Dr. Acula - Thanks for the encouragement. The one piece of driftwood in the aquarium right now came out of my old 10 gal aquarium and has been in a tank for 4-5 years. I don't think the tanins are coming from it. Instead, I think the tannins are coming from the potting soil, which looked to have a fair bit of wood in it. I thought with the gravel on top there wouldn't be enough direct exchange for so much of the tannins to leach so soon. Apparently not.
I would say that the plants installed so far were emersed pre-purchase, with the exception of my Anubias Nana from the old 10 gal that was immersed in gravel only. Right now I have a lot of pennywort because it was on sale at the LFS and supposedly grows quickly. I also have some type of sword, I believe (looks like long blades of grass). Also, right now I wouldn't call the tank heavily planted. I want to add some grass or baby tears, maybe a couple more Anubias, sword, and moss. From what I understand of the Walstad method, I'm thinking that I need more plant volume, particularly to keep the nitrates in check. So, as I am buying more of these plants, should I be immersing them or leaving them emersed and anchored and just letting the roots find their own way to the soil?
I put some AmQuel Plus ammonia detoxifier in the aquarium yesterday. It supposedly renders the ammonia and nitrites harmless while not affecting beneficial bacteria. It seemed to bring the ammonia and nitrite levels down a bit, but seemingly no more so than a water change would.
Also, at the moment I have two Aqueon 10s. I was running them without carbon because I had read that carbon removes the ammonia and nitrites and slows the development of the beneficial bacteria. Yesterday I added the carbon just to help keep the chemicals in check and because I had hoped that the filtration media and carbon would help pull some of the tannin out. So far, not so much. I see that you say activated carbon will help pull out the tannins. Is there something that will remove the tannins from the water? Plant or otherwise?
I was under the impression that high filtration and water flow wasn't necessary, and possibly was detrimental to, the development of an NPT (because it slows bacteria development and adds too much oxygen). I just ordered an Aqueon 55/75 which by itself will flow twice what the two 10s flow (400gph v. 100gph ea). Is that going to be counterproductive?
I'm all flora at this point. Once I get the aquarium cycled, I am thinking about adding some shrimp and possibly some danios or something similar. I don't really want bright colored (tropical) fish because I don't plan to heat the aquarium and because I am looking for a more natural pond/stream look.
Newbie. 55 gallon planted
10 gallon waiting for next adventure.
Last edited by Mach5; 09-05-2016 at 01:12 AM.
Reason: Readabilty; organization; additional questions.