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Old 01-15-2013, 01:22 AM   #1
AquaPeanut
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First Dirted Tank (and first post on TPT!)


Hi TPT! This is my first real post here, and I'm hoping to get some helpful feedback. I have a 16gal bowfront that I want to turn into a Walstad planted tank. Current fauna is 5 Endlers, 1 molly, and 1 GBR (the other one died). Here is what I have come up with based on lots and lots of reading/research!

1. MGOCPM: let it air dry in a thin layer for a while (a week perhaps? with daily stirring? Should it also be moist while "air drying"?).

2. After that's done, put it in the tank (about 1" deep), plant LOTS of fast growers, cover with very fine gravel or sand (I prefer the look of gravel).

3. Slowly fill with Prime-treated water.

4. Give it light for 10 hours/day. Natural light, too, if possible. This bowfront is by a huge east-facing window so it should get some good indirect natural light.

5. Since the soil is being "aired out", it's safe to add the fish back in right away, correct?

6. Just top off with Prime-treated water. Huge water changes twice a year. Feed the fish daily.

Is this all correct so far? Here are my other questions:

To circulate the water, is a powerhead (with sponge attachment) better or would an AC50 with only sponges suffice?

The temp in my house (especially by that window) is usually around 68-71F. Will that work for this tank, or should I keep the heater in it to maintain a warmer temp at ~78F?

I've read that a high CEC material should be mixed into the soil, but would it be okay to use something like SafeTSorb as a capping layer instead of mixing it into the soil?

Aerating the water isn't necessary because the plants provide oxygen for the fish, right?

I'm hoping to have a gorgeous planted tank (especially since it's highly visible in my living room!) and also hoping my Endlers will actually reproduce in it! I've had them for more than 6 months, and they've made ONE fry! I have 5 other tanks (not including emtpy, brand new 40 breeder and 10gal tanks thanks to petco's $1/gal sale) to help spread out the fry when/if that ever happens.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions and input!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:50 AM   #2
BrotherEppY
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i would also rinse the soil. you will loose some but it made my start up a bit easier. but it def provides good growth. my tank is growing like mad
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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All of your fish will appreciate a bump up in temperature (~82). They do, however, have different water requirements. The GBR likes the ph low (4.0 a 6.5) whereas the others thrive in a ph of 7.0 to 8.0.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:56 PM   #4
AquaPeanut
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Thanks for the replies!

BrotherEppY: is rinsing just to get the big pieces/chunks out of it?

rawalstrom: sounds good, i'll turn up the temp on the tank. 82F isn't too high? seems really close the temp that "kills" ich. i read that about the pH for GBR's, but i also read that they acclimate and seem perfectly happy with whatever pH they're living in. that's the only bad part about reading; you can find anything that says what you want it to say or think it should say. i never know what to believe. this bowfront tank has a pH around 8.0 pretty much all the time, and the GBR's had great color and everything until ich showed up one day. :-/ the GBR is still trying to get his/her color back... everyone else seems fine tho.

any input for the questions at the bottom of my post??
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
AquaPeanut
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anyone?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:54 AM   #6
rawalstrom
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I don't know much about soil and such, but I think your fish would like some aeration in the form of surface agitation just to help exchange gasses and help oxygenate the water. To the best of my knowledge, plants give off oxygen during the day and CO2 at night.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:04 AM   #7
wheatiesl337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaPeanut View Post
To circulate the water, is a powerhead (with sponge attachment) better or would an AC50 with only sponges suffice?

The temp in my house (especially by that window) is usually around 68-71F. Will that work for this tank, or should I keep the heater in it to maintain a warmer temp at ~78F?

I've read that a high CEC material should be mixed into the soil, but would it be okay to use something like SafeTSorb as a capping layer instead of mixing it into the soil?

Aerating the water isn't necessary because the plants provide oxygen for the fish, right?

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions and input!!
I haven't kept that fauna, so I cannot comment as to temperature.

I have seen numerous examples of individuals using a high CEC material as a cap with great success. I use an inert material as a cap and still have had great success. I would like to try a high CEC capping material.

As for aerating, are you asking if you need an airstone? Probably not if you have sufficient circulation. Check out the koralia pumps. This will solve your circulation issues, and you can aim it in a way that will agitate the surface a bit, facilitating better gas exchange.

Are you planning on using any mechanical filtration? e.g., cannister filter?
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:07 AM   #8
AquaPeanut
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that was one of my questions. do I still need to run a HOB or small canister with just sponges in it for mechanical filtration? or just put in a koralia nano powerhead for circulation/surface agitation? or both?
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:10 AM   #9
Thamizhandaa...
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My suggestion on the aeration is, just put one air-stone, attached to an air-pump, inside the tank. U need not necessarily keep it running during the day-time (unless, u want), but jst turn it on right after the tank's lighting is turned off and keep it running the whole night, until the lights are again switched-on, the next day. By doing this, u can assure that ur fish gets enough oxygen during night-times..
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:52 AM   #10
Sethjohnson30
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[QUOTE=AquaPeanut;2248618]Thanks for the replies!

BrotherEppY: is rinsing just to get the big pieces/chunks out of it?


Rinsing the soil will help remove some of the finer particles that cloud youre tank when you flood it.
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