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Docartso

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I haven't had any sort of fish tank or aquarium since I was a kid, and that's been a few decades. Got sucked into a YouTube vortex a couple months ago, and slowly made the decision to start a new hobby. I was drawn mostly to lowtech, planted freshwater setups, most notably with an interest in the Walstad method. Foo the Flowerhorn is absolutely to blame.

On October 21st I set up my first tank, a little sub 5 gallon rimless. It's been an adventure, currently housing a java fern, some hornwort, and anarchis. Trying to get some dwarf hair grass to grow in the gravel I chose, and I'm only stocked with a tribe of bladder snails that have proven to be harder workers and baby makers than I would ever have imagined. They're also pretty interesting to watch, I get a kick out of them 'levitating' from the bottom of the tank. Pests? Pffft, maybe when the four or five new sacs of eggs hatch.

In the interI'm I've also started a number of gallon jars to grow more hornwort/grass/anarchis. I'm also floating salvia minima, frogbit, and water lettuce, and it's of course everywhere, including a tub where I'm propagating more until I decide what to do with the stuff. Probably trade or sell or turn into fish/shrimp food.

I've had my troubles, killed some plants, and have just recently fought through the diatom stage. I haven't cycled yet, but it's getting close. I have a decent variety of phytoplankton (?) living alongside the snail tribe, including what I think are rotifers, as well as cyclops and the odd ostracod or three, although I would like to have more. They crack me up, and I would like to have a colony at some point for food/entertainment. There is also a dragonfly nymph in there somewhere, although I've only seen him once, he's teeny right now.

Anyway, been lurking here for a while now, thought it was good a time as any to join. See you around the forums.
 

Joshaeus

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You sound like the kind of mad aquarium scientist I like chatting with...welcome to the forum! I too tend to do all sorts of odd experiments, ranging from soaking brine shrimp cysts in fish oil in an attempt to improve their nutritional content to making homemade water softening filters for my blackwater tank.

I have considered producing some of my aquarium plants in emersed setups, with the plants growing terrestrially in very humid conditions. Basically, it is hard for plants to get CO2 underwater, so growing them terrestrially accelerates their growth as long as humidity is sufficiently high. Most aquarium plants (not most of the ones you are working with, sadly) will grow terrestrially in this fashion, often more easily than they do underwater.
 

jpm995

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Welcome aboard good luck with the tank. Never tried a Walstad so I can't offer advice but i'm sure we have some experts here. I had a four year break from the hobby [Superstorm Sandy wiped me out] but recently started up a 55 gallon community tank. Snails can multiply like mad may need a plan for them.
 
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Docartso

Docartso

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Joshaeus said:
You sound like the kind of mad aquarium scientist I like chatting with...welcome to the forum!
Hah, thanks, I've always had a way with plants, and the whole live plant thing is what got me most excited to get into this. Still not sure if I want fish or shrimp in this nano, but I already have my eye on a 10 gallon. I spend a lot of time pruning and, well, I guess culling my plants and floaters. I have some beautiful stuff, and am slowly transforming the ragged, scruffy blackened hornwort I got into delicate, fluorescent green stems. Learning how to work with the anacharis. I have been making a sort of liquid fertilizer with by letting the cuttings decay in dechlorinated water in a glass dropper bottle I have. The houseplants love it.

I live close to a pretty big river, so I've made a couple trips down there for water/mud. One of my jars is river mud and aquarium gravel for a topper, that's where I think the dragonfly nymph and the ostracods came from. Acutally I know that's where the 'cods came from. I'm still learning a little bit everyday and really enjoying the challenge of a fishless cycle. I have a bottle of Tetra Safe Start I bought in a moment of frustration, but have decided to not use it, maybe when I get the 10 gallon. It's been far more fun an adventure than frustrating, and so far not a massive expense.

Thanks again for the welcome, you too, jpm995. And as far as the snails go, from what I've read they should sort themselves out.
 

Joshaeus

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Just wanted to give you a heads up...dragonfly nymphs are predators and eventually grow large enough to eat adult dwarf shrimp and even small fish, so you may want to think about giving the nymph his/her own tank.
 
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Docartso

Docartso

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Yeah, I had done some reading on them, thanks. I'll probably see if my girlfriend wants to look after it, or just let it free in the river. We'll see.
 

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