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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 3gal new jarrarium is not turning out as promised. I followed the Walstad write-up about how to get it going, 1" of potting soil at the bottom, capped with 1" of aquarium soil. Bunch of low light plants and even against what I thought was a good idea added some RCS. It's about a week and a half in and I've had two shrimp die already (0 ammonia) and some of the plants are starting to die. Light is 6 hours on, 3 off, 6 on again. Not sure what's going on, thanks in advance
 

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Don't know what formula is in Walstad book.
Shrimp do better in larger tanks/older tanks at least 60 days old/better 90 days.
New tanks/plants should have 6-7 hrs total for first 3-4 weeks.
Just what works better, not must do thing. But the shrimp need the natural food that comes after some time has passed/w new tank. Perhaps place thread in shrimp section on that for more detailed answer.
 

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That is unfortunate the jar isn't doing well. What plants do you have that are dying? Is anything showing signs of growth at all? What kind of light?

Can you get the water checked? GH, KH, and TDS?
Sometimes gentle circulation helps, eg an air pump plus air stone. Also agree about reducing the photoperiod a touch. Maybe 6-8 hours total to start. I tend to start with 6 hours, and most of my tanks actually are doing well maintained on 6-7 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Don't know what formula is in Walstad book.
Shrimp do better in larger tanks/older tanks at least 60 days old/better 90 days.
New tanks/plants should have 6-7 hrs total for first 3-4 weeks.
Just what works better, not must do thing. But the shrimp need the natural food that comes after some time has passed/w new tank. Perhaps place thread in shrimp section on that for more detailed answer.
Well I turned the photo period down 7 hours, we'll see if that helps. edit: Just noticed your profile said Hot Springs, AR. I lived in Jacksonville for six years. You from Arkansas?

That is unfortunate the jar isn't doing well. What plants do you have that are dying? Is anything showing signs of growth at all? What kind of light?

Can you get the water checked? GH, KH, and TDS?
Sometimes gentle circulation helps, eg an air pump plus air stone. Also agree about reducing the photoperiod a touch. Maybe 6-8 hours total to start. I tend to start with 6 hours, and most of my tanks actually are doing well maintained on 6-7 hours.

The Cabomba seems to be holding on but the water sprite and (plant that looks like a lily pad with a stem) aren't faring so well. I don't think anything is growing, the light is a 10watt 6500k CFL, so it's plenty of light.

When I checked the water last the GH 75ppm, Alk was 40ppm and TDS I'm not sure, it's tap water (I do have an RO/DI system though, should I use that?

Also, should I dose Flourish and Excel or just let it ride?

edit: I just tested GH/KH again: GH 125, KH 35ppm
 

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Ok, I was concerned that the water might be too soft, your water should be fine for minerals. I don't think you really need micros for now since the plants are in potting soil, but it can't hurt. Excel can't hurt either.

The plants may just be in the acclimation phase, with some leaves melting but eventually if they're going to take there would be new growth. In my low tech jars/vases, sometimes this meant waiting a month for certain plants.

Is the bulb vertical or horizontal in the socket? How far from the substrate?

Post a photo? Focus on the plants?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's horizontal now but it's got a flexible arm, so I could orient it any way. Why would that matter? It's about 8 inches from the substrate. The shape of the jar is very wide at the bottom and narrows up top, it's the DoAqua oval bowl
 

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For what it's worth, this happened with my 20 gallon Walstad. Several plants just turned transparent, leaves disintegrated (pennywort, hygrophila, dwarf lily, pygmy chain sword and more); others did fine (jungle val, swords, ludwigia). I eventually gave up and just decided to go with the plants that made it in the environment. I suspect the issue was that the plants needed water column nutrients (N, P, K) and maybe CO2 in order to establish and access the dirt (my water parameters are always 0/0/0, oddly I just don't build up nitrates at all). But I didn't test whether water column fertilization helped.

If it were a nutrient issue, lowering the photoperiod would help. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The orientation of the bulb within the fixture matters. Vertical socket lamps give you brighter light when it comes to CFL. Reflectors matter too.

Here's the thread with the info (see reply#21 in particular)
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ver-bulbs-lighting-question-2.html#post837592
It's a japanese CFL, so not like something you'd find in Home Depot. It's about 6 straight tubes, ~3" in length, with a reflector around most of them. I'm not really sure which would be best, don't have a PAR meter. Oriented pretty much as you see here, just moved it up a little to get a photo
 

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Ok, that wattage probably gives you decent enough low light at 8" from the substrate.

Hope your plants make it!
 
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