Wormstrate/Soil – 4 Weeks

April 10th, 2008

About a month ago, I setup two side-by-side 2.5G tanks with the purpose of comparing¬† substrates based on mineralized top soil and worm castings.¬† After about a month, I must say that I’m a bit disappointed. I was hoping that at least one of the tanks would have taken off, but thus far they’re both kind of sad looking.

Wormstrate/Soil Experiment

I’m unsure whether this has more to do with inconsistencies on my behalf, or whether or not there’s something with the substrates themselves. On the left, the soil tank has the best growth in Limnophila aquatica, but the wormstrate tank has better growth from the Didiplis diandre. Both tanks are experiencing algae on the glass, probably due to a lack of water changes, and inconsistent dosing of Seachem Excel for a carbon source. The Eriocaulicae sp. ‘Type 2’ seems to be melting away in both tanks, which may indicate that it is not a heavy root feeding plant.

I’m going to keep the experiment going for a few more months. I know that both methods are proven methods, so I just need to be a bit more consistent with this experiment, and see if that makes any difference. I also added some extra cherry shrimp to the tanks, and so far they’ve survived — a good sign! More updates next month.

3 Responses to “Wormstrate/Soil – 4 Weeks”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Aha, I found the update!

    That doesn’t surprise me that the Eriocaulacae ‘Type 2’ bit the dust. It definitely is a water column feeder. It melted in my soil tank as well.

    I think you really need to get some CO2 in there or be more consistent with the Excel dosing.

    Hang in there. I think your patience will be rewarded in the end.

  2. Kelley Says:

    Hey there!

    Sorry that the soils aren’t yet taking off. FWIW, I have just been dosing excel on my dirt tanks. Eventually, I will upgrade them to pressurized once I have the funds. I give the tanks a double dose every day. A single dose doesn’t seem to be enough.

    Two weeks ago I planted the entire foreground with HC. It’s starting to really take off. I’ve never had much luck with this plant in the past.

    As Aaron said, hang in there!

  3. guitarfish Says:

    Double dosing! Wow, I’m lucky to dose once a day, so I’ll step that up. Thanks!