The "Dirted Tank"
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:26 AM   #1
cross7fu
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The "Dirted Tank"


After my snapping turtle reached her Godzilla size and I moved her to a bigger tank, I've been having this tank sitting here just for some goldfish, anubias and java ferns, and I wanna turn it into something more interesting. I've been planning to breed shrimps, but I want to try dirted tank too, so I put them together. At the very beginning I'm already picturing at least half the tank would be sand only, more open space would make it easier to locate the shrimps, so it will be a half "dirted tank".

Tank: 42x16x14.5"
This was a display tank from Big Al's, the front panel is lower, the actual height is about 18".

Lighting: Philips T8 32watt daylight X2
I'm not sure if it is good enough for the red plants, but it's a low tech tank right, let's try it out. Surprisingly it is 6500K, so it's not so bad.

Filtration: Ehem 2217
The waterflow is a bit strong for the tank, but better over power than under. I got bio balls that came with the filter, and...what else should I say? In Eheim we trust.

Plants:
Anubias and java fern - they are from this same tank, they've been doing really good.
Cabomba - very hardy plant, fill up a big piece of background.
Proserpinaca - donno much about this plant, but I want to have something red-ish to go with the pink Rotala
Pennywort - interesting plant, they create layers of leaves underwater, and usually grow above water as well.
Pink Rotala - They've been in a low light (LED) tank for a while and turned completely green now, let's see how they'll do in this tank, this one is gonna be a challenge.
Baby tears - I'm not sure why some people say they are hard to grow, to me they are very hardy, and I tucked some baby tears under the driftwood.
Red tiger lotus - they've been in a couple of tanks, they are not growing at all, maybe it was because I put them into gravels, let's see how they do with dirt and sand.
Blyxa - it's been uprooting itself in a gravel bottom tank for a million times, I've been replanting it and it is in really bad shape, hope it'll get better here.
Vallisneria - not a big fan of them, but I got one that has no place to go, so yeah.
Couple of unknown plants - collected at a lake one day (in Toronto), not sure what they are.




Animals: none! For now. I want to do at least one water test before I put any animal into the water.

After 2 hours of struggling, this is the scape I'm going with.


I'm using garden soil instead of potting mix. Research told me they are not very different from each other, the garden mix just contain more fertilizer and needed more water change to reduce it into a suitable level for water plants, and I chose it because it is half the price of potting mix. The sand is pool filter sand.


This is the actual dirted area, 2 inches of garden soil.




Soil is capped with 2 inches of sand, same with the back of the tank, front is 1 inch.


Planting the dirted area. Some plants are too short and can't be seen behind the driftwood for now.


I hope the red tiger lotus would show me something with dirt :\


And the setup is done, except the driftwood starts floating, so I put a rock on it until it stays right there.
I pretty much over planted this area, so I expect to expend the dirted area.
Also I dropped a little water pump with floss into the tank to clear out the particles.


Day2: 50% water change. Too busy to get some test kit but I can do that later.
Day3: dropped a water sprite and some duckweed to absorb extra nutrition.

Here is Day 4.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:47 PM   #2
Hilde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cross7fu View Post
Tank: 42x16x14.5"
The actual height is about 18".
Lighting: Philips T8 32watt daylight X2

Plants:
Anubias
Java fern
Cabomba
Proserpinaca
Pennywort
Pink Rotala
Baby tears
Red tiger lotus
Blyxa
Vallisneria
These plants will be okay with that light:[/SIZE][/FONT]
Anubias
Java fern
Pennywort
Vallisneria (sensitive to excel)

These plants need seachem excel:
Cabomba
Pennywort
Pink Rotala

These plants need co2 injected:
Proserpinaca
Blyxa
Baby tears

Cheaper to choose plants according to light have
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:12 PM   #3
cross7fu
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Day7 May 26th: 50% water change.
Few things happened: the driftwood sinks now, so I removed the rock, and I see things like mold on the driftwood, I removed them with siphon tube.




Part of the Proserpinaca has color changed, not sure why, will see what happens next.


There's grease on the water surface, will scoop it out and see if it comes back.


The pink rotala is totally green, may need to dose iron.


Day8 May 27th: Did the first water test.
NO3: 35
NO2: 0
pH: 6.7
KH: 140ppm/7.8
GH: 0ppm
The GH is interesting...The water in here Toronto is hard water, not sure why it is 0, especially after 50% water change a day before I did the test, where did the GH go? But this tank is just one week old, maybe I should give it some time to develop.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:17 PM   #4
cross7fu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
These plants will be okay with that light:[/SIZE][/FONT]
Anubias
Java fern
Pennywort
Vallisneria (sensitive to excel)

These plants need seachem excel:
Cabomba
Pennywort
Pink Rotala

These plants need co2 injected:
Proserpinaca
Blyxa
Baby tears

Cheaper to choose plants according to light have
Thanks for the reminder! I try not to add anything to it since it is a low tech tank, and I've tried/seen some of them do well in a low tech tank, but if they turn out not doing well I gotta do whatever is necessary.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:52 PM   #5
Monster Fish
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You don't need CO2 for blyxa or regular baby tears.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:12 AM   #6
Raymond S.
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You have i med range of light.
The Rotala will get pink on the ends AFTER they reach the surface where theyt get
much more light. Can start before then, but much more likely after.
Alternathera reineckii is a plant which should get red in that amount of light.
It does better with iron added. Have two plants from same batch, one in a tank/w high end of low light with Laterite inthe sub and one in a tank/w no Laterite but 100PAR
and EXcel in it and the Alt Rec is more red in the tank/w the low light.
That issue if iron helps red plants is old and depends on who you ask what they tell you
but the Alt Rec in a tank/w iron is darker red than the other one/w higher light.
And I have regular baby tears, not the dwarf kind in that tank/w low light and no added CO2. High end of low light...2 x T8 bulbs @ 10.5" from the sub. And BTW the regular baby tears are the only plant I have which regularly Pearl in my tank.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
You don't need CO2 for blyxa or regular baby tears.
Well in my 29G I found it necessary. I have seen some small tanks (5G) growing these with Co2. They do water changes weekly too. I only do monthly water changes.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
And I have regular baby tears with low light and no added CO2.
What size of tank?
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