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Old 03-14-2013, 06:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Minimal maintenance

Running our business is pretty much a full-time thing so our aquariums have suffered. In some ways, they're better as some plants have been allowed to run wild, but in many other ways they're not. I've been fertilizing mostly randomly but maybe once every week or two. There are obvious deficiencies showing in the plants but I've provided enough to keep them alive.

Basically I'm looking for a system that is simple and doesn't require me to do something every day. Once a week would be ideal. Root tabs haven't worked well, it's too hard to get them in place around the plants and hardscape. I was thinking of switching to PMDD... can I dose it dry? I know it's meant to be mixed with water, but it would be easier if I can just use measuring spoons like I do now.

Also, my CO2 ran out and I left it since I'm not aggressively fertilizing. But while I had nearly gotten rid of my BBA in some tanks, it has taken over in several tanks and I don't know if I can really say that was CO2 or inconsistent fertilization. Iv'e begun dosing surgical disinfectant against it, but once I get ahead again, is CO2 the answer to keeping it away? I never had good luck even when I was fertlizing and doing water changes regularly.

Basically, I want a low tech tank with what plants I have.. how do I get there? Other than the BBA, my bowfront is entirely Java fern variants with a plant that grows in my overflow box and blocks a lot of light and looks pretty nice. My 240 is almost all a ground cover plant I'm not familiar with, plus a few swords and red ruben lily in the middle. I should probably cut the lighting back too.

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Old 03-15-2013, 06:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimal maintenance

Lower light (best if also coupled with larger filtration volume). With those two overfeeding of accumulation of nutrients will not matter (unless it gets way off the charts).

You can also do strong light but for a very short time (1-2 hours a day). The rest of the time - ambient light. Not very nice idea for the evening but it works.

To improve the filtration with the filters you have find a way to enrich the water with Oxygen.

The carpet plants will suffer but if they are Marsilea they will be fine IF there is a little CO2 and very low light. Everything else carpet will try to stretch upwards.

The result of all that will be losing some species of plants and getting rid of all visible algae.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Minimal maintenance

At the risk of being tedious, I'll say Walstad method. I trim my tanks and do partial water changes once or twice a month, and I feed the fish. Filters are cleaned when they clog, usually every 2-3 months.

Lighting is moderate. My highest light tank has about 40 PAR at the substrate. Most tanks run on a siesta schedule, but I actually think midday burst as Niko describes would be better if I had the equipment for it.

That's all!
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would have to agree with the enriched substrate is the best way to go. I use humis compost to give the roots high nitrates. According to Phil, he says roots primarily need nitrates and Iron. As far as BBA, that can be controlled by trying to keep your dissolved organics low by more water changes and high capacity filtration. You should look into running dual Eheim 2262 filters.

Another thing you might want to think about is fewer tanks. The less amount of tanks you have, the less it feels like a never ending chore .

Pmdd works. I use bright well aquatics brand because he is a down to earth guy and answer any question personally.

If you had a overflow installed , you could automate the water change with ro system connected to a timer. Then manually dose the tank .


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