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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I just read a book by Matt Owens, called "An Alternative Aquarium", which describes an alternative method for setting up and keeping a low light, non-CO2 aquarium. The method is very similar to Diana Walstad's method, but still enough different to justify reading the book. (I read the Kindle version.)

Like all other books on planted tanks that I have read, this one pretty well garbles the lighting subject, specifying lighting needs as lumens per gallon, ignoring the effect of various tank heights and light fixture reflectors. Other than that I found it very intriguing.
 

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And a book seller like Dalton Books might have this ?
Honestly $39.95 is a bit steep for me. But I have been wanting to read it. But due to other priorities Walstad seems out of my reach.
Perhaps this would be a good substitute ?
Been heading in the direction of a dirted tank and no added ferts would be very much in favor for the purpose that I want to achieve. Daphnia don't breed if there is the presence of one of the chemicals on the regular list(don't remember which one)that
are normally dosed. That one signifies a lack of algae in the water which their babies need to survive. So dirted/w no added ferts seems the way to go to get closer to
completely natural. This book have that condition in it ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is a "natural aquarium", no fertilizing, no chemicals added, dirt substrate, etc. much like the Walstad method, but with live fish food also growing in the tank - scuds, Daphnia, tubifex worms, etc. It appears to require about as much attention as any of our planted tank methods, but that may just be my impression. I haven't looked to see where you can buy this book in paper form, so I don't know what it costs.
 

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Thanks. That natural fish food is exactly where I'm headed/w this in at least one tank.
Will leave the other as a regular ferts added tank.
 

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I have this book. Got it fairly cheap off Kindle. It's an interesting read. Very much less scientific than Walstad's "Ecology...". The author does make reference to the book. To me it presents a more natural aquarium than Walstad, from an ecological standpoint. I do have to question some of the plants he utilizes in the example set-ups. And, I agree that the lighting portion is subPAR(lol) at best. I haven't read "Ecology.." cover-to-cover in a while but I don't think she makes mention of how to culture live foods - especially not IN the tank, let alone in a refugium. So, that was a plus to me. All-in-all I recommend it. Even if simply as another method to low-tech natural aquariums.
 

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So I bought the book. I have read about 75%. Interesting read. I would like more and clearer pictures.

I may feel advanturous for the 20 gal long I have to setup and go with 1 inch of clay and 1 inch pond soil. No cap. I am trying the pond soil sand capped in a 2.5gal tank with crypts. No real melting, some new leave.
 

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I have a type of alternative tank(s) as well. You can check out my methods and see if you want to incorporate any of them in your tanks. It is all documented in my website:
aquariumexperiments.com.
 

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This is delightful stuff. Takes me back to my childhood years in Holland and the attempts to create natural aquariums. I thought I knew something, but I'm only just getting started...
http://www.waterwereld.nu/ecologie.php (google translate will mangle it a bit, but you can sort of follow it).

Reading this just as I am setting up a new 29 gallon tank is already affecting some decisions, and I'm going to try this route, which goes further than anything I've ever done before.
 
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