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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I have been looking at this web site http://naturalaquariums.com/

Can not find many other tanker`s using this methode so i decided to try it out myself.

This is a 19 liter tank with kitty litter substrate, i hope the light weight kitty litter will let oxygen reatch to the plant roots.

The only technick is a 11W pl tube.

There is 9 small fishes and a Amano shrimp in there, the tank have been running only for one week.

I dont know if there is enough plants in there, but i will get some more cuttings from one of my other tanks.

I am exited and hope it works, here is the picture:
 

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For more technical information about tanks like this see if you can find Diana Walstad's book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For more technical information about tanks like this see if you can find Diana Walstad's book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium.
Thanks Diana, i will read that book, i know the library in my town can get it.

I have read a little about the Walstad methode on internet, but if i have understood this methode right she is using powerheads for circulation in her tanks. The naturalaquariums website is showing a methode of tanks with no waterflow at all? I am somewhat sceptical to not have any waterflow, but i am also curios if it is possible to run a sucsessfully planted tank with no waterflow.

Jnad
 

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So it took me a while to find anything about an actual method on that site, but from what I gathered on it, it's:
plain gravel
fluorescent lighting and/or sunlight
no CO2
start with easy, fast growing plants
add plants like crypts and anubias once well established
regular water changes
and diverse life including fish and inverts

Is that it? I couldn't find anything about cycling the tank.

It is quite different from the method advocated by Walstad. She does promote water movement in larger tanks, as well as a soil bottom, less water changes, and a low bioload. I'm curious to see how it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes i am curios of how it goes with this tank myself.

I do have another no-tech tank that have been sucsessfully running for some months (my daughters dirt tank), but it is a big difference between this two tanks. My daughters dirt tank was a well established dirt tank beafore it beacome a no-tech tank, and it had the nutrient ritch dirt for plant growth.

This new tank dont have anything to promote plant growth, new and clean substrate and no ferts added to the water.

Jnad
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello!

Fish and shrimp is still alive, and most of the plants is ok. But i can se some dark brown coloration on some of the leaves on the Cardamine Lyrata, it is the plant placed back on the left. It does not look like algae, and it is no melting leaves, but it is something this plant is not quite happy about.

Any ideas of what this dark coloration of the leaves is?

I have done mostly dirt tanks and beacuse that this tank oly have kitty litter substrate i am thinking maybe the tank have to little nutrients for the plant? Could it be that it is to clean in there:smile:

I have added no ferts to this tank, adding ferts or liquid Carbon is a challenge to no tech tanks i suppose, there is no waterflow to mix it in the tank.

Hope for some suggestions what could cause the brown leaves on the Cardamine Lyrata.

Jnad
 

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Hi Jnad,

Here is a thread on similar approach that might be if help: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=363465

Most of the 'tanks' there are smaller then yours, but I started a similar sized tank with innert substrate about a month ago and it is looking good. I do fertilize macros and traces in tiny amounts through. Another key difference us that I do use a lot if plants and a lot of floaters.

I believe that 'there is no flow' in such tanks is a misconception: plants' roots produce oxygen, move nutrients around the plant, and grow. Maybe we cannot see the flow with our eyes, but I believe the water does move around, even if very slow.

Do keep the updates, I an interested in your results.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?p=5587305

v3
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your answer OVT!

I will update this thread, and i think your tank look great.

I have now planted a lot more cuttings from one of my dirt tanks in to this no- tech tank. I know that a lot of plants will do a lot of filtering and take care of any exsess nutrients in the water column.

I can see that there is plant growth in the tank, but i am worried about no waterflow will eventually lead to algae on plant leaves.

Jnad
 

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Don't be afraid to experiment: you might find that some of common 'wisdom' are misconceptions. I was 100% in the "no flow = problems" camp untill I tried it myself.

Now my "no flow" no nothing mini tanks are 100% algae free, require the least amount of maintenance, and are 100% fun. I wish I could say the same about my other 7 traditional tanks.

v3
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What made you decide on kitty litter for a substrate? Have you noticed it breaking down at all? What kind did you use?
Hello!

I decided to use this product beacuse it has high cec, it is just burned clay and is similar to those Safe T-sorb products that many use for substrate. It have not yet breaked down. I am using a Kitty Litter named X-tra, you will find it in this link, maybe some of the other Kitty Litter products on this side is available in your location.
http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm

Jnad
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Still running good, i have planted some more cuttings from my dirt tank some days back, here is a little picture uppdate
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don't be afraid to experiment: you might find that some of common 'wisdom' are misconceptions. I was 100% in the "no flow = problems" camp untill I tried it myself.

Now my "no flow" no nothing mini tanks are 100% algae free, require the least amount of maintenance, and are 100% fun. I wish I could say the same about my other 7 traditional tanks.

v3
When i watch the tank i can se plants moving when fishes swim near them, so i suppose that swimming fish constantly mixing the water. Of course not like a powerhead, but there is water moving around in the tank during the day. Maybe added liquid ferts it will be mixed with the tank water after all.

Jnad
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello!

Just another update.

The tank is still running good and the plants are really growing in.

The only maintanense is 5 liter waterchange once a week. Funny, but this "no-tech" tank is my best tank, at least so far:smile:

I wonder why it not need any ferts, my other tank with dirt substrate need ferts?
 

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Looking good, nice little jungle you got going.

Looks like the Alternanthera from the first picture didn't make it? I'd imagine plants like that wouldn't make it in tanks like this...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looking good, nice little jungle you got going.

Looks like the Alternanthera from the first picture didn't make it? I'd imagine plants like that wouldn't make it in tanks like this...
Thanks!

I dont know if the Alternanthera would have made it or not in this simple setup, i decided to take it out beacuse it had some algae that i did not like. It was a cutting from my daughters dirt tank, the algae was from her tank.

Jnad
 

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I am totally into this kind of lo tech tanks. I run 2. Please keep the updates coming.

I have never used kitty litter. But as you mention, its high CEC. Thats one thing thats going to help the plants. But without adding liquid ferts &/or root tabs the nutrients will only come from the food you add - food will either directly go to the substrate or fish will eat it and produce waste which the plants will get.

I dont know if kitty litter has bacteria in it. Does it?

Anyways in such tanks once the bacteria get established and the breakdown processes start plants start doing better and better. Still I wonder how the plants will get all the stuff they need in your tank (macros, micros, trace - those kind of thing) in sufficient quantities. Co2 will start coming from the breakdown processes in the sub.

To keep my bare minimum tank with a high CEC sub running, I need to dose liq ferts and give the rooted plants root tabs. I dont inject co2, no excel. So it will be interesting to see how this turns out. Good luck, please keep posting.
 

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Yeah I like the looks of your tank. The kitty litter substrate has a real clean look to it. I tried it recently and it just turned to mush.
 
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