The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everybody,

I'm gathering the materials to start a 25g shallow and I want to do no soil with only lava/gravel/sand as substrate and build the ecosystem slowly, similar to how MD Fish Tanks does it in this vid:

With that in mind, how to the plants get nutrients to grow without soil in the substrate? Do they get enough nourishment to grow from photosynthesis alone or do I need to use liquid fert in the water column?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
You're definitely going to need to dose the column for plant growth if there's nothing in the substrate to nourish the plants. I've only ever been able to do ntp with layered dirt substrates (ntp= no tech planted aka ecosystem tank). If you're looking for the lowest maintenance planted tanks I'd look into the walstad method. Just understand that there's a limitation on the types of plants that you can grow with this technique and set up does take longer than your typical tank. If you're going to go low tech with inert I would suggest taking a look at fert ratios and get a sense of what nutrients the plants you are interested in rely on heavily and come up with a regime that addresses these needs and stick with it through the start up algae and tweak along the way before adding livestock. I hope this helps!!

*edit- just noticed the no water changes part of your header. I do not know at all how that works and adding ferts without appropriate water changes will cause harmful build up of excess nutrients. Hopefully someone with experience in the method you're talking about will chime in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I didn't watch that particular video, but I just want to point out that MD usually uses an active substrate and caps it with sand/gravel. So like Plink said, maybe look into the walstad method.

I also watch a good amount of his videos. He does a lot of stuff off camera, he talks about it in a few videos. As for the "long term" care of his no-tech tanks, it's about finding a good balance of plants to livestock. The idea being that the fish will fertalize the plants but not so much that they pollute the system. But then again, he doesn't really keep a tank running for more than 6 months at a time before changing it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
All or most "Never make a water change" are of aquariums with very few fish and usually very small at that. Going months like that in a 200 gallon tank with two Angelfish and gobs of Water Sprite like one vid I saw isnt so shocking.
If you are going the miniscule bio load and like that as ..something different,fine. But its not magical because of magical dirt or water..its because the aquarium has very few fish. You could also do that with an undergravel filter ,small canister,or even a sponge filter..and then say "I filter my 200 gallon with this little quart size sponge!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
This thread has a lot of wisdom in it that many starting a new tank would be well advised to understand/consider. Whether you have a "low tech" tank or a "high tech" tank what I have learned from folks on TPT and my own experience is...

1. Plant heavily from the beginning.
2. Choose your plants carefully for the type of tank that you want to have and also the amount of maintenance you are prepared to do. Think long term unless you enjoy experimenting with various scaping styles.
3. Keep a light fish load and consider small fish. Consider that most fish are small, and usually immature, when you buy them and may triple or more in size.
4. Do not over feed. I feed three times a week, with occasional "treats". My fish, shrimp, and snails are all healthy and active.
5. Fertilize on a regular, consistent schedule. Consider a doser.
6. Up to a point, bigger tanks are more stable, and may requiring less tweaking.

I had not owned a tank for a decade but started a 60P/25g "Covid tank" last year. I struggled with algae. I decided to move up to a 120P/75g, and based upon what I learned from the previous tank, am having much more success. I have good growth from my easy care, mostly low light plants and have minimal algae.

YMMV :)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top