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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Just make sure you do big waters changes this week. There's going to be a lot of excess nutrients and you don't have the plant load to use it up.
So I probably shouldn't have added ferts already... :iamwithst

I've had most of those plants in there for several weeks now. I just added the manzanita and the rocks. Haven't done a water change yet but I have developed green hair algae.

Here's a before pic for reference...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did glue some java moss to the "rock path". Figured that would give it a more natural look, but i may break a bunch up like you guys are saying

Bump: Btw I'm happy I took pictures last night! The tannins are out of control this morning. Looks like I'll be getting some Purigen ASAP
 

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I'd agree with the rock placement comments and the wood is great. I'm surprised you haven't done water changes as I thought the rule for a dirt tank was to initially do repeated water changes to get the organics under control/balance. Water changes wood also help with your excess tannins issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd agree with the rock placement comments and the wood is great. I'm surprised you haven't done water changes as I thought the rule for a dirt tank was to initially do repeated water changes to get the organics under control/balance. Water changes wood also help with your excess tannins issue.
I did "wash" the dirt for about a week btw.
 

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I did "wash" the dirt for about a week btw.
That helps but I'd think (depending on the dirt) that there would still likely be a lot of organic compounds remaining....but maybe not (alot depends on the origin of the dirt). Lots of folks use other than garden soil (e.g. like Miracle Grow Organic Potting soil) which has peat, chicken manure, etc. that can cause issues if not repeatedly flushed (or mineralized). Perhaps your 'washing' did the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That helps but I'd think (depending on the dirt) that there would still likely be a lot of organic compounds remaining....but maybe not (alot depends on the origin of the dirt). Lots of folks use other than garden soil (e.g. like Miracle Grow Organic Potting soil) which has peat, chicken manure, etc. that can cause issues if not repeatedly flushed (or mineralized). Perhaps your 'washing' did the trick.
I used Miracle-Gro Organic Choice. I rinsed it in two 5g buckets about 5 times (5+days of soaking/separating). Then I let it dry out in the sun. When I flooded the tank, I didn't have hardly any floating organic mass. My ammonia levels are low, even after moving everything around last night, my ammonia was only .25ppm this morning.
 

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:proud:

I used Miracle-Gro Organic Choice. I rinsed it in two 5g buckets about 5 times (5+days of soaking/separating). Then I let it dry out in the sun. When I flooded the tank, I didn't have hardly any floating organic mass. My ammonia levels are low, even after moving everything around last night, my ammonia was only .25ppm this morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update!

I just wanted to update anyone following this thread to what my tank currently looks like.

Eventually I'd like the Sag grass to completely fill in and the Wisteria to fill the space in my manzanita branches. What do you all think?

I currently have 15 different plant species but only a dozen or so RCS an Assassin Snail and one Albino Bristlenose Longfin Pleco. Eventually I will add some more RCS, rasboras and tetras but my centerpiece will be a male beta.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I really like the look of your tank! I've never tried dirted,what would you do different next time?
Probably not put in those damn Ludwigia lol. They grow so fast it's unreal. And they don't like being very close together so it's hard to justify them as cover for my RCS.

But otherwise I have no complaints going dirt. I'm really excited to see how it'll look once everything's filled in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I haven't been on here in a while so I thought I'd post an update for you all.

I now have:
14 Harlequin Rasboras (1 died)
1 Albino Longfinned Bristlenose Pleco
1 Assassin Snail
About 40 Red Cherry Shrimp
1 Amano Shrimp
5 Kuhli Loaches
And about a million different snails

Im still considering a centerpiece fish. Any thoughts? I'm not opposed to something to help keep the shrimp population at bay, but I'd be pretty upset if they got wiped out entirely.

Thanks again for everyone's help! I'm really happy with it.
 

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