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Re: Office Tank
Sherman asked for setups used on office tanks for low maintenance, and
also about requirements for weekend feeding.
Office tanks and I are old friends, and I do agree that low maintenance
is key. Low maintenance is also "politically correct" for an office
setting, as it reduces the possibilty of any appearance of misuse of
company time- even if you are careful to always maintain after hours or
My original office tanks were set w/plastic plants, but long ago I
changed to live, as this actually reduced maintenance requirement. The
trick is to start with potted (generally in bonsai low pots) mature
plants from home for plants such as Swords, Apons, and large Anubias.
A. nana is dirct-planted in the gravel for low cover (they do not
require enriched substrate, though they will do better with such).
Taller tanks (20H, 29) are favored for this as they allow concealment of
the pots. Potted plants are feed monthly with tablets, trace elements
are added to the water column at water change about every other week.
Reverse-flow UGs are used (gasp) as well- to keep the unoccupied
substrate cleaner. The prefilter sponges conceal easily behind the
Swords or Apons. Coated natural-colored aquarium gravel is the
substrate. Weekday feeding is a selection of prepared foods at AM
coffee-break, MWF PM feedings are frozen, pre-measured portions
transported from home as needed in clean pill vials or film cans
(freezer space is available in the coffee area). Lighting is two each
two-tube strip fixtures on timers. Basic filtration is by slightly
oversized Eheim canister.
Maintenance is by nominal 10% water change per week(i.e., three gallons
in the 29), done w/gravel vacuuming. The prefilter of the RFUG is
rinsed weekly in the removed water. Old leaves on the plants are
trimmed as needed at water change. Replacement water is trasported from
home in gallon jugs. The Eheim is rinsed quarterly.
Fish stock is generally moderate (perhaps heavy for planted tanks) but
basically species set-up: a dozen Dwarf Neons Rainbows, or six to eight
Bleeding Heart Tetras, or two dozen Cardinal Tetras. Cleaning crew has
varied, a pecoltia or ancistrus, or MTS, or Amano shrimp, or wood
No feeding is ever done on weekends. During vacation or trips, Eheim
automatic feeders are used.
Co-workers are always amazed at how little routine work is required,
even if you explain this is supported by selections based on experience
and use of mature plants and fish from growout tanks at home. I avoid
CO2 and any plant needing frequent pruning/replanting. None of these
tanks has ever suffered green water or other significant algae outbreak.