Cultivated Neglect

Ags11

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Joined
9 Sep 2020
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34
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Netherlands
Creating a journal for my 30cm cube tank.

4-6 cm of ADA aqua soil mixed with a small amount of gravel. The gravel was too sharp so I decided against adding too much of it.

I am going for the look of the corner of a neglected lawn with little critters living in the hedges.

The lawn is a mix of Helanthium tenellum 'Green' and Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini' for the raggedy grass and Marsilea hirsuta for the invading clover.

A small piece of spider wood is fallen moss covered branchlet (Vesicularia ferriei 'Weeping').

I have a bright light but rampant floating plants knock the light levels back to medium. Whenever the surface plant growth rate drops off, i add a bit of Tropica Premium fertilizer.

The hedge/backdrop is Alternanthera reineckii and Valisneria nana. I hope the nana when it arrives is going to look grassy and won't get too long, and it will cope with my PH6.6 water and it won't die from my light dosing of liquid carbon drops! THat's a lotta hopes...

Here is a picture of the tank still waiting for the last installment of Helanthium, Marsilea and Valisneria.

IMG_20200911_174444263.jpg


I plan to add a small group of temperate fish, starting with CPD, and maybe adding clown killifish and a solitary Dario. The fish live is separate zones in the water column so it shouldn't get too crowded. Water temps are 20-22C at the moment but I will add a heater if the temps drop much in the winter. Apparently surface fish like the clowns will make the CPD less timid. Plans may change, if some snails arrive with the Valisneria pots (everything else was in vitro) I will get an assassin snail instead.
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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93
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Netherlands
Sounds like a clear vision of what you want it to be, curious to see how your image will work out! :) Sounds good, already well underway :)
 

lilirose

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13 Aug 2020
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127
Location
Ireland
Nano cubes are kind of a speciality for me (I have five), so I'll be following! I really like the look of this, am looking forward to seeing how it grows (and what it looks like once you add the Vallisneria)!
 

Ags11

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Joined
9 Sep 2020
Messages
34
Location
Netherlands
I did my weekly water tests today, with pleasing results. Over the past three tests Ammonia has dropped from 2 mg to 0.5 mg to 0.2 mg today. This is despite tossing in some leftover ADA Amazonia soil on the weekend, which gives off a lot of Nitrogen I think. Nitrites also dropped from roughly 3 mg to 1 mg so very pleased. The tank is a bit more acidic at pH 6.5. Nitrate is at roughly 18 mg - so I am now wondering if my next squirt of fertilizer should come from the Tropica Specialized bottle (with ammonium) or the Tropica Premium bottle (no nitrogen). Is 18 mg NO3 too low for plants?

The pH has got slightly more acidic at 6.5 - not sure if I should raise that a bit before adding livestock. On the other hand ammonia spikes are less dangerous in slightly acidic water, so I prefer to stay under 7.

I have read that ADA Amazonia soil sheds tons of nitrogen when new and I see advice online to do daily water changes, daily 90% water changes and so on. I did two 33% changes in the first week and weekly 33% changes for the following three weeks. My experience doesn't seem to chime with that - but on the other hand I have been scooping out cupfuls of Salvinia.
 

Ags11

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Joined
9 Sep 2020
Messages
34
Location
Netherlands
I think I will switch from EasyCarbo to Tropica System 60. It will be better for the Vallisneria and probably for the eventual livestock too.
 

Ags11

Member
Joined
9 Sep 2020
Messages
34
Location
Netherlands
I went all High Tech today with a Tropica System 60. The bell is really big, but I'm shocked by how rapidly the CO2 dissolves into the water. The bell is next to the filter upflow but I am hoping the tank remains CO2 poor relative to the air so I don't lose much gas in the surface agitation.
IMG-20200922-WA0003.jpeg

Also, I did my weekly water tests and the tank is at zero Ammonia and zero Nitrite, so I am fish ready. Nitrate is also low at 10 ppm. pH is a bit low at 6.4-ish, so I will do a couple of water changes this week to get it more neutral.
 
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