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Tom’s Bucket Of Mud — Paro. sp. ‘sentang’

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8 years 10 months ago #690 by humike7
Hi Tom,

Yet again you have show some fan­tas­tic pic­tures and I pleased that your tank is still the inspi­ra­tion that it is even a year later.

Can I ask you some­thing about your sub­strate? I notices that you used a John Innes com­post with a sand cap. Is this the Wal­stad method that I’ve also read about?

I’ve been debat­ing whether to get use some­thing like TMC’s aqua­gro nutra­soil which is good for plants and can help to reduce ph but its just so darn expen­sive.

Does your sub­strate lower ph? Is yours a low cost method?

Thanks

Mike

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8 years 10 months ago #693 by Big­Tom
Hi Mike,

Yes, the tank is essen­tially a Wal­stad type setup with added ripar­ian plants. The sub­strate was very cheap, about £10 in total for the soil and sand (com­pared to at least £100 for the same cov­er­age of one of the branded aquar­ium plant soils). I actu­ally use ADA Ama­zo­nia in my smaller tanks where the cost is not pro­hib­i­tive… it has the advan­tage of good aes­thet­ics, being easy to work and hav­ing a good par­ti­cle size to pre­vent anaer­o­bic spots. How­ever, nor­mal soil is just as good for grow­ing plants really.

Many soils will lower pH, how­ever you need to check this before plant­ing… for exam­ple I have recently learned that John Innes num­ber 3 con­tains added lime, which can raise pH and hard­ness dra­mat­i­cally. So worth test­ing some before hand — I have heard that Mir­a­cle Grow aquatic com­post is good (I think Wal­stad uses this often). But not too expen­sive to buy a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent types to test, if you have a gar­den then you can always use unsuit­able ones some­where else!

As always, unless you min­er­alise it first you should also expect ammo­nia to leach from any soil for up to a month after it is submerged.

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8 years 10 months ago #702 by humike7
Hi Tom,

Just did some research on John Innes com­post and there seems to be a recipe called JOHN INNES CUT­TING COM­POST which is :
1 Loam
2 Peat
1 Sand
No added fer­tiliser

This seems like a good nat­ural sub­strate with no added min­er­als or lime and the peat should keep ph down as it decom­poses into humics.

Any opin­ion? I reckon about 1.5 to 2 inches of this with an inch of sand.

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8 years 10 months ago #705 by Big­Tom
Yeah that looks good. I would still test a lit­tle bit in a bucket or cup for a cou­ple of days to check how it affects the water. Basi­cally you want whichever soil you can find that has the least amount of lime­stone, nitrate and phos­phate and prefer­ably with­out many bark chips and other large organic par­ti­cles. Pond soils tend to be a good bet too.

I for­got to men­tion that I also mixed my com­post about 5050 with sand to keep the sys­tem quite lean, then capped with pure sand.

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8 years 7 months ago #1000 by Big­Tom
I have had a bit of a change with this tank now… the water para­me­ters sim­ply were not right for Paros, so I am mov­ing them to a new tank. Inhab­i­tants are now 5 Yun­nanilus sp. ‘rosy’, 8 Danio ery­thromi­cron and 3 Dario hys­gi­non (and the otos are still in there from before).

So not really rel­e­vant to the paro project any more, but I thought one last update would be OK!

How things look after tear­ing down and mov­ing the tank, and replant­ing:

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8 years 6 months ago #1001 by humike7
Hey Tom,

Sorry to see your orig­i­nal project didn’t work out.

Please update on your paro breed­ing project though. Always look for­ward to your good work.

Cheers,

Mike

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