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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've perused this forum along with some others for a while and took the leap from ecocomplete planted to starting a 70 gallon dirted tank. It's 2 weeks old and a complete mess. I used MGOPM and capped with black diamond. Filter was taken from an established tank and it has cycled with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10 nitrates. I bleach dipped plants. I will admit after setting up and filling i realized the soil was deeper than the planned 1 inch and is 1.5 to 2 instead, if at all possible i do not want to do a complete tear down. Yesterday i bought 4 ottos and they are doing well. I'm running 8 hours of finnex planted plus. I planted heavily and had some plant melt but generally everything is coming back. I expected some challenges and have been removing dead plants and added duckweed (in fry boxes to keep out of HOB filters)and performing water changes but i just keep finding new problems including those below-

1. Massive amounts of algae- green, brown, and hair

2. Some sort of white-brown fungal plaque spreading across the sand.

3. Sudden appearance of at least 100 small snails

4. White worms on glass which I think look like detrituosv worms. I can't get a picture but they are about as thick as a strand of hair and 1-3 mm long. They move across the glass against the flow so not an algae.

I spent a lot of time and money setting it up and expected work but not a swamp land in my house. Is this hopeless where do I even start? I was planning semi walstead method however I'm not against running CO2 if that would help.
 

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Pixel Prestidigitator
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Water changes and time are your friend. It needs to find its balance and that is patience.
 
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If I recall correctly it contains manure, chicken I believe, and if memory serves me correct it puts out ammonia at first and is nutrient rich hence the issues you are having. Best thing now is water changes as @Nlewis said.
 

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I'm down to 1 fully dirted tank from having over 20. I still use dirt. Plain old top soil but I set them up different now. Dirt is in net pots and the plant goes there. That gets buried into gravel. The pot gives plants a great start and I've got roots all through the gravel so I know it works. Makes moving plants a lot less messy. I've only used top soil from the BBS though. Never any of the potting soil stuff.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes I used miracle grow organic potting mix in the orange bag. I did not mineralize.

I've been doing water changes, but then like everything in this hobby you read conflicting info with some people saying too m many water changes throws off the balance. Should I move to daily 20% changes?

What are the worms and will they go away? Do I need to treat with a parasite medication? I found an online picture if them
 

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To many problems already,looks like you need to break it down,clean everything and give it a new start.
Cheers
In reality the op has one problem and that is to many nutrients in the water. Once that issue is resolved the symptoms will go away. Add more fast growing stems, you really dont have that much plant mass from what I can see. Add something like l.repens and bacopa caroliniana. Add more floaters. Add other fast growing plants. Keep up with the water changes. Exhibit patience and the tank will come into balance. You will learn nothing by tearing it down and starting over. If the op takes the time and energy to work the issue and resolve it then the op will develop and hone skills that will be beneficial in future aquatic husbandry. Tearing it down is an option but I think it can be saved. I remember the poster who had a great big huge mass of algae and several people suggested tear down and rebuild. That member worked the problem and resolved it and in an acceptable time frame. I may be wrong and if so I hope someone more experienced than i chimes in. I think if there are no more fish added so there are no further sources of ammonia and with the other suggestion in a reasonable time frame this system will be well on its way to looking good. Never give up lol!!

As for the worms once the food source is gone so will they be. Right now they are probably beneficial even though they may be somewhat unsightly.
 

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I'd go guppy grass over duck weed. The stuff is too damn hard to get rid of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you to the last couple of posters. I have duckweed and just bought suction cups to rope off a larger area for it. I had so much plant melt at least half my stems melted to nubs but are recovering. I will pick up more though.

Does it do any good to piece out the Ludwiga that is thriving or just leave the stems whole?
 

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Plant heavily(you hardly have any), with lot's of fast growing plant's like water sprite,vallisneria,Ludwigia,anacharis,tenellus,Hygrophila.
Keep in mind that many plant's go through transistion from growing with leaves above water and root's below the water to fully submerged and some plant's will shed most of their leaves and grow new ones better adapted to the submerged condition's.
The more plant's you start with ,the less concern with ammonia leaching from the soil for the plant's will happily use the ammonia for fuel for growth.
Leave the plant's be after planting them for a few month's.
Pull out those that die and plant more or take trimming's from other plant's that are doing well and plant them.
Once the tank comes into it's own(week's/month's), then you can swap out some of the plant's for new ones that may be suited for the particular method you have chosen.
You want as many plant's as you can afford to begin with and this also goes a long,long,way toward's making condition's unfavorable for algae.
My two cent's.
 

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I tried the MGOPS and it was a complete disaster. It had pockets of gas in the substrate and smelled awful. I really wanted it to work. Anyway, I finally went with ADA Aquasoil and the plants are doing great. Maybe one day I'll try dirt again, but next time I might just try the cheap topsoil. I have read where people have success with that vice MGOPS.


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