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-   -   Soil test pictures (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=251914)

Jnad 02-20-2013 07:59 PM

Soil test pictures
 
4 Attachment(s)
Hello!

I am currently testing two types of soil in small tanks beafore a bigger dirt setup, i am testing these two soils with following labeled on the bags:

1. Quality Soil particularly suitable for indoor plants and window boxes. Nutritious and odorless. The earth is long time composted in 3 years, and are hand-pruned several times during this period.[censored]The result is a nutrient-rich soil full of microlife, ideal for your indoor plants and window boxes.[censored]Debio Approved for organic growers. Raw materials: 30% cow manure, 60% peat and 10% sand.

This tank is on the two first pictures and it is only two days old. I do know that manure is not reccomended in the soil, but i had to try :)- This soil was very clay like in consistent, and it has been no bubbling in the tank. It also looked heavy and was clouding the water mutch less than the other soil i used when i tested them in a kitchen glass. It also went to the bottom faster, maybe beacuse of the 10% sand mixed in.

2. This soil is only soil, no fertilizer is added.

This tank is tree weeks old and everything looks good. There have been a lot of bubbling, but there is still no sign of algae. There have been no water changes in this tank.




Here are the pictures, first two is of the tank using soil with 30% cow manure. By the way there is only plants in this tank and i am not using anything to circulate the water. I have mounted a air stone but i am not using it, should i use it to Get some water movement in this only plants tank??

Jnad 02-21-2013 07:38 AM

About the tank with soil number 1. with cow manure:

Is there anybody out there with experience in Walstad setups that can give me some advise about using the air stone or not?

The air stone is the only thing i have to get water movement in the tank, but i am reading that airstones will work against the soil producing CO2?

Is water movement neccesary in a plant only tank?

Any suggestions?

Jnad

ced281 02-21-2013 08:31 AM

I do think water movement is important even in a plant only tank for at least two reasons:
- Water circulation allows for circulation of nutrients in the water column. Some plants absorb more nutrients from the water column than from the soil.
- Poor water circulation is often a contributor to algae and BGA. It's not the only contributor and isn't always the key contributor, but it is one nonetheless.

Jnad 02-21-2013 02:31 PM

Tanks for answer.

I will run the airpump to get some water circulation then, hope not the air will exhaust the CO2 from the soil.

Jnad

ReluctantHippy 02-21-2013 03:35 PM

In the Walstad method the decomposing soil (humus) produces bioavailable carbon similar to the carbon in Flourish Excel in addition to CO2 gas. Many microbes do produce CO2 gas while breaking bonds associated with decomposition but I would consider that as an extra. I wouldn't worry about your airstone as you're likely diffusing more atmospheric CO2 into the tank than letting CO2 gas escape and water movement is important with planted tanks. Keep in mind the soil you picked isn't going to break down all that much anyways - peat is pretty much inert underwater and for the most part will not break down at all.

In.a.Box 02-21-2013 04:09 PM

Wow the light is pretty high up yet still giving the plant so much light.

Jnad 02-21-2013 04:26 PM

Yes it seem to be a effective little bulb, the led bulb is about 22 inches over the substrate. I dont know if this is low or medium light, would have been interesting to have a par meter.

Jnad

Jnad 02-23-2013 09:12 AM

Hello!

Here is some uppdate of tank number 1. with soil number 1. This is the tank with soil containing 30% cow manure:

The tank have been running for 5 days and today i have done some measures of the water.
Ammonium: 0,0 / no measureble readings
GH: 4,0 / the same as my tapwater.

I am not using a filter, just a bubbler to get some water movement. The water is still cristal clear.

I am not going to have fish in this little tank, only some shrimps that will arrive in about one week.

It looks like the plants have started to grow, but since there is no feeding to this tank do you think i should add some fertilizers? Or just relay on the soil/cow manure and just let the tank be with light and some water movement?

I appriciate any comments

Jnad

mc1973 05-03-2013 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by In.a.Box (Post 2606634)
Wow the light is pretty high up yet still giving the plant so much light.

Lol that's the first thing I noticed, and without a reflector too!

Jnad 05-04-2013 08:07 AM

Hello!

I was also suprised about these led bulbs. I am using the same type of bulbs in a fixture i made over this tank and i am very satisfied.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...946&highlight=

I also have been into reef tanks, and this is a very interesting tread about GU10 led bulbs used sucsessfully over a reef tank
http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/26743...e-ebay-lights/

I think these bulbs with the right color could be a good alternative to planted tanks.

Jnad

DogFish 05-04-2013 01:19 PM

I'm very happy to see you decided to follow through on your plans to work with organic substrates. Of course I am very biased on this topic.
:biggrin:

I would tell you the benefits of water movement will greater than the loss of CO2. Most of our plants come from water that has movement, there is even thermal current movement in ponds.

One away to use the air stone to lesson the surface agitation, hence lessening the CO2 drive off would be an Air Lift tube. Here's a video that shows the idea on a larger scale in a German(?) pond.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkPUQlt0iSw

In your tank a simple PVC(Plastic) straight pipe and a elbow(45degree) pipe will create the same effect. By mounting it below the surface you will gets flow with lower surface agitation.

I use PAR38 LED lights too and it is amazing how high they need to be for correct lighting.

Best of Luck with this project, I look forward to seeing your results.

Jnad 05-04-2013 04:44 PM

Tanks for the tip about the air lift tube, just now i am using a power head for water movment. But for some reason, i dont now really why, but i like air in my tank, and i have a really silent air pump so i probably will try an air lift tube.

When it comes to dirt substrate i really like this approatch and will continue to run dirt tanks, but i also am reading with interest about DSB in freshwater tanks and would really like to try one tank with DSB substrate also. Not many aquarists running a DSB, but here is a link:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...e_7_1/dsb.html

Jnad

Quote:

Originally Posted by DogFish (Post 3287834)
I'm very happy to see you decided to follow through on your plans to work with organic substrates. Of course I am very biased on this topic. :big grin:

I would tell you the benefits of water movement will greater than the loss of CO2. Most of our plants come from water that has movement, there is even thermal current movement in ponds.

One away to use the air stone to lesson the surface agitation, hence lessening the CO2 drive off would be an Air Lift tube. Here's a video that shows the idea on a larger scale in a German(?) pond.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkPUQlt0iSw

In your tank a simple PVC(Plastic) straight pipe and a elbow(45degree) pipe will create the same effect. By mounting it below the surface you will gets flow with lower surface agitation.

I use PAR38 LED lights too and it is amazing how high they need to be for correct lighting.

Best of Luck with this project, I look forward to seeing your results.


DogFish 05-05-2013 03:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jnad (Post 3288818)
.....When it comes to dirt substrate i really like this approatch and will continue to run dirt tanks, but i also am reading with interest about DSB in freshwater tanks and would really like to try one tank with DSB substrate also. Not many aquarists running a DSB, but here is a link:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...e_7_1/dsb.html

Jnad

From your link ~ "1. Fill the aquarium with approximately 3 inches of good sand - pool filter sand, specialized horse racetrack sand, and other meshed sands are good choices."

I'm confused??? I would think Deep Sand Bed might be deeper? Many of us using Dirt in our tank use 2" of Dirt and 1"+ of sand as a cap. I don't feel that is really deep.

Jnad 05-05-2013 06:45 AM

At first i also thought 3 inches was to little, but there is folks saying it works like a charm. Here is some more reading
http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...Sand-Beds-Work

I would use minimum 3 inches in front and slope it up to minimum 5 inches in the back.

This approach also like dirt looks like a natural way to go for those with that interest. There will be less of a mess when moving plants, but i see they recomend to cut the roots and leave them in the DSB to rot when moving or taking plants out of the tank. The dying roots is good for the DSB

Jnad

wkndracer 05-05-2013 12:10 PM

Great thread!
There are a number of parallels shared between NPT (dirt tanking) and DSB.
Thinking though that having a planted aquarium the nitrate handling component of the DSB is only of minor consideration. Without organic content the DSB doesn't contribute the same support for plants.

With regards to water circulation (imo) a little goes a long way and is always a good thing.


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