. This really should be a fairly simple process, I hope.
I would imagine that by the end of November, I'll have my tank up and running again. I'm going to stick with the same lighting, filtration, plants, etc.
Two additions that I've been considering are: 1) A hydor koralia pump ; 2) Pressurized CO2 (I have the complete setup, but I haven't used it since I moved to this new house over a year ago).
It's also probably time to buy some new bulbs for my T5HO fixture, as they are almost 2 years old now.
It's going to be fun re-doing this tank. I'll get some pictures up as I go along...