Originally Posted by VadimShevchuk
you have a nice system going there. No water changer, algae to a minimal and clams survive. Those things are supposed to be hard to keep.
This specific combination of sand, plants and these specific fish (minus the CPDs) has been a VERY successful design for me! But I did start taking it very seriously about 15 years ago.
Specifically its this combo with only MINOR additions allowed-
Amano shrimp (if these were easier to breed I would NOT use cherry shrimp at all)
small rasbora school (substitute any small rasbora, tetra or CPD)
khuli loaches- dig and clean the sand
Corys- not necessary if you have the khulis
candy stripe pleco (need wood as part of their diet my ass...)
rubber lip, bristle nose or equivalent smaller sized algae oriented pleco (MANY are really NOT happy with just algae)
Chinese butterfly loach- not necessary but I love them- they look like little stingrays!
Thats the core fish- and as you see by my count in post #1 you must keep it LOW...
Then you use the sand for structure, looks and the loaches barbells... the anubias for live plants, oxygen, water polishing etc -BUT mainly anubias because they sit up off the rocks and can handle FLOW.
My tanks all have a LOT of water movement. I got this from reefkeeping and it works like a CHARM in freshwater. If you notice my scape has NO DEAD ZONES. No places where the water doesn't flow freely. I also added a HUGE powerhead.
This is the biggest problem with the Amano nature aquariums... Those tanks do NOT have a lifespan of more than a few years at best without needing overhaul. Not just from over growth and depletion of fertz, but from build up of all the bioload.
If you want the BEST low maintenance tank that looks great do the same thing I did but no sand. Make sure all rocks have travel underneath if possible and all aound. Grow the anubias right on the rocks till they look like anubias chia pets... None of the fish care much and it makes removing excess food crazy easy.
The end result is a tank thats virtually indestructable. You can even STOP CO2 once you are grown to your liking and that will sloooooooooow the growth way down- and its slow already!
I sold my first one of these about 13 years ago and the owner who is a friend of mine just moved. He bought 2 tanks from me. He still has all the anubias from 13 years ago... I had one Barteri var Barteri in that tank (the rest nana)- it grew 4 feet tall and took up the whole tank... One Barteri in a 55 Gallon. It was so long it was making a big S cause the tank was too short! I needed to be trimmed- the rhizome was HUGEEEEEEEEEE- but he didn't have the heart cause it was just such a monstrosity!
If anyone wants to have a tank you can walk away from (other than feeding) for 6 months... This is the combo.
All the fish are picked for so many reasons, its stupid, not worth explaining, and Im obsessive, but realize- if you change one thing- it may all go out of whack...
But Ill stop blathering now. I could go on for a very very long time. Again been planning this tank for over 15 years! And I use this as a blue print for the fresh tanks I sell.
OH and Im NOT trying to pimp tanks or sales. I just build them and people see them and make offers- and I like the building more than the finishing line so I flip them! This one aint for sale though!