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Turtlemaxxx 10-03-2012 03:12 AM

dirty 25 gallon experimentation
Like the title says. I'm experimenting with this dirt tank thingy. I am going the MGOPS route. I am mostly following wkndracer's idea on his 55 gallon that has been going for 3 years now. I am testing this new style (to me, it's new) out on a 25 gallon and if it goes well I have other tanks to extend this to. I have just finished the initial set up, warning! this will not be a pretty tank for a while. Time to get the pictures on here.


Turtlemaxxx 10-03-2012 04:14 AM
2 different bulbs, if one doesn't work out they can go in the garage fixture
adding boarder gravel with "anti walk" diffuser
1.5" ish of dirt
I am hoping that this gravel isn't too light to do the job
front view
back view

this is all for today, maybe a lid and heater and the first couple plant tomorrow

Hilde 10-03-2012 02:56 PM


Originally Posted by Turtlemaxxx (Post 2030793)
2 different bulbs, if one doesn't work out they can go in the garage fixture

this is all for today, maybe a lid and heater and the first couple plant tomorrow

They should work as long as you don't get red plants. Plants that will work are in the lows light up to the medium light section plant geek.

pweifan 10-03-2012 08:42 PM

Where did you get the gravel? I love gravel like that.

Turtlemaxxx 10-04-2012 03:22 AM

Had to work late today so nothing done. Tannins came out to play though. I do have one random plant in a 20 gallon that is showing some red but not much. I'll be taking plants from the 20 and putting them in here to see the differences in how well I can get stuff to grow.

I got the gravel at a LFS. I think I have gotten it before and liked the color and they are not very rounded so I figured they might work in this application. I have read that rounded material does not hold in the MG well.

My regular 20 gallon with black fluorite (or competitors equivalent) will be going back to my mother in laws 2nd grade classroom again this year. That's how I got the go ahead to set this one up :) this one used to be the sump tank on my bigger tank, hence all the water lines.

Turtlemaxxx 10-05-2012 05:23 PM

I threw just a couple plants in last night, added a heater and put some glass on top to hold in some temp and keep the cats out. I'll try to get a picture up tonight. The plants that went in are:

Mondo grass
some short grass stuff
and the random thing that has some red in it

how do you split anubis up? just cut it at the bottom real careful like?

Patriot 10-05-2012 05:39 PM

looks good

Turtlemaxxx 10-06-2012 03:21 PM

Lots of tannins here. Guess that means the water is getting into the substrate :smile:

This is the little guy that has some red in it. I got it as a traveler with some grasses. It was only 1" long and now the 20 gallon has a 4-5" stem and this was coming off of it so I clipped it off and put it in here to see how it will do.

This is the little grass.

The plants have only been in here for 2 days and they are already showing new growth! Even though my wife forgot to turn the lights on yesterday. Today I moved the lights down 5". I could see the difference on how much light was making it into the tank.

Here are a couple pictures of my 20 gallon tank that I got 2 of the 3 plants from.

ccbeauch 10-09-2012 11:31 PM

not sure how to subscribe but I will view yours on the regular too. Thanks for stopping by to give mine a look through.

Turtlemaxxx 11-06-2012 05:34 PM

I will try and get pictures up tonight. My tank is gassing a little bit, starting about the 20th, so 18 days and it was bubbling by itself. On about 10/18 I put the runt discus in this tank so he could get some food. Petsmart was also running a sale so I grabbed an oto and some black phantom tetras to keep him/her/it company. I have been changing at least 5 gallons a day and vacuuming up the mold since no one wants to eat it. I have also started patting down the gravel to release any gasses each night while doing the water change. I also added a bulb packet and a fern thing. Pictures to come tonight.

Side note: Petsmart had the $1 a fish sale so I added about 16 tetras to the 20 gallon and the plants have taken off! I must not have had enough poo in the tank for the plants to use?

iadubber 11-06-2012 06:08 PM

I love that color gravel! I wish I could find that around me!

Turtlemaxxx 11-20-2012 03:31 AM

Update: We will just pretend I didn't get distracted by house and job and baby stuff.... Yeah, and my fish will start pooping gold.

About a week ago all my brown algae started to go away and now I have green algae. I think that is a good sign? Cutting back on the photo period a bit to try and help with that. But the volume of plants in the tank is increasing everyday so that should help too. A couple of the bulbs have really taken off. It has only been 3 weeks or so and a couple of them are huge, I consider them huge. the one on the left side of the tank only poked through the bulb a week ago. The ludwigia?? is thriving, though it is a little confused as the what a stem is supposed to look like. oh well, i can part it out later for more stems.

This whole potting soil thing makes me sad that I didn't try it earlier. I have killed every aquarium plant I have ever tried to grow. These plants are thriving and I'm on dummy mode. I have continued with a 5 gallon water change almost everyday, with a soil pat down for gas. Gas yes, huge gravel lifting patches, no.

who likes pictures?
random shot of both tanks

GMYukonon24s 11-20-2012 01:01 PM

Nice start

Hilde 11-20-2012 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by Turtlemaxxx (Post 2084228)
About a week ago all my brown algae started to go away and now I have green algae

That algae is not harmful. You could try a siesta break of 3hrs. Something like this 4hrs on/ 3hrs off/ 4hrs on. Also some Otocinclus fish may help. Last of all just scrape it off.

Turtlemaxxx 11-27-2012 01:57 AM

Yeah, green algae, gotta love it. NOT! It's kinda hairy. Its progress seems to have halted with the reduced photo period so time to clean and see if it stays away or not. Also cleaned out the canister, eheim should design them so they don't get so dirty... :icon_roll
On a side note, kid urped for the first time. The smell was... unpleasant, give me dirty filter smell anytime.

Any who, PICTURES!!!
Clean, water needs to clear
Clean, water needs to clear
That plant is also getting huge. One of its long stems has a leaf at the surface, otherwise just all those pre-flower things??

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