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  1. I’ll have to try it then. 😆 If I’m already knowledgeable and satisfied with the information I already have then I prefer short. In general though I’d say long form, there is always something to learn and often enough they will mention something that piques my curiosity or interest. 🙂
  2. Thank you!! I’ll check this out later tonight. Random question but do you prefer long or short form content? It seems like everyone is into short form now, even articles have a TLDR above the actual piece.
  3. I meant to say capping aqua soil with coal slag, lol. I’m a big fan of his content but I haven’t seen his videos talking about the pond soil! I need to do more research in general on the topic, but does it behave as potting soil does if disturbed and does it need to be capped?
  4. Can anyone help me make sense of what’s going on with my cycle? I’ve had the filter running on a water pitcher (tank is a monthish into a dry start with 1.5-2 months more to go) to cycle it. While I have been testing twice a day I’m in no rush to fill the tank nor add livestock. This is just quite interesting to me, I’m new to this lol. I started the filter maybe the 19’th and in absence of ammonia I put quarter of a cup of organic soil & worm castings in. The pure ammonia arrived on the 22’nd and I began dosing as per Dr.Tim’s guidelines. Added more on certain days per the company’s directions to try and get the ammonia above 2ppm. I did a 50% water change on the 24’th due to the ph dropping below 7, which did fix it. It dipped again the next day and I added a pinch of baking soda and that fixed it as well. Should I even be doing water changes during cycling? What piques my curiosity is the jumps in nitrite and nitrate the past 2 days. Is any of this making sense to anyone else? The filter/pitcher is seeded with a large sponge from a seasoned tank, has a sword plant submerged in there and then about 20 rooted plants feeding off of the water column. I’m adding Nutrafin GRO (last dosed when I first got the filter running) to fertilize the sword plant. Given the plants I know it is going to mess with my readings but my grasp on cycling is loose even without that complication lol. (I get the nitrogen cycle, it’s applying the fluctuations in readings. I realize such a small volume of water makes it much more difficult) Tysvm to anyone who leaves some input. I’m so tempered to go Cory’s way and just let it run for 6 weeks or watch for plant growth/algae and proclaim it safe.
  5. Popping them one by one would be extremely tedious. I think that’s an oxymoron.. cheap agricultural lava rock? 😆 For my other 2 tanks I have coal slag that I’m topping with aqua soil. I’ve looked into pond soil but have heard very mixed reviews and opinions.
  6. Something else for my 2 children to complain about, lol. This is just one part of my living room… the house will be a complete ecosystem in itself. 😆
  7. Isn’t it funny how animals so beautiful live their natural lives in such low visibility environments? I knew that of bettas but not about guppies. 🙂 Here are 2 sites I used while looking into the dry start method: https://buceplant.com/a/amp-1/blogs/aquascaping-guides-and-tips/dry-start-method-step-by-step-guide https://www.aquasabi.com/aquascaping-wiki_aquascaping_the-dry-start-method
  8. daggaz I don’t know how to tag you specifically, but fully submerged water roots are a normal capability for almost all plants but the roots still need access to oxygen. Whether that’s replacing water in a vase twice a week, growing plants in semi hydroponics, the nutrient solution must still be swapped out or the roots will die or completely hydroponically but you still have an aeration device. What you’re proposing is possible if there is a way to aerate the roots & the bit of water. When emersed plants melt, the plant has identified that its environment has changed and grows new leaves that are suitable for submerged growth. There still needs to be oxygen in the water column to survive. That being said I’m always open to new information! Interestingly on Reddit the majority of people shun the dry start method in /aquascaping /plantedtank in favour of using c02. I’ve seen it commented many times over that Barr himself no longer uses DSM it or endorses it. Personally I couldn’t find any information to confirm this but it’s assumed to be truth over there.
  9. If one were to allow the water to pool the roots will have no access to oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria will quickly rot the roots and then the rest. Thorough daily misting (without allowing water to collect at the bottom, or minimal) with distilled water + aquatic fertilizer and keeping it covered with saran wrap 24/7 is the ticket! There does need to be daily air exchange though, so you peel back a corner for 15 minutes per day.
  10. I almost exclusively grow my plant semi hydroponically but the 4-5 I have in soil are in organic potting soil with only coarse sand, leca (I picked that out first) and worm castings.. but you have a point and you can never be sure. I didn’t know about how lower PH helps reduce the effects of ammonia, thank you! The guide I am or was following said to keep the PH above 7 or it stalls the nitrifying bacteria development. This tank is basically my crash course (applying all the conflicting information I’ve been studying, lol) so that once I discover the balance and what works for me, I can go on to the 30g & 55g I have waiting in the wings. 🙂
  11. I had also read that when your PH is below 7 the nitrifying bacteria are slowed significantly. I did test my tap water a while ago and off the top of my head I don’t remember anything of note. This morning's readings had my PH back down around 6.5 so I added a pinch of baking soda. That's good that the eleocharis came back! I guess I'll just have to wait and see how mine do once I flood it. As of right now everything is growing well, I've done one trim already just to encourage lateral growth. I had planned on water sprite, frog bit (they come today actually, along with an old filter sponge and gravel from a friends tank) and a lot of hornwort to avoid algae. I'll still be keeping some of my terrestrial plants growing with their roots in too. 🙂 To be fair it was at most 2 tablespoons of organic potting soil with worm castings from my Cebu Blue Pothos, lol. That's good to know I'll have the benefit of buffering once I get the tank filled! I absolutely agree with you, no lies detected, lol. I bought the nano to use with an air stone, just to root my rare houseplants (50ish, mostly Hoya, huge phytophile here) and then fell down a rabbit hole of aquascaping, all things aquariums and here we are. We differ in that it is all about the plants for me, the livestock are the frosting on the cake. 🙂 It's a huge relief to know this approach can be taken with aquariums. This is definitely an attitude I share when it comes to houseplants and outdoor gardening. ☺️ I'm just waiting on the carpets to spread for another month or two before I flood it. I won't be using co2 or anything so filling it now will take the plants much much longer - I've read. Today I'm picking up a well used filter sponge, ziploc of used gravel, water sprite and java moss from a friend's tanks, to add to my little experiment. If anything this little tank will just be for Neocaridina's or maybe raising live food for my future pea puffer tank. (Once I've finished planning it out and procuring supplies) Even if fish do survive the cycle don't they usually end up being pretty sickly? I'd feel so bad if I played fast and loose and lost living things because of it.
  12. Ahh that’s too bad!! I’ll keep that in mind if/when I happen upon the same issue.
  13. TLDR - Cycling advice is confusing, help with test results and questions about emersed plants transitioning to submerged. Hello, I’m a n00b with a 2.5g tank that I began a dry start on, on June 3. It will be a while (maybe 2 months) until my carpet has filled out more so I decided to get the filter going while that is happening. 3 days ago I put the HOB filter onto a pitcher, added an air stone, a sword plant (labeled assorted at Petsmart) and 15ish well water-rooted terrestrial cuttings. I threw in some soil from one of my plants (I read somewhere that it’s good, bacteria good… laugh if you must? Lol) then 2 days ago I dosed with Dr.Tims ammonia according to the instructions and following their article on cycling. Mind you it took me until today to realize my testing kit does not test for ammonia. Needless to say the master test kit will be here Thursday. I think I have a functional grasp of the nitrogen cycle, while still checking Google for reminders on the elements and healthy vs unhealthy parameters. I was planning on continuing this method of cycling regime… However, I just watched Cory’s video (linked below) where he essentially says to just let it do its thing until you see new plant growth or algae. Once you do then it’s “cycled”. He doesn’t love this term I’m seeing 😆. As a newbie his method is very alluring… I’m just curious which (if either) approach you subscribe to and why? Bonus random questions about plants and some readings: 1.) I used all TC plants for my dry start (I’m assuming everyone knows why) but when I finally flood the tank will everything die off (melt?) first then new growth will come from the root structures? Will all this die off mess with my parameters? Once I flood it should I trim everything as low as I can before they melt? I have eleocharis acicularis, monte carlo, java moss and littorella uniflora. 2.) Yesterday my nitrates were 25, nitrites 1 and PH 7.6. Today nitrates were 50, nitrites 5, PH was 6.4. Due to the lowering PH and reading of nitrites I did a 50% water change, was that the right call or was it the wrong call? After about 2 hours I took the readings again and the nitrates were 25-50, nitrites still 5, PH 7.2. Dr.Tim’s instructions leave a bit to be desired, ex they just say don’t let the nitrates reach 100ppm. With no explanation on what to do if this happens, lol.
  14. 😆 I love it. I bought my first tank a month ago and now I own 3, I may be a nerm too. Thanks for the explanation!
  15. Have you considered using tissue cultured plants? I bought all TC (mainly because they are grown emersed and I’m doing a dry start) and they are guaranteed to be pest free. Pests just can’t be present with the way TC propagation works.
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