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seds 07-22-2010 11:37 PM

SEDS' Mineralized soil 35 gallon Extravaganza! UPDATE August 27!
SEDS' Spectacular Mineralized 35 gallon Extravaganza!
Let me first add that I have no water column fertilization, I am negligent on water changes, and have no CO2 whatsoever. Just soil and "sun." No hardscape has been added. I have no algae eating crew and have barely any algae issues. The only thing I have to deal with is a light dusty algae that grows near the bottom on the glass. I have come a long way from my meager beginnings, and there is still a long way to go before I can go international.

My new 35 gallon semi bowfront mineralized topsoil tank had been up a long time ago... I changed the substrate a few months is the result:
Obligatory empty shot

Here's the hardscape...
Filling up with mud... smoothing the surface... It is over 3 inches deep at any spot. A little much perhaps but no biggie.

Obligatory "just filled" shot...
This picture was taken one day after it filled.
I suppose you are wondering WHERE DID I GO WRONG!! We all learn from mistakes. I had only a half gallon of sand to cover a couple square feet of surface. So the covering was patchy at best. I also added the fish right away.(filter media was old) If you ever get a mineralized tank, use enough sand to cover the soil very well. The only thing that could go wrong is that planting... plants... tends to mix the layers.

Fish still stir up debris when they get startled... I am paying to this day because the plants are occasionally dusty looking. Luckily the tank prospered...

Notice the ludwigia vanish and the saggitaria and Egeria take over.
Pardon the small pic, but here's how it looked at one if it`s finest moments:
The fish are hiding. Believe it or not it looked better about 10 days before. A pondweed species I had was doing well and had beautiful translucent pink leaves with a lovely vein pattern. But then I leave for a week and it is decimated. It was spreading with a rhyzome and growing very fast... I don't understand why pondweeds do this! There were 3 very large and lovely stems, each forming the midground.

this is a video i embedded of my tank. There is no sound except for clicking. I have forgotten how to change the sound to a song or something.


-3 upside down catfish
-12 odessa barbs.
-1 rare female "lipstick" barb. (I found the ID myself recently. I made an ID thread of this fish that stumped everyone.) That's the gray fish with a reddish dorsal fin and yellow caudal pedicle on the bottom. This picture is quite old.
-3 Ottos and one Chinese sucking loach that ended up in an order of ottos...
-Limnophila Sessiliflora
-Vallisneria Americana
-Egeria Najas
-Saggitaria Subulata
And a few random straggler stems such as Potamogeton, Ludwiga and Myrophyllum.

If you look close in the last picture, elodea canadensis is the lighter green plant with thicker leaves than E. najas, it is just off to the left of the center. Mare's tail is also in that vicinity. A kind of pondweed is on the right side in-front of Limno... Lost in a forest of yellow-green. These have declined to nothingness as of this writing.

THANKS FOR LOOKING! This will get better as it goes on. My latest pic is in need of a trim.

VincentK 07-23-2010 12:17 AM

I like those barbs, also, that tank looks very natural, I recently went to a lake, and it looked almost exactly the same to what you have set up. I've also had the same thing happen to me with the MTS, I didn't add enough sand, and eventually the filter flow upturned a bunch of soil and made it all cloudy.

seds 07-26-2010 04:35 AM


Originally Posted by VincentK (Post 1115258)
I like those barbs, also, that tank looks very natural, I recently went to a lake, and it looked almost exactly the same to what you have set up. I've also had the same thing happen to me with the MTS, I didn't add enough sand, and eventually the filter flow upturned a bunch of soil and made it all cloudy.

Thanks, that's kind of what I was going for. I have snorkled in lakes and liked the style of scenery underwater.

But also I want to have a nice professional aquascape... One that will win me a title in an international aquascaping contest. I've got my eyes set on AGA 2011. Or maybe if I can get it good enough, 2010. My camera skills aren't the best though. I'll bump this with nice photos in a week or two.

seds 09-15-2010 01:58 AM

El bumpo

Ok so I bought crytocoryne lutea and wendtii recently and added some Jungle Vals. After a bit of growing and trimming (not really the crypts) here is how it looks.

This is from a few days ago, The egeria najas is a bit thin for some reason though. I must've over-trimmed it.

growshell 09-15-2010 02:12 AM

I like it, looks very natural. The only thing I'd change would be to straighten up the substrate line.

seds 09-17-2010 01:19 AM

Thanks fir the input, I will try to smooth it out. Debris just collects along the saggitarias closest to the glass...

I am leaving the country in about 10 days for a few months to "see the world," and I have entrusted my family to take care of my tank in the meantime. So this is probably the last update for a while. Obviously the Limnophila needs a trim, but I have nowhere to put the trimmings...

seds 08-27-2011 07:01 AM

My tank has been chugging along for a long time. It's been almost a year since the last update, so here`s the sitch.

I got back and it was cloudy as all get out. I had to cut all the stems and start them over because they hadn`t been trimmed in 5 months and they were really straggly. The dwarf sag was about 8 inches deep. It was horrifying. But on the plus side...

The green crypts really took off! I actually am really impressed. The bronze ones are kind of there but nothing really good became of them.

I didn`t take a picture in February when I got back, but here is a current FTS.

I had to do a total revamp because I had severe problems with my uncapped soil. Some of my fish started digging for fun and the cloudiness was unbearable. I eventually tore it all down in July and planted everything again. My egeria najas was struggling to survive in the silty environment. It`s doing OK now.

I don`t even have a filter anymore. Cleaning the filter media was too much work. The water is still a tiny bit cloudy but it hasn't been this clear for months.

Also if you`ll notice I have had a single stem of ludwiga for about a year. It doesn't do well but it hasn't died off yet. I can't get rid of it because I paid 7 dollars for it when I started this tank. That is all.

2in10 08-27-2011 01:22 PM

Very nice look to the tank, it has a very natural feel.

wkndracer 08-27-2011 01:34 PM

I wonder if the fish took up the digging habit looking for food while you were away. You seem to take a very patient approach and are satisfied with this NPT. Self sustaining mini pond in a box. :smile:

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