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Re: Shrimp stuff and other comments

on 01:48 AM 7/8/00 , Gupp wrote:

>  I just wanted to mention all this because
>there really are many ways to have a successful planted aquarium. I
>think that the options a person uses can reflect what they want out of
>the project also. I don't believe there really is any one right way to
>do it and that people are smart enough to choose their own path with the
>information offered.

I realized how true this is recently. I have horrible tap water, it's 2/5 
well water, very hard, high pH, and a consistent 1 ppm or so of phosphates. 
I was convinced that only a very managed approach could produce a healthy 
aquarium. This is how I finally turned my 30 gallon from an algae farm into 
a good tank, and I set up my 75 with the same attitude and have never had 
much algae.

I dose nitrates, CO2, TMG, peat, and even Potassium supplements in these 
tanks, and regularly run tests. (Once a tank is settled, I can slack off on 
the testing, but in the first month or two it seems crucial.)

Meanwhile, I decided to dump my 15 gallon tank after moving the fish into 
the 75. This tank was never successful with plants, for obvious reasons: no 
CO2, high fish load, Eclipse filter with biowheel, and tons of surface 

Unbeknownst to me, my Zebra Danios had been laying eggs before I removed 
them, and when I was about to tear down the tank I found 50 or so tiny fish 
swimming around. So I kept the tank running to raise the fry, and made no 
effort to save the plants. I turned off the lights most of the time, 
leaving them on only 2-3 hours a day while feeding, and stopped dosing all 

It is now 2 months later and I have way too many near-adult Danios in the 
tank, which I will be taking to an LFS soon. But in this time the plants 
have flourished! All of the algae died, H. Micranthemoides is spreading 
like a weed, Anachris growing taller than the tank, and pond pennywort 
doing far better than in my other two tanks. H. Difformis is even sprouting 
from a tiny formerly dead stump. There are a few obvious micronutrient 
deficiencies, but I suspect a bit of TMG would solve those.

I don't know if the high fish load produced enough nitrogen to balance out 
the phosphate, or if I just had way too much light before, or if it's the 
fact that I haven't done a water change for months for fear of sucking up 
the fish. But it achieved balance somehow.

I don't know what lesson I'll take from all this - I certainly am not going 
to switch my other two tanks to low-tech. But I no longer think high-tech 
is the "only" way to succeed, even with my tap water. I think I'll keep 
this tank set up and see what I can do with it...

michael moncur   mgm at starlingtech_com   http://www.starlingtech.com/
"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."            -- Goethe