‘Planting on a molehill’ - My first experience with soil!

andusbeckus

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2016
Messages
148
Location
South Yorkshire
I’ve done the high tech thing for a good few years and I’ve had good results but as life gets more hectic I’ve decided to slow things down and go for a more natural approach.

This will be my first setup using soil and no filter but what’s the worst that could happen eh? 😬

I’ve done some reading about different composts and was about to purchase some John Innes No3. when I passed some molehills on a walk and thought stuff it lets not let Mr Moles hard work go to waste. So I returned and scooped up enough to do this setup plus about 15 more (I got carried away, plus it’s free and being a Yorkshireman that appealed to me).

I also wanted to see how little I could spend on this setup so got myself a cheap LED security light and went hunting for some wood (already had the rocks so that’s a bonus). Got the cheapest sand I could from my LFS and threw it all together.

Tank - 60cm x 30cm x 40cm
Light - 10w LED security light 6400k
Filter - Nope (just a small 6w pump for flow)
Co2 - Not today thanks
Fertilizer - Mr Moles natural formula

Substrate - Mr Moles Molehill topped with sand

Hardscape - Errrrm... some wood and rocks

Flora
Hygrophila Polysperma
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown
Cryptocoryne Parva
Microsorum Pteropus Trident
Anubias Petite
Ludwigia Palustris
Helanthium Tenellum
Salvinia auriculata
The emersed plants are some Mint I found growing near my house (I like free stuff)

No idea what’s going to happen with this but the idea is to try and let everything grow as it wants to and see what happens 🤷🏼‍♂️

Hopefully it will look like some sort of a natural mess (a good kind of mess not the kind my kids make 😭) in a few weeks/months.

I’m still waiting for the Helanthium and need to plant the rest of the Anubias but here it is so far.
 

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kishan313

Member
Joined
4 Jun 2020
Messages
112
Location
London
Really like the jungle style scape, the mint is a good touch too. Might steal that idea!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

andusbeckus

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2016
Messages
148
Location
South Yorkshire
Really like the jungle style scape, the mint is a good touch too. Might steal that idea!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks, I’m trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and not try to be so neat. Hopefully it will pay off and look wild when it grows in.

I picked some mint a couple of weeks ago to grow with the kids. We put it in a jar to grow roots and it went mad so thought lets give it a go!
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,475
Location
Bracknell
Hi @kishan313

With that amount of light and no supplemented CO2, my guess is that your plants will quickly suffer in some way and it won't be long before fungus, algae and/or cyanobacteria becomes a problem. But, who knows, you may have enviable success. Time to place your bets, folks! I'm pleased to see that this experiment is plants only. No fish, shrimps or snails.

JPC

Correction: just spotted the zebra nerite snails. Perhaps you should remove them from the tank. I would have thought their chance of survival is low. And I'm not sure that's right.
 
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andusbeckus

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2016
Messages
148
Location
South Yorkshire
Hi @kishan313

With that amount of light and no supplemented CO2, my guess is that your plants will quickly suffer in some way and it won't be long before fungus, algae and/or cyanobacteria becomes a problem. But, who knows, you may have enviable success. Time to place your bets, folks! I'm pleased to see that this experiment is plants only. No fish, shrimps or snails.

JPC

Correction: just spotted the zebra nerite snails. Perhaps you should remove them from the tank. I would have thought their chance of survival is low. And I'm not sure that's right.

I’ve placed my bets ;)

Can you elaborate a little more about your concerns? Happy for the feedback.
 

andusbeckus

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2016
Messages
148
Location
South Yorkshire
Well so far so good quite impressed with the growth and health of the plants. Had some mild brown algae but it didn’t return after I removed it. Added 5 amanos last week and they are doing well.
 

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