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Re: Q: low tech, low maintence tank

Bain Chin wrote:

> 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.)

I run a 10 gallon low tech tank.  It is sitting in a bright room.  The only
gadget on it is a power head that circulates the water.  So no lighting, no
filter.  The tank holds only snails and ghost shrimp.  I rarely change water,
may be once every two months and I feed only weekly.

The tank was set up as a feasibility experiment on freshwater plenum.  So
it has a plenum made with eggcrate, pvc pipes and nylon screen.  On top of
it is 3 inch of coarse sand (later I found out the sand is calcium based, so
the water in this tank is very hard).  I've mixed some slow release fertilizer
in the bottom of the sand.

This tank took a long time to cycle compared to tanks with filters.  The
initial ammonia is coming from the slow release fertilizer.  So if
you are adding any fertilizer to your substrate, add only a tiny amount.

Low light plants do great in this tank.  High light plants either rot away
or barely stay alive.  Plants that do great in this tank includes java
ferns and anubias.  Plants that stays alive includes cabomba, valniseria,
amazon sword and H. difformis.

Louis Lin             lhclin at aw_sgi.com
"Plan B: Dilbertize the enemy."