Re: "Green, minimum fiddle"
To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
Subject: Re: "Green, minimum fiddle"
From: Charley Bay <charleyb at hpgrla_gr.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 8:59:35 MST
In-Reply-To: <199512092039.PAA05182 at looney_actwin.com>; from "Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com" at Dec 9, 95 3:39 pm
Mailer: Elm [revision: 70.85]
> PacoIII at aol_com wrote:
> I think it everybody's dream is to have a lush aquarium with the minimum
> fiddle. [snip] Maybe that's my problem, I worry to much. I WANT GREEN,
> ALLOTS OF GREEN. [snip]
> having a problem getting enough Oxygen to my fish in the day and my
> plants at night but POOF I dont have any CO2, Right? Well how about
> leaving the filters off during the day, Is that a good Idea or am I
> just going to shot me self in the foot? Will the plants
> get the needed nutrients and circulation around there roots? Will the
> plants get cold roots during the 10plus hours of no filtration?
> I really NEEDED to spill out my heart on the I-way, So if
> someone can stop by and pick up my heart for my plants I would be in your
> sincerely, the worried violinist
Wow. You really ARE worried! :-)
This might not help, and I hope I don't get flamed. :-)
They're plants, and somehow, they grow all over the world
where the water never has the impossibly high CO2
concentrations that come with CO2 injection.
I have green, LOTS of green. Any day now I'm going to
shamelessly post my surplus of plants that I don't know
what to do with. I never mess with my tank, and have done
only one water change in the past four months <embarrassed
blush>. I won't do another until March. I have no algae
problem whatsoever (a short run with brush algae, but now
completely gone). I never clean the glass. I never check
pH (anymore). I never vacuum the gravel. I don't have
any CO2. I remember to feed most days, but sometimes skip
three or four. The only thing I do (literally) is harvest
plants and add makeup water. (I do have a duckweed
problem, though: OK, ERIC, I RELENT! YOU WERE RIGHT!
I HATE DUCKWEED!)
It's a 180 gallon tetra-schooling tank with 3-5" of
2mm sand-blasting gravel mixed with sphagnum peat and
vermiculite. No circulation through the substrate at
present, but fantastic root growth. I have an overflow
to two 10-gallon sumps (settling tank only) where I
catch lots of community-bred fry (including neon tetras).
I only have 1.22 watts of light per gallon, but a great
forest of Alternanthera reineckii (starter plants from
George: Thanks, George!)
I tried to fertilize, but stopped two months ago because I
always got algae (not a lot, I fertilize about 1/10 what
the label suggested). Everything still grows great with
no fertilizer, though. I want to add CO2, but don't
know if my lighting is adequate. So I don't. My next
tank will be MH with CO2, though.
I have schools of tetras, platies, and barbs, seven
ottocinclus (haven't lost any), and three false
siamensis (lost one). My fish are very healthy (which I
attribute to the plants), and I'm keeping some difficult ones
(like a school of pencilfish: haven't lost any in three
months). I estimate 100" of fish.
Literally, this tank is FANTASTIC. I don't do anything.
Ever. Literally. Not an exaggeration. With my busy
schedule of late, that suits me very well.
Not to make flame bait, but I think larger tanks with
low bio-loads are awesome. I'm running about twenty
tanks at present, and this 180 (my biggest tank) is
no effort whatsoever (while the little ones are a pain in
the *@#%&!) And yes, I do think this big tank is
magazine-cover quality (my wife is sick of aquariums, but
even she agrees!).
So, take home message: Don't stress. Have fun with it.
Shaji made a comment that stuck with me several months ago:
When I asked about test kits and maintenance schedules,
he responded: "That makes it too much like work to me
and less like gardening. I like it to be more art than
science." All of a sudden, I realized I don't HAVE to
do ANYTHING! It's all for enjoyment, and you can do great
despite all the money you really want to spend on the
outrageously priced aquarium hobby junk. ;-)
--charley Fort Collins, Colorado USA
charleyb at gr_hp.com -or- charley at agrostis_nrel.colostate.edu