I've just completed my first El Natural tank last Sunday.
It's actually my sons.
It's the Marineland Explorer but without the filter.
Did add a light and has the Marineland 10W compact florescent.
Boy what a difference the light makes in viewing.
A new Crowntail Betta calls this home.
He looks like he loves it there.
Patrolling his territory, jumping through the java moss and of course
staring me down when I took a picture of the tank (he's in the top right corner).
The reason for this tank setup is due to the Bettas. We love this fish, but they didn't seem to live long (the longest was ~1.5 years).
I felt it was due to the high water flow (full tank replacement in 2 min) and it wore them out.
After reading Diana's book, it maybe more to substrate poisoning.
I really wanted to have a non-flow tank, but didn't want constant water changes (weekly). I had heard a few things about using Java moss but did have any good info.
Until I read Diana's book and found the whole Ammonia uptake by the plants. And of course everything else.
I felt this book was great. I'm an engineer by trade and this was a good read. Didn't go into all the molar equations but like the theme of balance in the aquarium.
Funny thing about this tank, is it must be one of the most relaxing freshwater tanks I've seen. The green does add a real calming affect, the whole natural thing. My son has looked at this Betta more in the last 4 days then probably the whole 1.5 years of the last Betta, and I don't think it's just because the new one is a crown tail. Like my son said, it's science that we are doing at home.
Looking back, the old tank setup (a few fake plants) was the equivalent of an underwater desert.
So here is a picture of the tank.
I've added a seashell to help with GH and KH. I have noticed that the PH has gone up in the last two days from 7.4 to 8.2. But this maybe due to the new substrate from the store as they seem to leach even if they are covered with acrylic.
Any know if the GH tests (bottles, test tubes) have an expiry date. I can't seem to get a reading on my tap water or tank water and I'm pretty sure I don't have a GH of 20
So any comments would be appreciated.