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Hi all,

I thought it time to show two of my tanks. I am not much of an aquascaper yet. I have been concentrating for the past few years (I'm a slow learner) on learning all I can about planted tank maintenance, and also collecting and growing local plants (to save some money).



This first tank is a (Walstad regimen) 7.5 gal AGA bowfront with 14 Watts of light. It has a 1 inch soil substrate under gravel. This photo was taken after I had to cull out about 60% of the vegetation because it was packed up to the water's surface. The Java Fern and bolbitus grow very nicely in this tank. I had some deep green algae on the java fern leaves just under the light, but this algae has been greatly reduced. This tank has been running this way for about three years; about a year ago it was re-setup because of a move. After about 6 months the algae was quite in remission. This is my simplest tank and my best long range "minimal algae" tank.



This is my newer 125 gallon tank. I originally had a ton of emersed growth in this tank, see:http://users.ev1.net/~spituch/Steve's Page/Aquarium/125gal_biotope/125gal_biotope.html. I had a mature gravel substrate in this tank. I decided to try a soil substrate in this tank, but I used too much "hot" soil and had a lot of algae. I then redid the tank a couple of months ago with Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil. I had bouts of cyano algae on the gravel and green-black algae on the leaves. I followed Tom Barr's advice about CO2, light, dosing, and pruning and this week I was able to declare the tank "algae free". Yes, there is always some algae in any tank, but now it is not noticeable and doesn't even show up on the front glass, which amazes me. The pruning part of the regimen is extremely important.

I have to admit that about a year ago when Tom (Plantbrain on this forum) said to add PO4 to my tank I thought he was crazy. But I really believe that his ideas are the "state-of-the-art" of the hobby. You have the very best chance of being successful if you strictly follow what he recommends. Presently, he is the best professional authority on this.

Also Diana Walstad's book is a must read. Everyone should have at least one low light, low maintenance tank. Diana and Tom are the pioneers of this hobby.

Steve Pituch
 

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I remember Diana said that in this kind of tank, there is always some amount of algae that exists. She doesn't look at it as something bad; it is in fact a necessary part of the tank's cycle. The most important thing is the amount that you have. There will always be some on the glass, but it should not be so much that it overruns your whole tank. I can attest to this because in my 2-gal nursery tank with 1 screw-on CP, the water is crystal clear; there are small patches of algae here and there on the side. There is no filter due to the tank's small size and vast plant numbers. There are at least 20 dozen plants in here, with many snails and few frys. Come to think of it, I also don't consider having snails as a problem anymore:) They do their jobs; finish off whatever that's uneaten, and then excrete along with any more leftovers to the bottom of the tank. Over time, this creates a nice debris-filled layer that is essentially the 'soil' of the tank. As a result, plants grow better, utilizing this free, natural fertilizer.

I am hoping I will be able to move to a bigger scale, like yours, Steve. Everything in there looked fantastic! I wonder if it is harder to go Walstad on a big tank.....


Paul
 
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