After years of trying to keep up with the algae, dying fish, nasty substrate, disgusting filters, I'm going rogue! El naturale! The filters just suck up food and such and make a sick tank, the gravel/sand just gets contaminated with gunk, and I can't keep corys happy, and plants get covered in algae, and bacteria just blooms like crazy.......enough! So I read this article:
Now, I have a huge ball of floating lysimachia nummularia (beautiful!), with 12.5 watts per gallon with a 2700K light. (That's right. Ultra high light for this set up). A little bit of sand at the bottom corner for the corys. (About a 1/2cup worth), and no water movement until night, when I turn on three bubblers to get that water movement in high gear after the lights go off. So much easier to clean. No nasty bad water spikes when I have to uproot plants, clean, etc. I just pull out the floating ball of lysimachia/parrot feather, and swirl it around in clean water, and swirl the sand and crap in the bottom of the tank, change the water by about 50%, maybe a bit less, every few days, or when the bottom looks cruddy, and go on about my merry way. These are all 10 gallon tanks. The corys are so happy and swim around like playful puppies. No more gravel/sand yuk! And my tanks are cleaner and fresher than they have ever been. No lie.
I have to agree with the information in the above article. I can finally relax and enjoy active, happy fish darting in and out of the forest of plants floating at the top. The plants keep but so much light from getting to the bottom, where they can go to get away from strong light when they wish. Plus, lots of hidy holes for the crew! Old Tank Syndrome is not worth it any more. I just can't spend hours and hours every week cleaning. This takes about 15 min. per tank. Super happy I am!