Two Different Low Tech Tanks.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:11 PM   #1
Homer_Simpson
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Two Different Low Tech Tanks.


These are my experimental Low Tech Tanks - Two very different approaches with the same goal, low maintenance, no c02, and very minimal water changes.
Here is a picture of the Tom Barr recommended 5 gallon low maintenance, low light non-C02 tank.


Filter: Aquaclear 150 with bag of Seachem matrix stone media, Seachem Purigen, and some floss media from the filter of an established tank.

Inhabitants: None yet, but once I can test the water and it tests for zero ammonia and nitrites I may add a dwarf aquatic frog or two and some shrimp(ghost?)

Substrate: As per Tom Barr, thin layer of garden peat moss, Black Diamond Leonardite, mulm from an established tank and topped with Seachem Onyx Sand.

Plants: Aponogenton(?crispus?), java fern, pygmy chain sword, Cryptocorne Bronze Wenditti,Anubias ‘Congensis’,Anubias barteri v. ‘Nana’

Light: 10 watt Coral Life Coralmax full spectrum

Other than the fact that the some of the aponogenton leaves are melting, things don't look to bad.


Here is a picture of my Diana Walstead recommened Natural Planted Tank non c02 injected.


Filter: It is a marineland with its own built in filter so I left the built in biowheel filter running and placed a carbon filter insert to suck up some of the organics.

Soil: Green Leaf Topping soil from Home Depot, capped with Traction Sand. I had no crushed oyster shells but did have some calcium sulphate, so I mixed in a couple of teaspoons of the calcium sulphate into the soil. As my tap water has submarginal levels of calcium, I felt that this probably would not hurt and if anything would create a ideal environment for shrimp and snails that would be highly dependent on adequate calcium for their exoskeletons and shells.

Plants: Crypt, Dwarf Sag, pygmy chain sword, Cryptocorne Bronze Wenditti, Anubias ‘Congensis’,Anubias barteri v. ‘Nana’
Light: 10 watt Coral Life Coralmax full spectrum

Other than the fact that some of the sag and pygmy sword leaves turning brown(which I believe would be expected given the fact that the plants are acclimitizing to new conditions) and water is still cloudy, things don't look too bad.

Now, the fun part, to let nature take its course and see what happens in both tanks.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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I always see mention of peat moss being added to substrate but no one ever says why. Is this a way of providing fert to the plant roots?
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:46 PM   #3
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I always see mention of peat moss being added to substrate but no one ever says why. Is this a way of providing fert to the plant roots?
My understanding is that the peat moss for added Cation Exchange Capacity
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cation_exchange_capacity) and it's effect on slightly lowering the pH of the substrate. In the Tom Barr type set up, this would make sense considering that the Onyx sand has the opposite effect as the peatmoss and may actually buffer and raise the PH, so the use of peat moss in this type of setup may actually help to balance things out better. I am just speculating here, perhaps Tom can chime in and explain the reason(s) for the layer of peat moss.

You will probably get as many arguments for not using peat moss as you will for arguments in favour. When it is all said and done, I think it really comes down to what works for you and what you observe and this is only possible if you get your feet wet and experiment.

Diana Walstead advises against the use of peat moss, but most soils used for natural planted tanks naturally contain peat moss.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:51 AM   #4
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Actually make that 3 low tech tanks.

Below is a picture of a low tech tank that I set up for my 9 year old peppered cory catfish(i.e., George hey a coworker named him what can I say) at work.


Below is George's old home. I have not moved George into his new home as the ammonia levels in the new tank are through the roof and the tank has not fully cycled.
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:13 PM   #5
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This kind of cool. I have a 12 gal eclipse tank that I have alot of things growning in it with just the little 13 watt bulb that the hood came with. I cant belive how well things are going in it. All I have in there now is shrimp and snails.

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Old 11-10-2007, 07:47 PM   #6
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This kind of cool. I have a 12 gal eclipse tank that I have alot of things growning in it with just the little 13 watt bulb that the hood came with. I cant belive how well things are going in it. All I have in there now is shrimp and snails.

Awesome! I love your tank.
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:18 PM   #7
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Thanks. I really dont do anything to it just a water change every two weeks. It is the low of low mantance tanks. I feed the shrimp every few days. No CO2, no ferts, lights are on from when I get up untill I go to bed so anywhere in the range of 12-16hours there on. The wistera I have to keep on trimming it back or else it takes over the tank in the two weeks between water changes. Other than that the crypts, flame moss, java fern, anubis, and what ever else might be in there grows like crazy.
I cant wait to see how yours turns out. Its fun not having a tank that I have to keep up on all the time like my planted 120gal. I cant wait untill yours grows out some more so we can all see.
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:56 AM   #8
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Thanks. I really dont do anything to it just a water change every two weeks. It is the low of low mantance tanks. I feed the shrimp every few days. No CO2, no ferts, lights are on from when I get up untill I go to bed so anywhere in the range of 12-16hours there on. The wistera I have to keep on trimming it back or else it takes over the tank in the two weeks between water changes. Other than that the crypts, flame moss, java fern, anubis, and what ever else might be in there grows like crazy.
I cant wait to see how yours turns out. Its fun not having a tank that I have to keep up on all the time like my planted 120gal. I cant wait untill yours grows out some more so we can all see.
That is truly impressive.

Many people say that Wisteria grows for them in low light and non-c02. For me I haven't been so lucky. It seems to do well and take off only in my 2.5 gallon hex with high light and DIY C02 only.

I hope that my turns out as nice as yours. With the Diana Walstad Natural Planted tank, you are can get away with not doing water changes for 3 months or longer. I may put in some feeder fish and feeder ghost shrimp and test it out before placing any valuable fish in there. Right now I cannot put anything in the tanks because the ammonia levels(with the exception of the DW type natural planted tank) are too high. I set the tanks up on Nov 7 2007 and am surprised because planted tanks are not supposed to experience such high ammonia levels for so long. Lol, must be because I don't have enough fast growing stem plants and floaters.

Regards.
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:29 AM   #9
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tanks looking good !!!
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:33 AM   #10
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The only reason I do a water change every two weeks is just for the shrimp.
I think if I had fish in there I would only change it once a month or less. Yeah that wistera is funny the way it grows so fast and like I said no ferts at all and just plain old black gravel on the bottom. Just give your tanks some time and they will be doing great. I cant wait to see how they turn out. Keep us all posted on it. As I will with mine.
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