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Re: Non Carbon enriched planted aquaria

I want apologise ahead of time for straying off topic with this post but one
of Toms comments below really interested me. You mentioned low-maintenance
salt water tanks and I have been doing some researching lately on nano-reefs
(10-20 gallon). A lot of articles speak of keeping them very simple and
using little more than a powerhead for circulation and letting filtration
take place naturally using live sand and rocks. I have never had a marine
tank of any kind and my understanding was that they require a lot of
maintenance, main reason for not having tried one yet. My question is would
something like a simple nano-reef as described actually be a good way to
start with salt water? Or is it more difficult to keep such a small volume
of water in good condition than it would say a traditional 55 gallon with
skimmer and all the other goodies I cannot afford?

My apologies again for going off topic, please feel free to yell at me :-)
Giancarlo Podio

----- Original Message -----

  a.. To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
  b.. Subject: Non Carbon enriched planted aquaria
  c.. From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at yahoo_com>
  d.. Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 14:21:00 -0700 (PDT)
  e.. In-reply-to: <200305071203_h47C3PfM015987 at otter.actwin.com>


Roger pointed out something folks here and most boards perhaps
often need to be more aware of CO2 bias. CO2 is a bit of drug,
perhaps like MH lighting with Saltwater coral folks, but right
there again, simple cheap method will grow corals without MH's
and 300$ protien skimmers etc. You might not be able to have
every species of SPS but there are some really nice low tech SW
tanks. I'm more the lower tech Macro algae SW person.

I think one thing I've tried to suggest here is using cheap
simple methods to keep either the CO2 or the non carbon enriched

Using CO2 and 4 supplements does not have to be so much of leap
for folks either. This works with low light as well as I
confirmed a number of years back and so has Tropica much more in
depth recently. These tanks are not the high maintenance horrors
folks often cite.

A simple 55 with Crypts, ferns, Anubias and a few stem plants
etc, some wood, 1.5-2w/gal, good substrate and CO2 works very
well. Weekly dosing, 50% water change and the tank runs great.

This is a relatively easy tank to handle.

It'd also easier for folks to have some level of success at
rather than suggesting 2-3K and dosing pumps, controllers, 12
different stock solutions, 75$ test kits etc.

I think in order for a hobby like this to "grow", folks need to
keep it simple. CO2 or non CO2 or non Carbon enriched(Excel

The non CO2 method is for the truly neglective individual. Just
add water and fish food. You can still pick at the tank some.
It's easy for folks to hone in on CO2 tank issues, but the non
CO2 tanks are more elusive and interesting in some respects.
Figuring each tank out is less clear especially for folks who
have never had a non Carbon enriched planted tank. You really
need to see what each non CO2 has in person to make judgements.

I've tried the aeration method. I don't care for it compared to
the canister or slow flowing HOB filter. I would say the method
detailed out in DW's book is a better method and I'd also bet
the plants are healthier as well vs this particular method. But
you can have decent results. I did for many years but I wanted a
bit more.

But what is your goal?

We are fortunate to have DW's book. It was sorely needed. Too
bad more LFS's don't carry it since many LFS also feel the same
way in this same approach.

Many we should suggest to our own local LFS's that don't carry
CO2 etc, to at least carry her book?

Either way, it'll help grow the hobby more.
I don't care if you use CO2 or not, freshwater, brackish,
saltwater, I just care if you keep plants.

Tom Barr