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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, I'm new here

Here is my story:

I have a 55 Gallon tank. My beta, plecco, and other fish have all lives 1.5+ years with only a single casualty. And I have 15 fish. I have a bunch of rocks and plastic plants. I am running a 60 gallon top filter and a 90 gallon canister filter under the tank.

But I really dig the concept and look of a natural planted tank. I bought Ecology of the Planted Aquarium but quite frankly the book is too scientific for me and I cannot stand the read.

Can someone reply with the following advice? I have a 55 Gallon tank and would like to make it fully natural requiring no C02 and no filtering and being lush with many plants.

Questions:

1. What soil? From where? Do I need to cover it with a net so it doesn't dirty the water?

2. Which plants should I buy that will maintain nice balance?

3. What lighting is good for a 55 gallon tank? Would two of these work? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00474A3DY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage
Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 03:54 PM
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You can use dirt. Has to be organic and hopefully woth no cow manure. I use black diamond sand blasting material as my subtrate and insert fertilizer tabs into the substrate.

Any low light plants to start off with is my best guess. Ill try and post a link of a list of plants.
And heres my 55


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 03:56 PM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strangewaters View Post
You can use dirt. Has to be organic and hopefully woth no cow manure. I use black diamond sand blasting material as my subtrate and insert fertilizer tabs into the substrate.

Any low light plants to start off with is my best guess. Ill try and post a link of a list of plants.
And heres my 55


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Beautiful!

You mean regular dirt? Do you have a link where I can buy?

Also, I'm new so I have no idea what any of this means: "I use black diamond sand blasting material as my subtrate and insert fertilizer tabs into the substrate. "
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 04:20 PM
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I have used miracle gro organic choice. Found it at lowes
http://m.lowes.com/pd/Miracle-Gro-32...g-Soil/3652642

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 04:35 PM
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Also, when you use dirt, you have to use organic stuff nothing with added fertilizers! You also want to plant the tank as soon as you dirst it so the nutrients do not just leach in to the water and feed algae. Look up Dustin's fish tanks on youtube he talks a lot about dirting aquariums and what not.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 04:38 PM
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And you can also cap off the dirt instead of using a net.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
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And you can also cap off the dirt instead of using a net.

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That way when you pull plants and plant them the dirt wont go flying around and making your water cloudy everytime

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 05:47 PM
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Establishing a tank that requires no filtration is finicky, at least if you want fish. Did you have any ideas as to what you would want in it?
A rescape of an already established 55 would be interesting, to say the least, if you want to keep your fish in there. Personally, if I was to plan on changing out substrate and re-scaping a full tank, I would remove all of the fish and essentially start the tank anew, which would include re cycling the system. Also, if your pleco is large (1.5yrs so probably good sized), he/she may limit some plant choices. Plecs have been known to graze/eat/remove some broad leaves from certain plants.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by windelov View Post
Also, if your pleco is large (1.5yrs so probably good sized), he/she may limit some plant choices. Plecs have been known to graze/eat/remove some broad leaves from certain plants.
Good point!

I do love my Pleco but he has gotten huge (8-10 inches). If it came down to it I would give him to a friend. I really just want a perfectly natural aquarium like the ones described in the book.

Thanks everyone for the advice!
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