55g medium tech rebuilt
I've had this tank for about 4 years. I have 4 quad pin bulbs ~6700k. Originally it had grass in the front, CO2 and stem and bulb plants. For whatever reason we started stacking important paperwork in front of it, so I was discouraged to do any maintenance for fear of getting the paper wet. So the tank sat for 4 years without any maintenance aside from an occasional water top off perhaps every 3-4 months. Tank had no heater or circulation.
I finally cleared all the crap out from in front of the tank, and decided to revive it. I ripped out the giant tangled mess of plants, put them into a large container, cherry picked a few and replanted the back. Grabbed some micro sword and dwarf hairgrass from the LFS and a dozen cherries and 4 ottos.
I never bother with biological filtration in my planted tanks, strictly mechanical filtration if I kick up crap. I did figure that snail poop would somehow dissolve, but I guess that's not really the case. Using two HOB's for mechanical filtration (I had alot of crap in the old substrate), and an oscillating powerhead with a DIY CO2 hose shoved under the inlet sponge.
I hope to primarily just do cherry breeding as I'm too cheap to buy hundreds of them. Filters will be sponge capped as soon as a shrimp gets berried. Ferts are on order from the local Rex Grigg.
So far it's on week one. I made a drop checker, and it's reading about green. The grass is slowly starting to creep. Ammonia and Nitrates have consistently read zero, and I feed perhaps one algae wafer every 3 days.
I'm a big fan of biospheres, trying to create self sustaining ecosystems. Completely sealing off containers, I haven't had much success aside from just snails and artemia, so I cheat a little, and allow open air access, and in this tank fertilizer. Hopefully I will be able to avoid feeding this tank altogether aside from ferts. I have a 4 year old guppy experiment in an adjacent 10 gallon tank that essentially just gets water top offs and the occassional water change. Probably fed the tank only a handful of times in 4 years for fun, but it's been self sustaining essentially without food for 4 years, just eating algae and copepods. The population tends to stay constant, with a wide range of age groups, despite the breeding.