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  1. Do you like to use dirt in your tank, a different fertilized substrate (perhaps like fluval stratum or even root tablets), only inert substrate, or none of the above? Why do you use dirt? Why do you not use dirt? What is your experience like? You can provide as little or as much information as you'd like! I'd love to hear about it. My personal opinion is I like dirted tanks and think the pros outweigh the cons, but I wish I had researched more before jumping right in. Dirted tanks cause a bit of problems: primarily making the water muddy or murky, especially if you don't know what you're doing. I used my own mix for "dirt": peat moss, organic soil mix, clay, decaying leaf litter, and crushed lava rock. I knew this would provide nutrients to my plants, and I was confident. But this was my first time using live plants, and my first time using dirt. Gosh, I didn't know what I was getting into... I had to do five water changes the first week setting up my tank, simply because some of the dirt matter dissolved into the water. To cap off the substrate, I had to use almost two inches of fine pea gravel + sand mix. That being said, I do not regret it: I would just go about it differently in the future. So here is what I would change: get the dirt wet AND waterlogged before capping off with inert substrate or filling the tank. This will reduce the random bubbles. don't cheap out on inert substrate: get more that I think I will need. At first I only got enough to cover barely an inch deep, which was not enough. It just caused more pain and ended up mixing my inert substrate in with my dirt mixture. It was super difficult and I had to restart once or twice. after I did get my inert substrate figured out, I filled the tank all the way up before planting. Not the best decision, as I learned. Instead, next time I will fill the tank about half way and then plant. Honestly, just like planting a veggie garden, I would probably "mound" the plants with sand/gravel a little to encourage them to STAY IN THE DARN GROUND. I also learned not to be scared of weights, glues, and strings. At first I was kind of stuck-up and thought it wasn't natural and ergo bad if you used things like plant weights or if you glued/tied your anubias down. HECK NO. These are tools. Use them! That is something important I learned. When I was putting moss in my tank I quickly learned I needed string to tie em down... and when I purchased some rotala it came tied with a weight, and gosh this stuff is helpful. I love these tools and glad I tried them. So how do you feel about dirt in tanks? What did you learn?
  2. My LFS got these Nothobranchius Guentheri (AKA Red Tail Notho) in and i fell in love. I am determined to breed them but i have zero experience with killifish let alone annual killis so any of you that have experience your advice is welcomed. If you're unfamiliar with these fish i highly recommend that you look into them they are beautiful and fascinating. They originate from Africa in areas that are flooded seasonally and have adapted to survive in the temporary pools by laying eggs that are able to survive the dry season in the mud after the pools have dried up and hatch months later when the rains return. To breed them successfully in captivity we have to mimic this drying period. I currently have 2 females and 1 male set up in a little 3.5 gallon. This tank was previously completely overrun with Scuds but they have wiped them out in just a few days. I have been feeding a mixture of dry and frozen foods twice a day as well and theyre growing like weeds. I have my peat moss and some coconut coir. So far the plan is to introduce a mixture of the two in a small container. Hopefully this will induce spawning and i will be anle to remove and replace the moss periodically and store the eggs until they are ready. We’ll see if it turns out to be that easy.
  3. Is it preferable to add peat moss as a layer or mix it with the soil?
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