02-12-2007, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
If someone would be willing to take careful pictures, we could post them as a step by step "procedure" with a narrative under the pictures for those who can't make it or want to review it later. The 20 gallon tank we'll be doing should be easier to photograph than a big tank and make it easy to see everything.
It's certainly not rocket science, but it's helpful for some to actually see what they will be doing.
There is a forum on APC, El Naturel, that discusses this type of aquarium. There are some stickies, I believe, that have the basics. The book, The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, though not a must, is a very useful handbook. There aren't many problems to encounter, but these are discussed, and reasons why the natural tank works so well with very little maintenance.
There are variations on the theme, too, and some combine some of the benefits of a soil substrate with a gravel barrier (to discourage algae from getting the nutrients from the soil) with high tech: CO2 and more light.
The really nice thing about a natural tank is that it is inexpensive (except for the plants, but our club can help with that).