Bort's Spec V - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 04:11 PM
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Crypts and most plants do well in sand. If anything, sand is ideal for Crypts - holds them down and allows roots to easily spread.


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post #32 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 04:58 PM
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Crypts and most plants do well in sand. If anything, sand is ideal for Crypts - holds them down and allows roots to easily spread.
Cool, I've always assumed that they do better in a soil type substrate though. Then again I haven't had a great deal of experience with the hobby in general. I guess they will be fine as long as there are enough nutrients in the water for them!


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post #33 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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I have no idea how the DHG will do. It's one of those Topfin gel pack plants. No roots, so I had to stick it pretty deep into the sand to get it to stay.

I trimmed some of the java fern leaves to remove a bit of the algae that was growing on them. It's not 100%, I just snipped off the worst parts. Gonna need to get a mag float to clean the class. I'm seeing algae growing on it. Of course using it will likely uproot the DHG, sigh. It'll be nice when I can get some snails added to help with that stuff.

Ammonia is around 1 ppm today, so the cycle is doing it's thing. I have not tested for Nitrite yet. I will probably do that soon, once I see that all the ammonia is consumed in a day.

Outside of that, it's just slow and steady while I wait.
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post #34 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 08:58 PM
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Once the grass starts to root a bit, you could then consider breaking the clumps up a bit and spreading them out. That'll help things look thicker and spreading will make a bigger impact.

In terms of glass cleaners... there are smaller versions than Magfloat. Both Vertex and Two Little Fishies/Magfox are options that I have experience with. Have seen other "nano" options on various retailer sites.


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post #35 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info @somewhatshocked

I didn't have time this weekend to check the tank and ammonia was 0 yesterday morning. I added some and it dropped to about .25 PPM over night. Things are getting closer! Not much else to really report. The plants all seem to be doing okay IMO.
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post #36 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia was 0 with my last test. The nitrite test was deep purple > 5ppm right away. I'm still waiting the 5 minutes but I'm not expecting it to become lighter, lol. I do have some hair algae starting to grow in spots. I have a glass cleaner coming tomorrow, so hopefully that will help some. Being able to add some snails, etc will really help but I gotta wait on the cycle still.
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post #37 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 11:37 PM
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You can add Pond and Bladder snails right away if you want. They're able to handle ammonia concentrations that are surprisingly high. Some Ramshorns also do well but they're a bit more sensitive.

Depending upon how heavily you plan to stock, you may not have to dose much ammonia. 1PPM would be more than enough to handle a couple dozen shrimp. Maybe even a few small fish.


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post #38 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 01:25 AM
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Crypts and most plants do well in sand. If anything, sand is ideal for Crypts - holds them down and allows roots to easily spread.
Do you think crypts prefer sand over a coarser substrate? I've had some Crypt balansae in STS with a thin soil underlayer for over 5 mos now, and they're really not doing much. The leaves have gotten a little longer, but they're not putting out any new ones. However when I had to move one of the crypts awhile back, it had grown a lot of roots. Or maybe they're just that slow?

Getting some crypt parva, so wondering if the smaller ones do better in sand than STS?

Enquiring minds....
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post #39 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 02:51 AM
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Honestly, I think Crypts do well in almost anything. C. wendtii has done well for me bare root and weighted down with a rock.

Sounds like you're just experiencing some slowness or they're still adjusting.

C. parva has grown great for me in pool filter sand, Flourite sand, Amazonia and regular gravel. Gravel was the toughest to plant in. It ought to be fine with STS as long as it's getting what it needs.

Recently had a huge bunch of it I planted in Controsoil (quickly becoming my least favorite buffering substrate) melt when the soil bottomed out with nutrients after two months. First time it's ever melted on me.
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post #40 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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You can add Pond and Bladder snails right away if you want. They're able to handle ammonia concentrations that are surprisingly high. Some Ramshorns also do well but they're a bit more sensitive.

Depending upon how heavily you plan to stock, you may not have to dose much ammonia. 1PPM would be more than enough to handle a couple dozen shrimp. Maybe even a few small fish.
Good to know about the snails. The LFS nearest me had a bunch in their tanks but refused to give us any because they are a 'pest' snail when we stopped by a few weeks ago. We have a tiny tank with some plants in it and were looking for some to help with things. I kinda know where the guy is coming from since they can be a pest to some and if you don't know what you're getting into... lol.

I can see if I can talk them into giving me some if they still have any. He was talking about trying to consolidate them all and wipe 'em out.

It's nice to be getting closer to the 'starting line' for livestock.
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post #41 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 04:15 PM
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Weird that they wouldn't give you something they are just trying to get rid of. When I was in the business, I kept all the snails I could gather for customers with puffers, assassins and such. But I guess these "pest snail" perceptions die hard when 95% of your customers run to buy products at the first sight of a snail in their aquarium.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #42 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Weird that they wouldn't give you something they are just trying to get rid of. When I was in the business, I kept all the snails I could gather for customers with puffers, assassins and such. But I guess these "pest snail" perceptions die hard when 95% of your customers run to buy products at the first sight of a snail in their aquarium.
He warned us that they can overtake a tank, which they can. My guess, and it's just that, is enough people have complained about it over the years that they are leery of just giving pond snails to people. I'll actually tell them that I am looking for them and want them to reproduce in my tank and I have experience with them. I didn't bother going into it when we had asked about them since we were also looking for a mystery snail as well. It just wasn't important at the time, lol.
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post #43 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 06:21 PM
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I mean, by that rationale guppies and cherry shrimp can take over a tank! But yeah, anyone with experience should be able to keep snails in a planted tank without population problems. I get that those people make up a small percentage of most shop's customer bases but you have to cater to actual informed hobbyists too.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #44 of 48 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia is 0 and Nitrite is 2 PPM if I'm reading the color chart right. I hope to go to the LFS I mentioned in a prior post to get some pest snails this weekend. Hopefully it goes well...
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post #45 of 48 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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I was able to get 30ish "pest" snails on Saturday. About 8 ramhorns and 20+ pond/bladder. It was interesting trying to get them but I managed... I hope I can survive the snail apocalypse that will beset me I'd like to get a hold of some MTS for the sand. Ohh, I now have snail poo all over the place, lol.

They have been working away in the tank and it's made a big difference. The driftwood was getting furry and it's nice and is clean now. They have also been cleaning the glass and plants as expected.

I won't dose ammonia any longer and will track Nitrites. Hopefully I can add a little more stuff in a few weeks.
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