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Q: low tech, low maintence tank

Hi folks,

I am interested in the experiences of others who keep low maintenance/low
tech tanks. I am trying to learn ways to keep a planted tank that requires
almost no work.

Currently I am trying out a 10 gallon by the window. I use no filters, or
heaters. The only wire for the tank is for one fluorescent tube (a shop
light.) I have 2 tetras, 1 black molly, 1 guppy,  lots of snails, and lots
of plants - hygro, cabomba, anachris, java fern, banana plant, floating
fern - on cat litter plus sand. I feed the fish once a day (tetraMin flakes
2 minutes) and change the water when I feel like it - maybe 30% twice a
month. I want to get more fish but feel that I don't have the setup just
right yet. There is still algae, water is slightly colorless cloudy (though
I suspect it's the salt that I add, which has additives in it so it's 1/3
less sodium.)

Bain Chin
bchin at mit_edu