First post on here, yay!
I started this lil project from an old Lipton tea powder jar I had laying around, roughly .5-.75 liters. I'd used it before as a hospital jar for my betta, then for growing hair algae- err, xmas moss. Then I finally got bored, stared at my Dwarf Sag. that hadn't been growing since the day I got it 6 months before, even with full spectrum lighting and root tabs.
This all started as an experiment to see what would happen if I gave a D sag. a nice dirt substrate that I know terrestrial plants love. Having played with the dirt before, I already knew that it had a ton of clay in it, and didn't cause a terrible amount of clouding in the water, as long as all the floaty bits were removed. So I put dirt in a jar, and added water. And then got rid of the water, and added more water, and so on, every day for a week. After that, I had fairly clear water, and the dirt settled relatively quickly after playing with it. I never used a capping substrate on the dirt...in a bit you'll see why I didn't need it.
Anyways, waaaaaay back when in mid-Dec of 2011, I added a single D. sag plant, screwed on the lid, and said, "Adios" for a month. It was sitting in a window that gets a decent amount of light, which is where it has stayed ever since.
Pic of when I first set it up:
When I came back, all it had grown was one single leaf. I was oddly not surprised, but realized I had an extra rock with xmas moss and hair algae on it, so I dumped that in too. And then I got some crypts, realized I had some extras, and added those
too. Things were looking quite good, aside from the fact there was pretty much no growth. And then I added weak diy CO2, and everything aside from the moss decided that they really liked that. I've been getting great growth from everything ever since, and I still haven't done a proper water change since I did the very first planting.
A couple of small pond snails, and whatever else is too small to see
xmass moss/ hair algae
Crypt. Wendii 'Bronze'