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Yes! Thank you! I looked and couldn’t pin it down. I wanted to review it again anyway.
The above linked thread is a great discussion on this topic.
Yes, that is one heck of a thread, not the least because of the extraordinary photographs that accompanied so many posts. For our purposes, the discussion of bio load really begins in earnest at page 7 with the May 16, 2019 reveal that Mysiak has noticed some of his fish gasping at the surface in the morning, presumably after the CO2 level spikes during the overnight non-photosynthesis period. At that point, his 55 gallon NPT tank was stocked at nearly 400% per the usual "Rule(s)"!
 

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It's tricky in a dirt tank since you can't have major filtration. Fish pathogens are a big issue in overcrowded situations or overall health issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks for the new responses.
Also, what a great read that linked thread is.

Technically, is it still a low tech tank?

The amount of fish is really something.

I
 

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You can keep a lot of fish if you have robust plant growth, especially from emergent plants. (I scoop up excess floating plants from my filter-less tanks every couple of days.) Heavy filtration will result in acidic water and nitrate accumulation. In contrast to nitrifying bacteria, plant growth takes up ammonia without producing nitrates or acidifying the water.
 

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You can keep a lot of fish if you have robust plant growth, especially from emergent plants. (I scoop up excess floating plants from my filter-less tanks every couple of days.) Heavy filtration will result in acidic water and nitrate accumulation. In contrast to nitrifying bacteria, plant growth takes up ammonia without producing nitrates or acidifying the water.
I would just like to add a word of confirmation here. I believe this why my next-to-last set-up crashed. My bio filter essentially shut-down once the water's ph dropped below 650 and no amount of water changes could get it back to neutral. I've had much better luck (so far) with the addition of emergent plants and a short-term visit from a calcium-rich rock to buffer the ph. I still have a fairly constant level of 10-20 ppm nitrate level which leads me to wonder where all the nitrifying bacteria is hiding out since I no longer have a filter? My substrate - such as it is - is pure gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thanks for all additional replies.

I set up a 5.5 gallon experimental tank. I went with Fluval Stratum although I assume, from what I’ve read, it is not necessarily “all natural” soil since Fluval is quiet about its composition.

It was again a matter of convenience.

I‘m counting 12 species of plants, some names I need to research :D

Any recommendations regarding stocking?

I‘m torn between Neon Tetras, Glow light Tetras or Danios. Or no fish at all. I think bio load is manageable with just one species but how about enough space for their swimming needs?

I won’t consider Chili rasboras et al since I would have to buy them online. I rely on my local petco or -smart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
You can keep a lot of fish if you have robust plant growth, especially from emergent plants. (I scoop up excess floating plants from my filter-less tanks every couple of days.) Heavy filtration will result in acidic water and nitrate accumulation. In contrast to nitrifying bacteria, plant growth takes up ammonia without producing nitrates or acidifying the water.
Interesting! I thought heavy filtration in addition to plants would provide even more benefits and stability. Do you discuss this topic in your book?

I’m torn between the Kindle or hard copy edition. Is the Kindle one on par with the hard copy in terms of illustrations?

Thank you :)
 

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One thing I do not miss about running a filter 24/7 is the extra electricity. My daily kilowatt hours have decreased by 1.5 since I unplugged in January and has shaved about ten dollars from my monthly bill.
 

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Interesting! I thought heavy filtration in addition to plants would provide even more benefits and stability. Do you discuss this topic in your book?

I’m torn between the Kindle or hard copy edition. Is the Kindle one on par with the hard copy in terms of illustrations?

Thank you :)
I have only the Kindle version, but I find it possible to use it as a reference. I prefer using a paper book because it is much easier to search for specific information, but it also costs more, and I quit keeping lots of books several years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I have only the Kindle version, but I find it possible to use it as a reference. I prefer using a paper book because it is much easier to search for specific information, but it also costs more, and I quit keeping lots of books several years ago.
I made up my mind and ordered the hard copy.
 

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Can I ask why? Does this seem too overstocked in your opinion?
Over stocked would be an understatement and the fact no one else commented on it here disappoints me and has now made me realize how unfortunately mis-informative everything has gotten here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My worry is not so much the water quality in an all natural tank (assuming it’s stable) but the available room for fish to be happy enough.

While I agree that large tanks make up for heavy planting by offering enough headroom and horizontal swimming space, many Walstads on the tube are nano tanks, and it‘s quite impressive how much can be stuffed inside a cube or small long tank.

If a fish‘s happiness could be measured by their willingness to breed, there are examples of that too in such cramped environments.

But I get the feeling people tend to overstock since they seem to get away with it.
 

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Over stocked would be an understatement and the fact no one else commented on it here disappoints me and has now made me realize how unfortunately mis-informative everything has gotten here.
Are you more concerned about the parameters or the swim space for the fish? If you'd like to make constructive comments to contribute to the forum, that's great. But if you're really concerned about the quality of the forum, I'm not sure how adding snarky comments with no real information helps.
 

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I'll be honest with you. One of the adjustments I have had to make in participating in this forum is the focus on plants. When people talk "bio-load" they are, more often than not, talking about teeny-tiny shrimp or snails. I'm fascinated by the Walstad method and maybe one of these days I will invest in a glass tank once again and try my hand at creating a well-planted, dirted tank. But, for right now, I am just grateful for the knowledge gained from this forum that has allowed me leave my six glo-fish danios for a week without worrying about a filter tube falling out of place and flooding my apartment!
 
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