Very Lo Tech Patio Tank (dirted) [updated 6 June '14]
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:42 PM   #1
adive
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Very Lo Tech Patio Tank (dirted) [updated 6 June '14]


6 June 2014

No plants have been added externally. Its just cuttings that are propagating.

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  • Dwarf sag (left bottom) multiplying
  • Crypt (left bottom) growing


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Potamogeton ochreatus (?) which are to the left, upper are multiplying

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  • Aponogeton Ulvaceus has some 7 inch healthy leaves. They have given out 3 new plantlets. I've cut & sown 2 of them. The apons are no longer giving out floating leaves, only submerged ones. Is it a matter of survival? When the plants were new they didnt know their env. too well so gave out floating leaves first and then switched to submerged growth? IDK.
  • Some Amazon Swords & H. Polysperma which are at the back not doing that great


7 May 2014
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First Some History
I had a planted tank in the 80s, very lo tech as most tech things of today were unheard of and not available to me as a kid. There was so much growth I used to cut my amazon swords and throw away the cuttings. Fast fwd to 2013 and I rebooted my hobby after ~30 years. Old beliefs die hard. If I had done a low tech planted tank in the 80s of course thats what I wanted to setup again.

I read about the Walstad method and realized how it was similar to what I had done and wanted to do. For me, the tank's gotta be planted. So I started experimenting with small Walstad setups in a bowl, got some success. A big challenge was that the products recommended by Walstad arent available in my country. Then ultimate I moved onto an old 15g with the following specs. I like minimal interference in the tank, I let nature do most of the work, give a helping hand only where required. I think in the past 4-5 month I have been able to figure that out a bit.

My scaping skills are poor, guess thats what I should work on next. All these months I spent understanding planted tank theory. There is no algae in this tank, which has been running since Jan 2014. Before fully dirting it on 12 April I had dirted box like containers in it as I was experimenting. I have not scraped/cleaned the glass sides of algae even once.

Hope I will have a successful tank in the coming months/years. Hope you enjoy this journal. Thanks TPT for all the help ! I read a lot here.

Tank
15g
CO2 Injection: none
Excel/Glut: none
Ferts: Liquid ferts (macs, mics, traces)
Water Change: once per week, 30%
Substrate: mainly brown soil with rich red garden soil mixed in, capped with gravel. there is some contro soil in it (hi CEC stuff) but not any significant amount
Lighting: all natural: tank's on a patio/balcony so these days it gets indirect bright sunlight in mornings all the way to the afternoon. In the afternoons it gets direct sunlight, maybe 2 hours. Also there are trees on one side of the patio so the sunlight is mostly broken by the tree off and on. The direction of the sunlight changes as the days progress during the year.
I usually keep the tank open top but on cloudy days put a 23W 6500K CFL on it.


Flora:
  • Amazon Swords
  • Green C. Wendtii
  • Dwarf sag - planted one, has become 8 now
  • Green Cabomba from my main tank (but I dont expect it to do too well)
  • Aponogeton Ulvaceous - giving out big (6 inch) submerged and floating leaves everyday
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Potamogeton ochreatus

Fauna (understocked)
  • 4 White Cloud Mountain Minnows (they spawn)
  • 1 female red tangerine (livebearer)
  • Many pond snails

Here's a pic on day 1 (12 April 2014)
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... and day 15 (27 April 2014) (the orange plant on the right is plastic)
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day 15 - aponogeton ulvaceous floating leaves
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Thanks!

Last edited by adive; 06-11-2014 at 09:01 AM.. Reason: Ok
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:49 AM   #2
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Default Plant id please

Could someone please id this plant? Thx.

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Old 05-10-2014, 07:53 PM   #3
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Awesome little tank! I've toyed around with a patio tank myself but did a little container pond instead.

While I appreciate a 'scaped tank, this is the kind I really like. It looks very natural.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:00 PM   #4
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Kensfish
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seedreemer View Post
Awesome little tank! I've toyed around with a patio tank myself but did a little container pond instead.

While I appreciate a 'scaped tank, this is the kind I really like. It looks very natural.
Thanks Seed.

I do like the wild jungle look but I could give it at least some scaping. When I got the aponogetons I didnt know they were actually aponogetons and could get so large.

This tank is as natural as it can get. I like to think of it as my natural aquarium-pond. As far as tech goes, I use the CFL light only on cloudy days. I hope in the coming months the water changes will reduce. I think one of the keys to that is low stocking and a big, growing plant mass.

Time to trim the floating leaves as they are blocking the light. Apons & dwarf sag are giving out new plantlets.

Maybe some water movement (powerhead) might also do it some good.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adive View Post

Apons & dwarf sag are giving out new plantlets. - Congrats on the new growth!

Maybe some water movement (powerhead) might also do it some good - I would suggest using a canister filter. Too much surface agitation may lead to a loss of CO2 from the water.

.
Or you can use a IPF with a lower flow rate and direct its output with a pipe so that the surface agitation is much lesser.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adive View Post
As far as tech goes, I use the CFL light only on cloudy days. I hope in the coming months the water changes will reduce. I think one of the keys to that is low stocking and a big, growing plant mass.
I had a 29g similar to this years ago. It had no filtration, was heavily planted, lightly stocked and in a western facing window so it got hours of hot Florida sun each day. It was a jungle of plants with no algae and about as carefree as a tank can get. It got to the point where I think I was doing water changes maybe once a month.

I know the popular theory is sunlight/natural light isn't good, but I've had nothing but positive experiences with any tanks I've had next to windows.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Or you can use a IPF with a lower flow rate and direct its output with a pipe so that the surface agitation is much lesser.
Sure, thanks.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:20 AM   #9
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When I setup the tank I got 2 apons from the LFS but I and even they didnt know that they were apons at that time. Also they were small, not more than 2-3 inches in height.

If I'd known they grow so big I would have planted them in the rear of the tank. Anyways, replanting will be too messy now, given the dirt.

Posted an update in post #1, June 7.
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