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Re: Who has successful low water-change setups?

>Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 15:33:35 -0500
>From: Carlos Munoz <cmunoz at crystal_cirrus.com>
>I don't want to give beginners ideas, since this is experimentation
>and can easily lead to a disastrous tank if you don't know how to look
>for and resolve tank problems...
>Who's had a successful long-term setup (approaching a year or more) with 
>minimal and/or infrequent water changes (<10%/month or so on average). If 
>you had one for less, what caused you to return to frequent water changes?
>I'd like to know a little bit about your setups, the plants that do best 
>in your setups, and compromises you had to make to make the tanks run 
>smoothly.  Was there a breaking point when you had to do a large water
>change?  What was the top-off or water change rate?  Any fertilizers?  
>What is your top-off water make-up? Any useful anecdotes?

I have several tanks that are running in ultra-low maintenence mode.  The
longest running of these is my 5.5g micro plant tank at my office.  It's
currently running with about 2g of water, and has never had any water
removed, only added.  I add about a gallon of distilled water every 2 years
or so, and the tank has been up for 4 years.  

Fish in this tank have consisted of up to 3 tiny platies.  The original two
denizens were baby platies that I got from one of my tanks.  These lived
about 2 years before they died.  The third was a lone offspring of this
pair.  I haven't seen this platy in about 3 days, so I may need to get new
baby platies, but this fish is approaching the 2 year mark, itself.

My 55g is also set up as an ultra-low maintenance tank.  This tank has two
angels, 5 cardinals, and a kuhli loach.  It has had other fish, but these
are what are in it now.  I top off about 15 gallons a month on this tank
and change about 5.

Both tanks are very heavily planted and very lightly fed.  In addition,
both tanks have a lowered water level, allowing direct atmospheric
interaction for the plants. 

David W. Webb 
Six cardinals and two ottos so far in the new paludarium...