How simple can a planted tank be?


Out of interest, is it possible to produce a planted aquarium that thrives
with minimal maintenence and holds sufficient numbers of fishes to amuse
the whole family?

In the UK at least, a basic aquarium will include:

*Glass tank (2 to 3 foot long seem the most popular),
*plastic or metal hood,
*two strip (fluorescent) lights and ballast,
*combined heater - thermostat,
*ordainary gravel,
*filter (often undergravel, but also air and electric canisters)

The bill for this will be about 125 pounds (190 dollars) excluding the
filter. For the filter, add on 10 to 100 pounds (15 to 150 dollars)
depending on the sort used.

Although much of this will last for many years, if not a lifetime, it is
still a fair sum of money. And this is before buying test-kits, plant
fertiliser, water conditioner, fish food, nets and other essentials. And
*long* before buying the first fish or plants.

So any ideas what the secrets are to a low cost, low maintenence planted
aquarium? How much of it comes down to picking the right sorts of fish and
plants to start off with? Or are CO2 generators, laterite and all the rest

In short - what tips can we pass on to new aquarists?

All the best,



From  Neale Monks' Macintosh PowerBook, at...

Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD
Internet: N.Monks at nhm_ac.uk, Telephone: 0171-938-9007