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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-16-2016 03:24 AM
gene4christ [QUOTE=Jcstank;8697865]First I want to say gene4christ, your tank looks awesome. I'm curious to know what light you are using and how high off the substrate it is. Knowing what lights work, and how high they are off the substrate, is good information for others here that want successful low tech tanks and need information on lights that work for low tech. I'm also wondering what your total dissolved solids (TDS) are and how you keep your General Hardness from rising with so few water changes? Every time you top off water from evaporation, your GH will gradually rise with each topping off unless you use RO water or very soft water. I think you mentioned that you use bottled water, which may have TDS reading of as little as 25 and be soft. Still over time those will rise unless you do a large water change at some point.

Your tank looks great! I have not been brave enough to collect any of the local plants. I used Organic Miracle Grow under the gravel. And add Flourish comprehensive and Flourish Excel once a week. I change between 3 and 5 gal. Of (Gerber pure) water a month as I vacuum the bottom of the tank. I have two of the 48in. Coralife T5no fixtures that sit directly on top the tank on a timer @ 13 hrs a day. It was set up in January of 2013 and is doing great.
12-21-2015 06:51 PM
DavidZ Looks good, whats you full list of plants?
12-20-2015 01:28 PM
Jcstank First I want to say gene4christ, your tank looks awesome. I'm curious to know what light you are using and how high off the substrate it is. Knowing what lights work, and how high they are off the substrate, is good information for others here that want successful low tech tanks and need information on lights that work for low tech. I'm also wondering what your total dissolved solids (TDS) are and how you keep your General Hardness from rising with so few water changes? Every time you top off water from evaporation, your GH will gradually rise with each topping off unless you use RO water or very soft water. I think you mentioned that you use bottled water, which may have TDS reading of as little as 25 and be soft. Still over time those will rise unless you do a large water change at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knm<>< View Post
Thanks, I'm using miracle gro organic potting soil with pool filter sand cap. This will be my first dirt tank too. I usually use Eco complete. I bought some garden edging and cut it down to about 2.5 inches tall as a border. Only about half the tank will be dirtied, the rest sand. I didn't see the point of dirting the open swimming area. I like how you did a gravel cap transitioning to sand, looks cool. I'm doing a native sunfish tank so I will be mixing gravel into my sand and have a lot of large rocks and driftwood. Also looking to use native plants only. Everything will be native except for the wood I bought. I'm pretty sure it's african hardwood. Thanks for the info!
Many of my plants I gathered from my local pond. Be careful though as this can introduce some unwanted pests or parasites. I soaked the plants I gathered in a solution of water and bleach of 10-1 for an hour. Then rinsed them with running tap water and found all kinds of stuff including leaches that somehow remained hidden.

Some of the plants that are doing great in my tank from my local pond are coon tail (sometimes called hornwort), which does not have roots. I bunch this up with a weight at the bottom and it looks awesome. You can see it in the background in the picture below. It also grows very fast. I also have Milfoil, South American Waterweed, Hydrilla, and duckweed.
12-20-2015 01:15 AM
gene4christ
Update

This is my 90gal. as of November 2015 it is really doing great and the fish love how it is no longer plant free at the top
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0dz...NzNW-g6cymMSMr
11-30-2014 10:31 PM
gene4christ Well as for fish let's see… 9 rummynose 7 cardinals 4 checkerboard barbs 2 corys 1 bristlenose 1 angle 1congo tetra 4 blackscert tetras 1 limon tetra 3harlquin rasboras 2 sae algae eaters and 4 otos.
11-30-2014 12:01 AM
Aquariumfreak What do you have stock wise in there?


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11-27-2014 09:18 PM
gene4christ
2014 Thanksgiving update

Hello everyone,
I done some aquscapeing this morning.
I think it looks much better.
11-02-2014 02:19 AM
gene4christ Sounds great. Be sure and keep us posted on the progress. I did not put dirt under the open swim area either.
11-02-2014 02:03 AM
knm<>< Thanks, I'm using miracle gro organic potting soil with pool filter sand cap. This will be my first dirt tank too. I usually use Eco complete. I bought some garden edging and cut it down to about 2.5 inches tall as a border. Only about half the tank will be dirtied, the rest sand. I didn't see the point of dirting the open swimming area. I like how you did a gravel cap transitioning to sand, looks cool. I'm doing a native sunfish tank so I will be mixing gravel into my sand and have a lot of large rocks and driftwood. Also looking to use native plants only. Everything will be native except for the wood I bought. I'm pretty sure it's african hardwood. Thanks for the info!
11-01-2014 05:09 PM
gene4christ One thing I want to stress when it comes to filling your tank , is to be very careful not to disturb the substrate ! IT IS DIRT under there ! As a side note I have never been a fan of regular water changes. It seems to me that if your filter is doing what it is supposed to do and you are NOT over feeding or over stocking your tank, it will be better off if the only water change you do is when you do your tank maintenance . I normally end up changing about 3gal. of water when I clean the bottom of the tank of visible gunk, about every two weeks or so . Another thing I NEVER use tap water ! I use Gerber pure, it is less than a dollar a gallon. Just make sure what ever water you get has NO Fluoride added !!! The only time I use tap water is when I first flood the tank but I use as much Gerber as I can afford then as well. When you use any tap water be sure and use the appropriate Water Conditioner to neutralize the added chemicals in it . One last thought when you change or clean your filter NEVER use tap water to clean the filter medium because it will kill off the GOOD Bacteria culture you have in it ! Just rinse it out good with either some of your tank water or some of the new water you have, I always buy an extra gallon just for this. Really all you want to do when you maintenance your filter is make sure the moving parts are able to move freely and that water can flow freely through the medium. Just rinse everything good do not over clean ! OK MY 2 CENTS WORTH !
10-27-2014 03:27 AM
gene4christ I used Organic Miracle-grow for the dirt. I tried to get as much of the wood and plant debris out as I could before adding it to the tank. you will notice that I have a plastic grid in the front and sides this is to keep the dirt away from the viewing part of the tank and also keep the sand from mixing with the gravel as much. I placed about 2" or so of dirt on the inside of the grid only then added about 3' of gravel on top of it with sand in the front and sides. Now this was what turned out to be the most important thing I did, I add only enough water to soak to the top of the gravel added my driftwood rocks and some plants and without flooding the tank let it cycle for two weeks . Not sure if this is the reason but after I flooded the tank and turned the filter on the water cleared up and I never had any kind of bacteria bloom or algae bloom, nope nothing adverse. The only algae that I have had is what you see, and never any cloudiness. So yes I recommend using Organic Miracle-grow. Hope this helps , and it works as well for you as it has for me BTW this my second planted tank the first was a 30gal. and not a dirt tank and by far the dirt is the way to go.
10-26-2014 12:06 AM
knm<>< Can you share some detail about your substrate layers?
10-25-2014 11:48 PM
knm<>< I love your tank! I'm about to do something similar with my 75 gallon I just picked up this week. I'm still building the stand right now, so it will be a while yet.
10-25-2014 09:40 PM
gene4christ Don't know what happened to the Clown Loach but he expired. Might have been the temp it is at 80-82 degrees. Here is the outcome of my first pruning and rescape on the left side .
10-10-2014 11:17 PM
caique Love your tank and the drift wood. Crypt wendtti can indeed get 16" at least I just took a bunch out of my 120 and it was as big and as tall as a 5 gallon bucket, filled it completely.

Tank looks very health, crystal clear water.

Do you just have 1 clown loach?

I love Clown Loaches a friend of mine has 6 in his 360 and they are all 6 inches. They are a long term commitment though they can live for 30 or so years. When yours gets bigger you might have a mess in there with the dirt.
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