Tom's Bucket O' Mud (semi self-sustaining aquarium) - Page 8
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahugo View Post
Any updates?
Just got back from another field trip, will get an update up in the next few days.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:33 PM   #107
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I was looking forward to this "update in a couple of days".
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:18 PM   #108
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Lol yeah, what happened?

Updating your tank > real life.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:25 PM   #109
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Wow. This tank is amazing, I love how it is self sustaining. Great photography too!
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:01 AM   #110
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Haha, yeah sorry guys. This weekend, promise!
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:47 AM   #111
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You tease!
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:31 PM   #112
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Don't quite have time for a full update, but here's a shot of how it looks from the front now -



I've also shuffled the livestock around a bit, so inhabitants are now 5 Yunnanilus sp. 'rosy', 8 Danio erythromicron and 3 Dario hysginon (and the otos are still in there from before).
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:38 PM   #113
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And this remains one of the nicest setups I've ever seen.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:02 PM   #114
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Hi Tom,

An incredible looking tank there, just to echo some of the other comments in the thread.

I live here in the UK too, though I'm in liquid rock country.... London.

Mind if I ask what soil you used? As I am likely to pick up the same on this side of the pond.

Regards

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Old 05-16-2012, 12:24 PM   #115
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Hi Lee.

I've actually switched to keeping hard water species in this tank now because despite soft tap water the soil I use considerably raises both pH and hardness. Almost all the commercial composts available contain considerable amounts of limestone, phosphate and sulphate which really push things up.

If this isn't an issue for you then I can recommend Westland's Aquatic Compost, which is what I'm using now. It is sterilised and designed to minimise ammonia leaching. John Innes (mixes 1-3 and cutting compost) should also be fine (JI 3 was what I was using at the start), but expect high ammonia levels for the first few weeks.

If you want to try and keep the water a bit softer, then I'd recommend mixing your own - roughly equal amounts of sphagnum peat moss (ebay), lime-free sand/grit (any garden centre) and fertiliser free topsoil or loam - this last one is difficult to find, personally I'd take a trip to Epping forest and collect some of last winter's beech loam.

You could also try something called 'Original Aqua Soil', if you search ebay for 'aqua soil' you should find it, comes in big blue bags.

I know someone trialling it who say it hasn't affected their water stats much at all, but no idea yet on how effective it is at growing plants!
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:50 PM   #116
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Hope I'm not de-railing the thread but I'm using original aqua soil under JBL manado. Didn't notice any ammonia (possibly due to massive over-filtering and low stocking) or any significant change in water stats. Also in London.

I'm not dosing anything and plants aren't showing problems. I did however have the worlds largest diatom bloom for about 2 months.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:16 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ony View Post
Hope I'm not de-railing the thread but I'm using original aqua soil under JBL manado. Didn't notice any ammonia (possibly due to massive over-filtering and low stocking) or any significant change in water stats. Also in London.

I'm not dosing anything and plants aren't showing problems. I did however have the worlds largest diatom bloom for about 2 months.
That's good to know. Looks like it might be the best low-hassle option for soil based tanks.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:43 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leemonk View Post
Hi Tom,

An incredible looking tank there, just to echo some of the other comments in the thread.

I live here in the UK too, though I'm in liquid rock country.... London.

Mind if I ask what soil you used? As I am likely to pick up the same on this side of the pond.

Regards

Lee
I'm also in London and using John Innes 3. My Ph has actually dropped.

Ammonia took around 5 weeks to reach safe levels.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:51 PM   #119
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I've just been down a few garden centres and had a look at the JI3 and it's not a bad price.

If the Ammonia levels are high, did you just do water changes to lower it?

I have quite a large tank and was wondering if I was able to do large water changes and simple refill from the garden hose pipe brought inside? Obviously the water would be A) cold and B) have chlorine etc in it, though I'd have no fish at this stage?

Would the temperature or chlorine be a problem.


BIGTOM:

Out of curiosity, where did you get the idea/inspiration from for your tank?

Regards

Lee
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #120
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I just left the water to cycle for the whole time. Letting the ammonia leach will encourage the development of ammonia consuming bacteria and then nitrite consuming bacteria. It will pre cycle your tank and adding chlorine will destroy this bacteria.

I was too lazy to mineralise the top soil or whatever it is to remove excess ammonia. Just threw it in and waited. Once the ammonia levels were lower I started to add plants and they began soaking up the excess nitrates.

You don't have to do it this way but this was how I did it.
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