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Old 01-16-2009, 01:27 AM   #1
legomaniac89
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Super-low tech 20H - New Fish!


Thought I'd share this with everyone. This is my 20H low-tech tank. I have a near-full-time job and a full college schedule as of right now so I had to change this tank from your normal "weekly water changes, daily ferts" tank to low tech.

As of now, I am doing 50% water changes every six months. Yes, that's 180 days in between water changes, and my nitrates have never topped out above 10ppm. So here it is.


I know it's a bit sloppy but I still love it. Several people have told me to ditch the Java Moss in the front, but I wouldn't touch it for anything. I think it's the key to super-low tech. That, and 3/4 of a Marineland canister filter devoted to biological filtration.



This is my Cryptocoryne wendtii "Bronze". I should have taken a side shot showing the base of the plant; it's probably a good 4 inches across and shoots off daughter plants like there's no tomorrow.



Anubias barteri var. nana with one of my super red RCS. I have three of the Anubias and at least one of them is usually flowering.



Rotala rotundifolia. My lighting is a Coralife 24" T5 dual tube fixture, so only 2.4wpg. The Rotala still turns hot pink under the lights, even though this pic doesn't do it justice.

So there's my low tech plants, but I have quite a few plants that shouldn't grow in anything less than heavy lighting and massive fertilization. For example...



My Ozelot Sword. This baby shoots up new leaves almost daily.



Nymphaea lotus "Zenkeri". The colors are so much brighter than what the pic shows them to be. This plant sends up about two leaves DAILY. No exaggeration. Recently, it also sent out 2 daughters which are now growing very quickly.



Echinodorus "Red Devil". I've only had this one for a couple of weeks and it's doing great. The new leaves are deep red and gradually turn green as they age. This sword is extremely rare in the hobby. I got it from a buddy who got it from Aquabid.com.



And finally, my male GBR.

By the way, did I mention I never fertilize? Ever. I used a bottom layer of Fertilome Seedling and Cutting Starter and covered it with Flourite. The only other fertilization the plants get is from the fish.

So there it is. Let me know what you all think about it

Adam
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:42 AM   #2
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By the way, my inspiration for this came from "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" by Diana Walstad. She is all about low-tech tanks and she is an absolute genius when it comes to the science of aquariums. If you've never read her book, rent it or buy it. It is definitely worth the read. I can read this book over and over and still learn something new each time.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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nice tank! I've been meaning to set up my 20h. Maybe I'm inspired now
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
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My first post, but I wanted to say that I think this tank is really cool. It looks like it just rolled out of bed
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:49 PM   #5
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It looks like it just rolled out of bed
Lol I think the exact same thing!
Like I said, my inspiration for this was from Diana Walstad and her tanks are kinda the same way. Sloppy, disorganized, but they still look really good. And she does the same maintenance on her tanks that I do on this one. No ferts, wc every 6 months.

By the way thingamarob, welcome to The Planted Tank.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:06 AM   #6
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This is way cool for a low tech!
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:38 PM   #7
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Nice tank.. However, it isn't really "super low-tech" with 2.4w of T-5.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Nice tank.. However, it isn't really "super low-tech" with 2.4w of T-5.
Well it's super-low tech because of 6 months in between water changes and no ferts at all. When I started it up it wasn't supposed to be low tech; it was a normal tank. But with a full time job and a college load, I couldn't keep up with the maintenance.

I have a Marineland 160 canister (again, not really low-tech) with over 3/4 of it devoted to biological filtration. Add a huge Java Moss carpet as a nutrient sponge and voila! Like I said, after 6 months of close to zero maintenance, I tested my water and nitrates were only at 10. This was with a brand new test kit, but I still didn't really trust it, so I brought it to my LFS, where I also work. The reading was exactly the same.

I only feed my fish every other day or so, but I have never had any bouts with any kind of deficiency in my plants. I figured my swordplants would be the first to tell me if there was a problem of some kind, but they grow like mad with lots of color. I figure the potting soil underneath gives off plenty of nutrients for any plant.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:40 AM   #9
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wait till it's one year old under low maintenance. i did exactly the same but after one year i had to start fertilizing...
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
wait till it's one year old under low maintenance. i did exactly the same but after one year i had to start fertilizing...
It's been low maint. for over a year and a half now
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legomaniac89 View Post
It's been low maint. for over a year and a half now
Great looking tank.
Keep us updated. I will be curious to see how long this tank will stand up before nutrient deficiency symptoms begin to surface. Lots of people that I spoke to that set up Natural Planted tanks told me that the tanks started out really well, but then all the plants ended up dieing. The floaters are probably helping filter some of the light helping to prevent algae, but they will also suck up nutrients like a sponge.

Good luck.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Homer_Simpson View Post
Great looking tank.
Keep us updated. I will be curious to see how long this tank will stand up before nutrient deficiency symptoms begin to surface. Lots of people that I spoke to that set up Natural Planted tanks told me that the tanks started out really well, but then all the plants ended up dieing. The floaters are probably helping filter some of the light helping to prevent algae, but they will also suck up nutrients like a sponge.

Good luck.
Hoping Diana Walstad was right in Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, she says an unnderlayer of potting soil should last for 8 years or so before giving up all its nutrients (for those of you that have the book, its pg. 140). If that's the case, the plants shouldn't be deficient in anything major for quite a while. I guess only time will tell.
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:10 PM   #13
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No c02 with all that T5?
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:52 PM   #14
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beautiful mate , beautiful .
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rpayer View Post
No c02 with all that T5?
Nope. I used to have a DIY system up and running, but I got sick of it . Every once in a while, like maybe once a month, I pour in some Excel, but that's about it. I've never had any kind of deficiencies in my plants.
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