Ok so while I'm waiting for my phone to send in some shots I thought that I would make an update.
As you can see I've expanded things a bit. Walmart had a sale on Grow lights (T8's) which fit the shelves perfectly and well I jumped
I also got some good deals and trades taken care of online to expand my species of plants.
I'm going to try to see if I can get these mini tanks to cycle and make them into healthy nano communities. My goal is to not have to fert these and have them take care of themselves. So as you can see in each tank I have added a sponge filter (all but tanks I'm planning on allowing to have free floaters again part of the experiment)
Currently until I get only mystery snails into these tanks I am dosing ferts and I am segregating species and not really mixing any unless they are tied. I have also found a few plant species which will not grow in this manner and literally melt. (you win and lose some I guess)
I have a single (dual outlet) air pump driving designed to pump for up to 60 gallons (which I figured 3-4 air driven units...Anyway I think that I am going to find a way to better tweak the filter system. This keeps the water aerated and the filters begin to allow the beneficial bacteria to form thus keeping me from introducing anything bad in my big tank (I still have spots of BBA here and there and some Green dust algae from time to time and I want to try to keep that from these tanks)
Currently I am not dosing any CO2 however put a drop or two of excel every day to supply the plants with water. I am not actively completing water changes hoping to find the balance of mystery snails to the plants in order to provide a complete 'organic' ecosystem (again my ultimate goal is to come up with a successful growing setup...I'm obsessed with mosses I fear)
Another fun part of this experiment is that I dumped the iphone 5 and now have the Galaxy S4 so I get to play with the camera in different lighting situations so if the pics are rough know that they are unedited for your and my curiosity satisfaction.
Nitrate: 2-10PPM depending on snails
Temp: Apartment is kept at a constant 75 degrees (ugh IDK if I want to see my AC bill this summer)
OK OK so picture time!!!!!!
Picture 1: Up top you see the original setup. I am now using neon yellow post it notes because I have been moving plants in and out and I don't want to have to reprint 21384972 labels. Also it allows me to draw the cool snail guy so I can visually see which tanks have snails and which don't since I don't want to kill the snails using algae treatments (some plants def don't come in algae free) plus if I ever have to change the water or move stuff around I know how many little guys to look for. Eventually I want them all to be running algae free with no snails (ahhh a good challenge!) Also note that up top I'm using daylight bulbs and below T8 bulbs this will show you the intensity/color differences. This is taken with the flash to drown out the background light.
Picture 2: Here you can see a bit up closer and the note system that I have allowing me to see what I've got going on. Here I took it with the flash on so you could see the filters in action. BTW these are the same filters that I have up in the classified section if anyone's interested!
Picture 3: You can see my awesome zip-tie mounting job...as a special note I should of gotten clear zip ties LOL. You can also see the depth of the water here. Again I'm experimenting so water levels are subject to change, but at this level I have found that any mystery snails I put in the tanks typically don't decide to take a stroll, when the water was higher I found one halfway across the apartment chugging along...the guy made it through a carpet jungle 2 cats and a dog and didn't get ate...I immediately put him in the 55 gallon if he can survive that...I hope he can survive the loaches....
Picture 4: Temp placement of airlines until I can figure out a better way to store them so they're out of sight. But that will come eventually for now I'm still tweaking flows to get everything just right.
And there you have it. As a note I didn't notice either piece of catfood chillin on the carpet there until I uploaded this picture....Any suggestions are welcome!