So I failed in my attempt to make a moss tree. But managed to grow a great carpet on monte carlo that is studded with some black stones. I am looking at trimming my 1"+ carpet and pulling the moss tree out of the substrate next weekend. I do have a few concerns
Only fauna is some blue dream shrimps
1. I vacuumed my carpet for the first time in a long time today and got a lot of debris out, but not all of it. Will trimming the carpet release the byproducts of shrimp feces decay and poison the water?
2. Pulling the tree out may release some soil into the water. will this cause a nutrient/ammonia spike?
3. Scape ideas/layouts/scapespiration? I was thinking of doing two crypts (, and some bacopa as a background. I don't want any stems that need to be trimmed, pulled and replanted and bacopa doesn't lose it's lower leaves as it gets taller.
4. Any time I have changed more than 5-10% of the water at once I have had massive shrimp die offs, So any tips on how to accomplish the above without fouling the water would be great.
5. This is a very low input tank. I feed the 3 adult and 3-6 juvie shrimps once or twice a week with crab cuisine and let them pick at the large chunk of moss in the tank, Even with all of the plant mass from the carpet I will be planning on adding a veggie/algea based food to their diet. Any suggestions?
1. Yes, but the effect should be minor. If you have good flow, this is happening all the time. Assuming your tank is "balanced", the effect should be to scale, but that is rarely the case with small tanks. I reccomend trim followed by vaccume.
2. Same as one, but the bacteria in the soil produces a muccus to anchor itself that makes the soil "sticky". The longer your soil was in place (and healthier it is) the faster the soil dust will sink so you can vac it. I would do this on a different week than 1.
3. The attached pic is of a S.E. Asian themed scape i was working on. Was gonn use a Toms aqua lifter to turn the big rock into a trickle water fall. The stone is super porous, so the idea was that if i covered it with moss, my trickle water fall wpuld act like a wet/dry filter and i could replace my HOB with it. Had to dismantle since we are moving much sooner than expected in order to start selling equipment. I like moss and java fern (epiphytes) in dirt tanks because they are hardy and you don't have to disturb the dirt to propogate. Only plant stuff in the substrate you don't intend to move. Stuff that grows fast with runners make a mess constantly pulling the babies up and re-positioning them. Stick to stems for fast-growing plants (sterogene repens makes a pretty good ground cover for this. It has a creeping stem, so i trim the stem, cut the roots off above the substrate, and remove the stem. Keeps the dirt in tact.)
4. My cherries are sensitive to changes in water conditions. They never did well in a 3g and I think that is why. You might be better off increasing flow to 'sweep the tank' and avoid water changes where possible...or use it as an excuse to get a bigger tank
. Most of my issues went away when I upgraded to 10 gallon from the 3 gallon. Otherwise, do your best to match water temp. Juggling anything else in a small tank (hardness, ph, etc.) Is asking for disaster. It might be worth it to keep it next to a sink and drip aged water into the tank (you will have to run an overflow to the sink. The king of diy has some great pvc designs you could scale down). That would give you the benefit of water changes without the shock.
5. My advise is don't. If it works now, don't change it. Extra food in a tank that small can cause serious ammonia spikes. Your colony is small, so the risk of a wipe is high.
I guess what I hope you take away from this that small tanks don't have much margin for error. Personally, I think small tanks are cool but i would never keep anything less than 10 gallons again.
I used to work in a compounding pharmacy making medications in small batches. Our success rate doing things like pHing solutions with lab grade equipment was probably around 98% @ 1/2 gallon or less at a time. Household measurement tools are nowhere near as accurate as what we worked with, and we still failed occasionally- almost exclusively to human error.
If we botched a prescription, most of the time the loss was about 15 minutes of work, 5 mins in paperwork to document the loss, and $10 or less in materials. If your little tank wiped, i'm sure the loss would mean a lot more than that to you.
Anyway, food for thought. I reccomend upgrading your tank size. That would mitigate a lot of your challenges. Otherwise, do exactly what you have done to be successful exactly as you have done it. Don't fix what isn't broken.
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