Terracota el natural'

NAJAS GUPPY

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Little late to start a journal on this one but here we go regardless.

180ish litre tank (around 4ft by 1 by 1.5) found in the loft during lockdown. Got a crack about a decade ago and the previous owner just siliconed a glass square over it; held ever since in my ownership.

Going to attempt a walstad escue with this.

Setup with some substrate from another running tank for the mulm and bacteria etc.

Hardscape-

Found some terracotta drainage pipes on a dog walk buried under a leaf pile and covered in moss must of been sat their aslong as the tanks been in the loft.

Mixed in are some terracota pots from the running tank that donated the substrate.

Lighting-
Running a single led lightbar from all pond solutions just now. Planning on adding another when funds allow.

Planting -
Nice and bulletproof. Vallisneria (i think spiralis and maybe gigantea) and dwarf sag.
Elodea as the main ones as their my favourite and good for oxygenation.
Hidden away in the back are -
Devils ivy growing emergent over the terracota pots.
Bacopa carolinnia
Hygrophila polysperma (variegate)
And a rather sickly looking amazon sword cutting.
Being added once the ebay order arrives are salvinia natans and giant duckweed

It's being left unstocked until cycled aside from ramshorn snails, tadpole and M.T.S. until algae builds up on the terracota and the vals and elodea take hold properly.

After that the plan is to attempt cherry shrimp from another more 'normal' running tank if i feel it's safe enough for them. If it goes wrong they'll go back home. If i can get a cherry shrimp colony going in this i'll be happy. A heater might well be added later on but for now it' still mid summer so no hurry. Tanks sitting at an even 21c consistently

No filter yet either! Experiment could later see it being added but for now it's a no.


Anyways... i feel iv'e rambled enough... photo's!!... will maybe update this as i go along if i have any success... if not the tank will just get left as a plant only tank or a filter added and i'll take it from there
 

NAJAS GUPPY

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Couldn't add to original post for some reason or another
 

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NAJAS GUPPY

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A rather warm package of giant duckweed arrived today. Hoping it's resilient enough to recover. Tommorow salvinia natans, mini ramshorns more tadpole snails(the tadpoles i have now have had no new blood in nearly a decade) and some M.T.S.

The tank hit 28 degrees c today! No i didn't add a heater! Plants seemed to like it but hard to tell with the bubbles (pearling?? Maybe)

Still having problems with bubbles. Micro bubbles to be exact. No idea what's causing it. The terracota pipes found om my walk and added yesterday have just compounded the problem. Im worried it's interfering with the plants ability to photosynthesise... not been long enough to know for sure.
 

NAJAS GUPPY

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Very different approach, cant say I have seen a tank like this. Do you intend to add livestock at some stage?
Eventually but it will take a long time. Done a similar thing years ago and kept it running for around 3 years. No to very few water changes just plant rotation and evaporation top up. Worked fine with heterandria formosa and cherry shrimp (hugely understocked for a 180litre tank). The tank got torn down because i moved house. Only now trying to restart it. I have a blueprint in my head and an order of doing things before adding livestock (by that i mean fish or shrimp)

It's really just a giant version of newmans shrimp bowl (google it) or atleast that was my inspiration
 

NAJAS GUPPY

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First off sorry for the photo spam!

Just a quick update. Added the daphnia to check how things were going (i find them ideal. If the water is still running to high on nitrates or ammonia the culture will crash pretty quick)

Seems fine. They've been in over a week and the population is growing steadily. The snails have EXPLODED little tiny specks everywhere. Vallisneria has finally taken a hold and went mad with growth and runners...took them weeks of absolutely no growth... was worried they were dying.

Elodea has continued to flourish. The duckweed is loving life and is actually forming turions i believe!!! From googling it seems to be the warm weather recently and my lighting setup. (Iv'e been running the lights high intensity for 15hrs to encourage algae) guppy grass has finally recovered from last years harsh winter and shook off the algae with rapid growth. Devils ivy is rooting wildly

Water change is coming soon. Mostly because the tank is getting moved onto a bigger unit. A new culture of daphnia will be seeded from these ones incase they do eventually crash.

So much for a quick update! Iv'e riveted on a bit... will be a while before anymore is added to the tank. The plants need to grow more before i'd risk it. The daphnia is a promising sign things are going well though (to me atleast)

Eventual aim is heterandria formosa and cherry shrimp colonies. Nothing more and hopefully nothing less.
 

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NAJAS GUPPY

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Micro bubble issues are also now largely gone and after a rapid (and aimed for/encouraged) bloom of algae things are settling down. The plants combined with snails are starting to limit the algaes growth.

Biofilm ontop of the tank has largely gone also. The young and old tadpole snails combined with duckweed seem to have cured it by and large.

Also added duckweed and a single baby lymnea stagnalis from a local eutrophic farmside stream.
 

NAJAS GUPPY

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Hi all, They will eat <"some plants">.

cheers Darrel
He hitch hiked in with the 'wild' duckweed. I figured i'd give him a shot. If he eats too many baby snails or nibbles too many plants he will be removed along with any eggs laid.

(I under stand a lone one can lay eggs but at a reduced viability/hatch rate and even then they suffer inbreeding depression until more snails are added to the population. So i shouldn't have to worry too much about a population explosion)
 

NAJAS GUPPY

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Very exciting/surprising discovery

Must have hitchhiked in with the duckweed i collected from a local abandoned pond

(Would appear to be a freshwater hydra. Likely more lurking somewhere) going to leave it be and hope the snails don't start munching them.

Will worry about their over population when it happend.
The tank is heaving with all kinds of infusoria now.

I have managed to source some moina to add in with the daphnia which is coming later this week. Apparently they are easier to maintain long term than daphnia
 

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NAJAS GUPPY

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Well just found an article confirming my suspicions.

Most likely the duckweed.
 

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NAJAS GUPPY

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Hi all, They always <"turn up in my tanks">. I think if you feed a lot of small live food items they multiply and become more visible.

cheers Darrel
I wonder if they maybe even came in with my daphnia? To save money i just ordered the mass produced ones for live food supplies.

Either way im happy. Had hydra once and found them fascinating to watch. They're so hard to get on purpose though because people usually try to exterminate them

Any ideas what species i might have? Would love the green hyrda.
 

NAJAS GUPPY

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Hi all, It is likely to be <"Hydra oligactis"> . I have had Green Hydra (Hydra viridissima), but they have never persisted.

They require high quality water, so I assume that they are more likely to persist in planted tanks.

cheers Darrel

I find them fascnitating to watch. Never noticed until last night just how long their tentacles are.

The one from the photo's above moved to a better viewing platform last night so was much easier to watch.

I also appear to have seed shrimp now!! God knows how they got in. The micro fauna is really bursting at the seams in this tank.

Do you know if inbreeding will effect things like hydra and seed shrimp? (I believe hydra also reproduce sexually aswell as asexually through budding???)
 

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NAJAS GUPPY

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Very hard to get a good photo (going to have to buy a magnfying glass) but.

This hydra seems to have damage to two tentacles. I was digging around in the tank last night replanting plant cuttings but i really don't think i'd have caused that damage.

Despite me continually adding daphnia to the tank and keeping the population artificially high the hydra still don't seem to yet be exploding (their are atleast over 25 though) atleast not to the extent iv'e read they should with a virtually infinite food supply and good water conditions (which given the daphnia continue to thrive and seed shrimo im presuming the water is atleast ok)

I wonder if maybe the bladder snails or ramshorns are having a nibble now and then. Their population is continuing to absolutely balloon; soon i'll be removing a good few. Maybe as their food supply lowers their having a pop at the hydra?
 

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PARAGUAY

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Very exciting/surprising discovery

Must have hitchhiked in with the duckweed i collected from a local abandoned pond

(Would appear to be a freshwater hydra. Likely more lurking somewhere) going to leave it be and hope the snails don't start munching them.

Will worry about their over population when it happend.
The tank is heaving with all kinds of infusoria now.

I have managed to source some moina to add in with the daphnia which is coming later this week. Apparently they are easier to maintain long term than daphnia
Its surprising what duckweed can harbour
When out at the canal ith granddaughter with her net we scooped out a net full placed in plastic bag. I usually put it outside in a old tank before transferring to aquarium on placing it tank all sorts of critters appeared snails ,fast moving larvae, micro life . Just one net scoop!
 
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