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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Dirt bowl question

I've seen a few of your guys with dirt bowls, and I'm thinking I wanna try it out. I have little endlers I can put in, and I kinda wanna find a few cherries for my other nanos, and suppose one or two could go in. But I have a question about the dirt.

I'm a salamander person, and he lives in cheap cheap, all natural non treated dirt. (Eco Earth? I think that's it.) I've always heard to NEVER use miracle gro, since the ferts in there will mess up things. So, I guess its still okay for shrimp and fish? Cause you guys seem to use that the most I've noticed. I'm just kinda AHHH because I've heard its a major no-no, but that might be the salamander's magical absorbent skin.


Also, anyone have a good tutorial or something? And how big should I go for? I already have a few nanos, just, none with dirt.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 12:02 AM
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There are tons of tutorials. Do some research with google. Also read through wkndracers threads in here There are different ways of setting it up as well. Some choose to mineralize their soil for weeks by soaking a dry it out several times. Others just throw it in. There is no right and wrong way. Whatever you do, don't go too deep with the dirt layer. 1-1.5 inch of dirt to 1-1.5 inch of cap. Preferably 2-3mm. That is the best size so you will not have compaction but oxygen will still be able to flow through the substrate preventing anaerobic pockets. Mts snails will help also. And the dirt you want is MIRACLE GROW ORGANIC CHOICE POTTING MIX. Very important. Do not get potting soil. It has cow manure, which is bad. Above all, have fun!


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 12:04 AM
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Miracle Gro Organic

I am not sure what requirements you have for your "dirt bowl" but I now have 3 aquariums up running (duration 2-5years) where I used Miracle Gro Organic Potting soil for planted tanks. When put in dry it was 1-1.5" deep.

I am using the low tech fairly low light method (1-2 W/gal) and chose that soil because that is what Diane Walstad had recommended as a good option. There is a layer of black fluorite sand over the soil. While I don't do as little water changes as she does I still only do about a 10% change/1-2 weeks. I have had excellent results with that soil as my base.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 12:07 AM
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I also agree with frrok--I use Malasian Trumpet snails for "aeration"
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 01:03 AM
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MTS do not mix the soil up with the cap layer?

As for the size recommendation, if you want endlers and shrimp in a bowl, its best to go above two gallons, so try to find a bowl that is 2 gallons or more. it will be easier that way, and it might support the offspring for a bit more until you can sell/remove them, better than a 1 gallon bowl can.

If you cap the soil with something and let the bowl go without a salamander for a few months, it should then be safe for it, as long as you see lush plant growth.




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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 01:09 AM
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i wouldnt put an endler in a bowl too active


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 01:14 AM
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unfortunately a lot of people may already have them in small bowls
I agree they do need at least 5 gals for a good group.
but its the same reason why people put 5 pearl danios in 1.5gals of water...they just look nice.




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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 01:18 AM
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MALE guppies! Pretty slow and don't need too much room.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 01:21 AM
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Yes I know endlers are guppies. Kinda. But they have longer tail fins that endlers so I think they are a little slower.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 01:49 AM
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you know what may be a better livebearer for a bowl? least killifish.




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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10gallonplanted View Post
Yes I know endlers are guppies. Kinda. But they have longer tail fins that endlers so I think they are a little slower.
wouldnt do guppys either unless it a 5 gallon bowl.

but least killies would work


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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Heh, I don't need a salamander bowl (he'd hate it), I was just always told that living things + miracle grow = AHHH. The dirt I use doesn't have manure, it's... pretty much just... dirt. With some sand. (Like, 40 pounds for under $2 just dirt.) It doesn't provide much for nutrients, no. But like, I can totally use miracle grow then. Use the leftovers on a plant or something.

Maybe the fish scales help with it not absorbing in? And they need something less since they're more sensitive or something. *shrug*


I was thinking a few endlers, but maybe only boys. I think the girls can have babies even while separated for a while? (I really don't wanna worry about breeding issues in a bowl.) I'd be okay with just plants, but I can't even sleep without mosquitoes buzzing silly rumours into my ears. *needs a terrified emoticon*
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 03:13 AM
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make sure the bowl is atleast 5 gallons you might need to go to a craft store


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 03:19 AM
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yes you'd have a much more interesting experience in a bigger bowl if you opt for keeping fish in it long term




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