29g low tech soil redux - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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29g low tech soil redux

I decided to swap the substrate out and re-scape this tank now that my
75 gallon low tech soil tank is now cycled and settling and also now that I have another place to put fish while I tear this tank down. I put all the fish except my Rainbow Shark in the 75g and brought the shark to my LFS Sea Life. The shark was getting very aggressive and killing shrimp and beating up other fish. I purchased him without researching the species and compatibility.

The plan for this tank is a peaceful tank with shrimp and small fish. Still deciding on species. As for as the theme, I am not following a particular plan but rather I'm going to figure it out as I go.

Equipment :
2 T8s one 15w 6500k and one oversized light with slightly more watts and with what appears to be a plant Kelvin temp with more red. (The light was given to me by my LFS)

Aqua clear HOB with biomedia (established)

Heater/air pump

Substrate :
I followed the same recipe suggested by @thedood that I used on my recently set up 75g, except I mixed it up instead of layering it and I used more cat litter that was soaked in organic garden lime for a longer period than the litter used in the 75g. Also the soil was more mineralized this time due to it being outside in the sun and rain.

80/20 sifted semi-mineralized top soil and Special Kitty cat litter soaked in lime solution.

Red clay (Mexican pottery clay)
About a few handfuls dried, crushed and mixed it

10 Root tabs. I would use Osmocote plus but my county has sales banned until October.

Black Diamond blasting sand for the cap layer.

Hard scape

Large red lava rock and a small piece of driftwood (South African I believe)

Plants

Sagittaria
Anubias
1 Cryptocoryne Red Wentii
1 Cryptocoryne Bronze Wentii
Micro Sword
Java Moss
These plants were in the tank before the re-scape. I am still thinking on what else would work in this setup, suggestions welcome.


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Last edited by Monrankim; 07-12-2016 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Correction.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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I filled it up and immediately drained it and refilled again. The picture is with only one light (unknown kelvin) on.



Seachem Clarity was added to help with cloudiness but for the time being made matters worse. Now I wait to see how things go. The only thing I am worried about is the way I made the soil layer. Instead of doing exactly what I did on the 75g, I let the mud get too much water in it when I put it in. Because of this, it moved around on me and seemed to expand on me in areas and appear to be too thick on the right side. I am worried about anaerobic activity ( more than tolerable ). I guess I will just have to wait and see.

I have the established filter running and air bubbling into the tank. Tomorrow I will test the water and see where I am at. So far I just have my fingers crossed.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-11-2016, 09:53 AM
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I would toss some trumpet snails in and see what happens. I find working with overly wet dirt difficult. Has it cleared up? When I did my 20 its the first dirt tank I did that had no cloudiness and whats funny is I didnt even rinse the sand in that one.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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It cleared up but I had to work the dirt a little more by pressing and moving the cap layer around. I also spread the micro sword around and planted a baby Amazon sword. So I stirred it all up a bit and I went ahead and did another water change. The funny thing is that I tested the water before the change and ammonia was 0 nitrites 0 and nitrates were between 10 to 20 ppm. The 75g took a little under a week to get those parameters with an established filter. This was less than 24 hours with an established HOB with double bio media. The only thing I can equate it to is the large pieces of lava rock being porous and essentially bio media.

Unfortunately I need some more trumpet snails but I will be putting them in ASAP

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 12:23 AM
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Looks good. Thing will be a jungle before to long.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I hope so, I want it to be a safe haven for shrimp and little peaceful fish. This was the tank I started with and due to my ignorance of species selection, it was a war zone.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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I am hoping that the Micro Sword fills in the gaps eventually. I spread it around pretty thin. I'm considering adding another sword (baby) in front of the lava rocks but I'm not sure if I will crowd the big crypt nearby when it starts to grow. I found a Sword at Petco (I don't normally go there for plants) that had 4 runners coming off of it.5 Swords for 5 bucks, I had to have it.

Any suggestions for additional plants?

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 01:58 AM
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I have 5 crypts in my 75 and they are getting pretty big.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 02:07 PM
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Hows things going for you?

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Doing great. I'm at work daydreaming about my tanks as usual. I was wondering if I should be running air into my tanks. Also I'm worried that I planted my Crypts too close together in my 75. How about you?

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 05:32 PM
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Tank is looking nice! Liking the look of the lava rock in the hardscape.

~Jaime

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenjmayer View Post
Tank is looking nice! Liking the look of the lava rock in the hardscape.
Thanks a lot! It's a work in progress but I'm happy with how it is so far, more so than my 75g
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Last edited by Monrankim; 07-16-2016 at 06:31 PM.
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