06-30-2020, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2020
| | Semi Low Tech tank
This is very first attempt to go "low tech". Unfortunately I learned about the Walstad method after my tank was well established. I didn't want to tear it apart and start over so I decided to slowly convert it to a natural tank. This is a 12 gallon tank. The substrate is just white sand, lots of plants and two pieces of drift wood. There are 6 cardinal tetras, 2 Threadfin rainbow fish, one pleco, 2 corries, 4 cherry shrimp and a few snails.
This tank was started the traditional way. Lots of maintenance, water changes, plants not doing well, etc...
The very first step I took after reading "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" was to incorporate the light siesta mid day. The plants responded wonderfully to this and are doing much better. Then I turned the filter to the lowest flow possible and have been monitoring the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels daily. I am happy to say it is all under control. The plan is to eventually remove the filter.
Since there is no soil underneath the substrate, I add Seachem Flourish twice a week. The plan is to also stop using it. Since I stopped changing water and vacuuming the substrate, my hope is that the whole system will support itself via fish food, detritus and decomposition.
There are some trumpet snails moving through the substrate, so hopefully they will keep it from going anaerobic.
I was a little apprehensive at first, but I must say the tank looks much better, the fish seem happier, and all parameters are stable and under control. Let's hope it stays that way.