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Re: Bill's tank

In part, Tom said (in response to Bill's statement that he did not have a 
secret urge to add CO2):

"Oh! My goodness!, Someone should hang you!:-)  I think you sound like the 
non CO2 person. Not many folks around that want this.   . .. . "

  Oh, my - I face burning at the stake as a heretic? <g>  Actually, I know 
that CO2, or carbon, is essential to plant life.  It's just that I prefer 
more natural and simpler ways to get it, like from fish food and decaying 
organic matter.  It seems that if one doesn't force his plants with excessive 
lighting, the CO2 from those processes is enough for many plants, and one 
doesn't have to be concerned much about nutrient deficiencies developing, 
particularly if he adds Flourish or something like it every now and then.

Much of the other advice you gave I found that I had followed.  Hard, 
alkaline well water poses challenges but they can be met.  I don't use 
Flourite but a few of the plants are in Tupperware containers with garden 
soil in the bottom.  I have some of the plants in your recs, too.  I use a 
foam filter, I have more fish than you recommend (large angelfish waiting for 
love to strike).

BTW, William T. Innes, in his classic "Exotic Aquarium Fishes" which was 
first published in the 1930's, observed that he had seen ". . . many well 
planted aquariums degenerate without the presence of fish only to revive 
beautifully upon the reintroduction of fishes".  He also was opposed to 
fertilizing plants, but if someone really wanted to do that, they could make 
a liquor from pulverized sheep manure and inject it into the gravel with a 

That's probably good for the skin, too.

Tom, thanks for your kind and informative comments.