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loaches and walstad/mts setup?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Bottom Dwellers' started by LiveMermaid07, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. LiveMermaid07

    LiveMermaid07 Bloody Mary. As in, hand me one.

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    Hello!

    I recently redid one of my tanks with about 1 - 1.5" miracle grow organic potting mix (the one specifically mentioned in 'walstad book') and topped with about 1" of pfs.

    I have a bronze cory in there (who has already brought up some dirt lol), but I'm wondering if it would be ok to put my black khulie loaches back in this tank?

    I've only been able to read excerpts (sp?) of her book so far and what I can find on the net, but I know she says no burrowing digging fish, but I thought maybe some here have tried it anyway.
    I really really don't want to have to get rid of my khulies if I don't have to.

    It is planted, not heavily yet, still getting things to grow and come back, but more than light I think. It does have 4 or 5 largish swords and several other plants.

    Is it bad (what bad/how bad?) if some of the dirt ends up on top?

    They were in this tank before so water is fine (params') and they have hiding spots ('cept it's now deeper water wise than before so the newish lights that were so bright before are now really dim lol), I'm just concerned about there digging and burrowing might cause some problem?
    Or injure them somehow? (I don't know if it's safe for them to 'jump' into dirt..??)


    Is there really any good reason I can't keep them in this setup?

    29g, AC70 & AC50 & medium sponge filter. for now.


    I'd really like to know if anyone has tried this before.
    Thanks! :)





    I don't know how the top got stuck on bold, it's not letting me undo it... of course once I post it it might look different lol, crazy. :hitting:

    I also posted this in 'Loaches' but no hits, so I thought I'd try here too. Thanks. :)
     
  2. DougsGraphics

    DougsGraphics Returning hobbyist

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    In my opinion, it should not be a problem -- for the fish. I've kept kuhlis in a variety of conditions and they adapt pretty well. I wouldn't worry about them regarding the soil (though they tend to prefer fine sand). I've kept them in an aquairum with a fair amount of decomposing peat on the bottom for years on end with not a single issue. I think the reasoning behind "no burrowing digging fish" is more about the asthetics and maintenance of a layered substrate than a fish health issue. By the way, I've never seen a layered substrate that stayed all that layered for too long...
     
  3. RisiganL.

    RisiganL. AC Members

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    I have a walstad and I would be cautious to put burrowing fish in my tank. I have trumpet snails in my tank, but they never seem to burrow down into the soil, only into the sand. My concern is that loaches are larger than snails, and they could very easily release a cloud of soil into the water. I have had this happen in my tank a few times and I can tell you its a royal pain to clean up. It is more of an aesthetic thing because as far as I could tell, the soil had no effect on the fish and shrimp I had in the tank.
     
  4. pbmax

    pbmax AC Members

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    I agree. Everything I've read about Kuhlis (I don't keep them) says they're diggers - that'll definitely destroy your NPT. I won't even put my panda cories in my walstad tank - when they get upset (a normal occurrence during water changes) they can easily dig more than an inch down in their tank. My pool filter sand cap in my NPT is only 1/2" - 3/4" thick.
     
  5. LiveMermaid07

    LiveMermaid07 Bloody Mary. As in, hand me one.

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    Thanks for the replies! :)
     
  6. fermentedhiker

    fermentedhiker AC Members

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    One thing I've thought about trying when I sent up my next dirt tank is placing a layer of Plastic canvas(it's a grid sold in plastic sheets for crafters to do needlepoint or something) on top of the dirt and then the cap on top of that. This would allow the plant roots to work into the soil as well as any microfauna, but not allow any larger "diggers" to disrupt the substrate. The drawback I see is that the plants would have their roots intertwined in the grid and would be almost impossible to uproot without destroying their root system.
     
  7. pbmax

    pbmax AC Members

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    I think that might work, though I imagine you'd still get clouding of the water if / when the diggers reach the canvas, if not a total catastrophe.

    I don't see not being able to uproot plants as a problem in a NPT. Even without the canvas you're looking at serious turbidity if you try that. The canvas just enforces that rule :)

    It sounds like a decent idea for sure. I'd go with black.... or hot pink? :D
     
  8. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid AC Members

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    I have kuhli's and sand, they're not diggers like cories, they do dig but its to burrow, they excavated a cave under a chunk of texas holey rock and the whole group lives under there thats the only spot they've dug in my tank. I guess it might be possible they would dig more if they didn't have a spot big enough for all of them could nest in. They may nose around a bit but they dont move much substrate when they do they can nose around a new unweighted stem plant and not disturb it they don't go gills deep like cories.
     
  9. LiveMermaid07

    LiveMermaid07 Bloody Mary. As in, hand me one.

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    Hot Pink, totally! :D
     

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