Originally Posted by slb
Is it possible to have a low maintenance tank with a commercial substrate, with out the decaying matter, simply by occasionally adding nutrients to the soil (something like Seachem Flourish tabs)
Yes. There's a website dedicated to this. It's called Natural Aquariums. Some use soil, some use plain gravel. Most don't use filters. Some use plain gravel, no filter, and just sunlight for lighting.
I used to have a 29 gallon tank that got several hours of afternoon sunlight, plain gravel, old full spectrum lights, no filter and it was pretty. Clearest water I ever had. There's a pic of it in the Luscious Low Tech thread if you search my name. It was jungle-like because I liked it that way, but I suspect you could neaten one up easily enough.
Oops, I just saw the previous post about the age of this thread. Sorry too!