2.5g Dirted Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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2.5g Dirted Journal

Thought I'd make a a journal for my 2.5g Walstad tank!

Setup:
-13watt heater
-Dirt (all purpose)
-Fluval stratum
-13watt CFL 6500k in a desk lamp
Plants:
-Wisteria
-Ludwigia
-Amazon sword (yes it's too big, it will be moved out)
-Anubias
-Java fern
-Rotala bonsai
-Glossostigma
-Dwarf sag

It's been set up about 2 months now so here is the progression! I used an all purpose potting soil which does contain fertilizers, so no critters are in it yet until I can be sure that it will not hurt the cherry shrimp I intend to put in. Some bugs from the soil did hitch a ride though and now it's full of them, but I doubt they are harmful. Initially I had a mini DIY CO2 setup which really helped jump start the growth, however I stopped using it because the plants were doing fine, and the more low tech the better!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 05:06 PM
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That is filling in nicely! Have you had any issues with cycling? Like with high nitrites and such?


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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That is filling in nicely! Have you had any issues with cycling? Like with high nitrites and such?
Initially I did, but I performed big water changes the first couple weeks. As soon as the plants started taking off though the ammonium, nitrates and nitrates quickly went down. I had a small bit of a fuzzy green algae on the substrate near the beginning but now I have scoured the tank and can confirm I can't find any algae at present. It went away naturally as the plants overtook. I sometimes forget to do water changes on this thing, but it's low tech and low maintenance enough that I don't worry at this point if I do forget
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 05:37 PM
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That's very interesting. So what does your maintenance look like? How often do you change the water if any, or do you just top it off? Also during your cycle, did you feed it ammonia?


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 05:47 PM
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Hi.
What are you using to cap your dirt?

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 08:10 PM
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I believe op is using Fluval Stratum. It's up there in the first post.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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That's very interesting. So what does your maintenance look like? How often do you change the water if any, or do you just top it off? Also during your cycle, did you feed it ammonia?
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Originally Posted by mik778866 View Post
Hi.
What are you using to cap your dirt?

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Econde, I do very little maintenance. I try to do at least a 50% water change once every 1-2 weeks, but recently I've been forgetting. It's been about 3 weeks since my last water change. Other than that I just remove any dead foliage, and trip if necessary. When I cycled it I did not feed it any ammonia. I considered it but decided to let it just do its thing. I pretty much set up from how it looked in the first picture and then left it other than water changes.

mik778866, yes I use the fluval stratum to cap it. About 1-1.5 cm of dirt, and equal amounts of fluval stratum on top
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dollyhorse101 View Post
Econde, I do very little maintenance. I try to do at least a 50% water change once every 1-2 weeks, but recently I've been forgetting. It's been about 3 weeks since my last water change. Other than that I just remove any dead foliage, and trip if necessary. When I cycled it I did not feed it any ammonia. I considered it but decided to let it just do its thing. I pretty much set up from how it looked in the first picture and then left it other than water changes.

mik778866, yes I use the fluval stratum to cap it. About 1-1.5 cm of dirt, and equal amounts of fluval stratum on top
So is your tank fully cycled yet? During the 2 months, did you test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? The soil would release ammonia no?


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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So is your tank fully cycled yet? During the 2 months, did you test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? The soil would release ammonia no?
Yes, it is fully cycled at this point. At the beginning the dirt certainly released ammonia, and I had to do large water changes initially. Last I checked nitrates/nitrites were zero and ammonia <0.25ppm. The levels didn't lower until the plants had grown significantly. It was when the they basically took over, like in the last picture, when they finally were at reasonable levels


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