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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Natural anyone?

I've been looking around this forum and loving it. Lot's of nice tanks and great ideas but I have noticed that moost of you use a lot of chemicals and quick fixes.

Not that that's a bad thing but I've never used anything like that so I know from experience you don't need to medicate a tank in order to have a lush green tank without algea or dying fish. Obviously it does take some time to have a tank all the way up but what's the rush?

I did try some algae drops years ago in a time of extreme desparation but it all it did was worsen the health of the tank.
To me, getting a tank to the point where everything is just right without having to keep putting nutrients and such in there is part of the fun.

Is anyone with me on this or am I just being dutch?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martijn
I've been looking around this forum and loving it. Lot's of nice tanks and great ideas but I have noticed that moost of you use a lot of chemicals and quick fixes.

Not that that's a bad thing but I've never used anything like that so I know from experience you don't need to medicate a tank in order to have a lush green tank without algea or dying fish. Obviously it does take some time to have a tank all the way up but what's the rush?

I did try some algae drops years ago in a time of extreme desparation but it all it did was worsen the health of the tank.
To me, getting a tank to the point where everything is just right without having to keep putting nutrients and such in there is part of the fun.

Is anyone with me on this or am I just being dutch?

I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about. I think you're just being dutch Most of us are strong supporters of the estimative index method of fertilizer dosing which also takes patience and practice to use to achieve the results we've obtained. As far as using a medication to get a lush green tank...do you mean fertilizers? None of us use algaecides since we all know that is a failure in waiting.

IMO (and I'm sure others too) would agree that plants need fertilizers. Do you need food? Do you need vitamins? Does your dog or cat need food? Do houseplants need food? So the answer should be obvious...aquatic macrophytes need food too. We add fertilizers to achieve growth, a nice pretty tank that we can show off to others (and some self satisfaction) and satisfy the closet geek-chemist in all of us.

There has been discussion about "natural" tanks and I believe some people have been following Tom's and Dianne Walstat (spelling?) method of that method.

Re-boot!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgiadawgger
I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about. I think you're just being dutch
Hehehe. I guess I am.

IMO (and I'm sure others too) would agree that plants need fertilizers. Do you need food? Do you need vitamins? Does your dog or cat need food? Do houseplants need food? So the answer should be obvious...aquatic macrophytes need food too. [/quote]

Of course they do. But the way I give it to them is by keeping the plants needs in mind when setting up the tank. There should be enough nutrients in the gravel, fish excrements and water to support the plants.
I do need food but then I don't have the capacity to make my own using light like plants do.

Granted, some plants just won't work in my tanks but hey...apparently they don't like it so I use species that do.

Quote:
We add fertilizers to achieve growth, a nice pretty tank that we can show off to others (and some self satisfaction) and satisfy the closet geek-chemist in all of us.
I've not had any problems getting my tanks show-offable without fertilizer.
Perhaps my wish to do so naturally is because I'm a closet geek-biologist instead.


Quote:
There has been discussion about "natural" tanks and I believe some people have been following Tom's and Dianne Walstat (spelling?) method of that method.
Thanks! I'll look it up!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martijn
But the way I give it to them is by keeping the plants needs in mind when setting up the tank. There should be enough nutrients in the gravel, fish excrements and water to support the plants.
Ah, but in nature, there is more than gravel, fish excrements and water.
In the gravel department there is moving silt and other nutrients and general stuffs from moving rivers and underwater springs bringing up/down different nutrients. In the water department, it rains, and gets refreshed by runoff, bringing in more nutrients and other organisms. There is a lot more that occurs, but you see where I am going...
A tank of almost any size isn't natural to the lifeforms we put in them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martijn
I do need food but then I don't have the capacity to make my own using light like plants do.
Ah, trying going without sunlight or any light for a week. Your body won't appreciate it.
Light deprivation is a form of torture!

"Exposure to daylight helps the human body process food better and encourages the production of vitamin D3."
http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/0202.html

There are more articles, and I did a bit of reasearch on the circadian clock back in school...


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 01:04 PM
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I would say that most on these board tend to lean a bit more higher tech with heavier lighting. If you really like the natural approach, with (IMO) soil substrates, ~2 WPG and most ferts coming from fish foods, then do check out: http://www.atlasbooks.com/marktplc/00388.htm. That's the Diana Walstad book. No clues if that site offers a good price, it's just the first one that showed up on Google.

Oh, and if you like Diana's book, she does answer questions over on the AquaBotanic forum site.

In the future, when life isn't so hectic, I might actually get the good and try my hand at "natural" myself.

My thoughts,
Brian.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 02:39 PM
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Hi Dutch!

I have Diana Waldstead's book and a tiny 1 gallon natural picotope going. I have to say its the cleanest, easiest tank I've ever had. I got all the elements from near my dock on my lake... If you go to the aquabotanic.com site there is a forum called All Wet Thumbs. There is a natural tank thread there, very good.

Figgy
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 05:44 PM
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I think the natural balance you are thinking of is really what we call non CO2 planted tank methods.

No added CO2, KNO3 etc.

But adding a small amount of fertilizer to top off the needs of the plants that are NOT met from adding just fish food will address the issue and provide much better plant growth.

Fish food can supply most of the needs for plants, but many species do not do as well with fish waste as the sole fertilizer.

By adding a small amount of ferts each week, this solves the problem.

But realistically, our tanks are far far removed from anything "natural".

Substrates and sediments can only hold a finite amount of nutrients before they are exhausted, after which, all the nutrients come from the water column.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2005, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Fine. I gave it some thought and after working on my tank just now I noticed things are looking a little off. Growth is still fine but some leaves look a little starved. Pale and lacking umpf..you know.
No real wonder with only peat for substrate and months and months of heavy duty plant growth in a limited system.
My anubias is producing some new leaves and I can't have that one starving.

I will try adding some ferts and hope I don't end up with the algea bloom from hell.
I'll keep you guys posted.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2005, 04:04 AM
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in the artical by Diana Waldstead, she says she doses KNO3 and other trace elements to improve plant health.

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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