10-20-2006, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
| | Gave up then restarted
About a year ago I set up a 55G Walstad-style tank. While it was initially promising, it began to degrade over time. I had a snail bloom, plant die off, inability of plants to root in the soil, etc. I should point out that I didn't really do any water changes, just top off. I replaced the 110W overhead lights with just the crap that came with the tank, and just decided to go fish only.
At that time I also bought an AquaClear 70 filter in addition to my powerhead, and started doing weekly 15-20% water changes.
Fast forward to last month. I decided to give it another shot. I planted some stem plants, put on the bright lights and let it go. To my pleasant surprise things seem to be going well now. I have had tremendous plant growth, and everything is staying green and rooted in the soil.
Now I'm not going to claim that having additional filtration + water changes is solely what helped, but I think it contributed to the now healthy looking tank. This also shows that extra circulation is not necessarily detrimental to plant growth. If you're having problems with your El Natural tank, consider making these relatively simple changes.
Substrate is plain top soil from Lowes + gravel, as is usual.
variety of swords
Tank occupants are:
3 rainbow fish
5 fancy tail rosy barbs