No newts in water...for MONTHS

Molch

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supplying CO2 is another way to lower the pH. I had a DIY CO2 dispenser on my Walstad tank once. Technically, it's not Walstadian, but my goodness, the plants grew like they were on steroids.
 

suztor

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I've been hesitant to do DIY CO2 because you technically need to dose as well otherwise you get nutrient deficiency and i'm really not looking to do that. Also I read that its like plant crack/steroids.... they don't bounce back the same if you cut them off of it, they get hooked.

i'm considering supplementing w/ RO water.

another idea I've had is to add peat to water in a jug, drop the ph before mixing it with my tank water, during water changes, then the acidicness of the peat wont damage my cement... or am I wrong thinking this?
 

Molch

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I don't think you need to dose if you have a soil substrate; the plants will get plenty of nutrients there.
When I had my tank on CO2, the plants grew more spectacularly than I had ever seen. I did supply more light, but no additional nutrients.

However, having to clip growth every week was getting to be too high maintenance. I stopped the CO2, and although some plants disappeared, others thrived without it and the tank as a whole adjusted very well to being low-maintenance.
 

suztor

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I'll have to find the thread on planted aquariums where Diana walstad talks about it. Maybe it works for some people and not others.

Here is where my tank stands at now. Next week I'll be going down the hill to Phoenix and I'll be getting some new plants to add to this. Annnnd maybe some snails and more amano shrimp; they are very active... I got 7 ghost shrimp and I can't find any of them lol.

Here is my tank as it stands now



I got that lighter piece of wood 2 weeks ago at a thrift shop for 2 bucks! It's been soaked and getting water changes up until yesterday.


So questions... Does anyone know what "grasses" will grow in cold water w med lighting?

I have java moss, java fern, wisteria, and that swordish plant growing...(and kyoto grass breaking the surface so it doesn't drown) Any other plant suggestions
 

evut

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I think my water parameters are similar to yours and I also have soil under sand in one of my tanks. This is what seems to grow well in it:
Vallisneria spiralis (Jungle val)
Echinodorus paniculatus (Amazon sword)
some Hygrophilas (salicifolia and polysperma I think)
Ludwigias (palustris and repens I think)
Cryptocoryne wendtii (good for places with little light)
Echinodorus tenellus - looks like grass, I am not sure how it's doing...hopefully just a slow grower
Sagittaria natans

I would also recommend Ceratophyllum demersum (Hornwort) - great plant, you can leave it to float, the newts will enjoy sitting on it on the surface.

 

Kribby

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"cold water" isn't so much a problem for plants as the lighting level. You will find that there are not very many short grasses that grow well in medium light. Typically they require high light and ferts in order to thrive. Echinodorus tenellus would be your best bet, but you will find that it won't grow very fast at all and with medium light it isn't likely to stay very short.
 

suztor

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Thanks for the plant suggestions!

It's good to know. I'm aware of the grass vs light issue but I figured I would ask.

I'm in the planning stages of building a custom hood with fans, lighting and lots of air flow. I have access to a daisy chain of up to 5 t5 fixtures....in my plans I was going to string 3 or 4 of them togeather Pretty sure its over kill though and would bring my water temps up? Unless I built a nested box with those flourecent bulb covers. Those Sharp light fragmenty ones.

Or other option up to 4 cfl bulbs.

Update on newts:
I'm not entirely sure the pH is the problem, because all (but one of the youngest) of my newts are in the water still, in the tank in the garage. With the same water parameters.
 

Yahilles

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Your tank has way too few plants for a Walstad method (people often don't understand you need a big GROWING plant mass, instead of planting few small clumps that don't grow because the tank conditions are too poor), i also think that using that fine sand instead of gravel could cause a problem, as well as leaving the soil visible through the front glass - the light falling on the soil can cause an algae bloom!
Example of my Walstad tank (sorry bout the quality)
 

suztor

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Your tank has way too few plants for a Walstad method (people often don't understand you need a big GROWING plant mass, instead of planting few small clumps that don't grow because the tank conditions are too poor), i also think that using that fine sand instead of gravel could cause a problem, as well as leaving the soil visible through the front glass - the light falling on the soil can cause an algae bloom!
Example of my Walstad tank (sorry bout the quality)
I'm getting more plants this weekend, working towards the mass . It's much more affordable in Phoenix, that's just what I had available to start. I'm confused what you mean about growing conditions being poor? Guess I'm confused. Gotta start somewhere.

The sand is only half an inch thick or less. You really think it will cause problems?I have some gravel and large pebbles but not enough to keep the soil 'down' so that's why I used the sand... That and I have a ton of it.

I could be wrong, but from what I've read it was a cosmetic choice if the soil was visible on the glass.


Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk
 

evut

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From what I've read the sand should be fine as long as it's not too deep. I have sand on top of soil and it seems ok - the tank has been running for a few months, water parameters are good and plants are growing.

Your tank looks great, Janusz. Can you tell me what the small plant in the foreground is (the green carpet)?
 

methodik

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I believe its Glossostigma elatinoides
 

Molch

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I could be wrong, but from what I've read it was a cosmetic choice if the soil was visible on the glass.
k

one thing D. Walstad mentions in her book is that when soil is exposed, light-induced chemical reactions will mobilize iron and make it available to algae in the water column. She does write that this could be one contributing factor to an algae problem.. She recommends taping up the exposed soil layer with duct tape, at least on the side of the tank exposed to bright window light.
 

Molch

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Your tank has way too few plants for a Walstad method (people often don't understand you need a big GROWING plant mass, instead of planting few small clumps that don't grow because the tank conditions are too poor), i also think that using that fine sand instead of gravel could cause a problem, as well as leaving the soil visible through the front glass - the light falling on the soil can cause an algae bloom!
Example of my Walstad tank (sorry bout the quality)
hey Janusz,
awesome tank! Could you give some specs on it, such as temp, pH, plant species, and what kind of lighting you have on it?
 

Yahilles

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Molch is right about the iron getting accessable for algae. And the problem with the sand is, i believe, caused by the aggrevation of water movements through the substrate. Though sand should work well in an established planted tank, i don't think it does good in a tank like this, where there are not many plants and there are a lot of rotting processes in the soil without the oxygen supplied by plant roots.


Temperature in my tank ranged so far (i set it up again in June i think?) from 16 to 30 degrees, recently around 18'C (64F), i don't think it will drop below 14 in coldest days. The light is 30W compact bulb and one 8W T5 fluorescent tube.
Plants are Cryptocoryne wendtii, Hygrophila siamensis, Hygrophila polysperma, Anubias barteri, Glossostigma elatinoides, Hedyotis salzmannii, Limnophila sessiflora, Myriophyllum spicatum, Najas guadelupensis, Echinodorus sp, Rotala rotundifolia, Echinodorus barthii, Cabomba caroliniana, Bacopa amplexicaulis, Ceratophyllum demersum. I don't measure the water parametres.
I do very small water changes once for a month.
 

Azhael

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Are those T.dobrogicus? Don´t you have problems with them uprooting or damaging plants?
The tank looks fantastic, congratulations. So tidy and organized...not like my tanks which look like something has been fighting in there.
 

suztor

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Molch is right about the iron getting accessable for algae. And the problem with the sand is, i believe, caused by the aggrevation of water movements through the substrate. Though sand should work well in an established planted tank, i don't think it does good in a tank like this, where there are not many plants and there are a lot of rotting processes in the soil without the oxygen supplied by plant roots.


Temperature in my tank ranged so far (i set it up again in June i think?) from 16 to 30 degrees, recently around 18'C (64F), i don't think it will drop below 14 in coldest days. The light is 30W compact bulb and one 8W T5 fluorescent tube.
Plants are Cryptocoryne wendtii, Hygrophila siamensis, Hygrophila polysperma, Anubias barteri, Glossostigma elatinoides, Hedyotis salzmannii, Limnophila sessiflora, Myriophyllum spicatum, Najas guadelupensis, Echinodorus sp, Rotala rotundifolia, Echinodorus barthii, Cabomba caroliniana, Bacopa amplexicaulis, Ceratophyllum demersum. I don't measure the water parametres.
I do very small water changes once for a month.

Covering up the soil is something I can do no problem. Black electrical tape here I come.

like I said I'm going to be getting more plants this weekend. And maybe ordering some online.
As a general ball park how much should I increase my plant load? Double, tripple it for starters?

I'm trying to do my best to make this work as it is. I rather add than try and take that sand out I would rather mix the sand in to the soil lol. Under there there is also. Some gravel and river Pebbles.
 

Yahilles

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The newts are T. carnifex. They're young (around 10cm) and so far only uprooting-like behaviour is that they sometimes try to dig a hole under one stone and hide there, or they make it comfortable for themselves and leave it be, just dig it again if i assail it. The tank is not really finished, some plants need to grow, and for sure i can't say it's tody and organized. There's still some work to be done with that setup :)
 

evut

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The exposed soil can be easily tucked in with a credit card or something similar, the sand will fall in and cover it.
 

Molch

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As a general ball park how much should I increase my plant load? Double, tripple it for starters?.
It should be really dense from the start. Think "jungle" right off the bat.

I attached 3 pics - the first is a tank on the day of planting; mostly small clippings that have yet to grow in, but note that every square inch of ground has a plant stem or more in it.

the second is my cyanurus tank about a month after planting, with the plants grown in a bit but they still have a way to go.

the third is a little 5 gallon fish tank, which has been up and running for about 7 months
 

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    Hi Nerdybirds - open a thread, that usually gets more views and also allows you to post pictures and give more background information: water parameters, age, etc.
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    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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    His gills seem kinda small, I don't think that's normal but I'm not a huge expert on axolotls
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    Yeah his gills is kinda small and it can be caused by nitrate level, I am taking care of it atm, I am worried about his weight, is he only overfed or are there any kinds of problems there ?
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    Well, again, I'm no expert. But I did just read axolotls are supposed to have a body about as wide as their head. The gills I'd say are the biggest problem, which could reduce oxygen intake, which could make a whole mess of problems.
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    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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    Ok, thanks!
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    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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