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Re: Fishless possibility?

>Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 22:36:52 -0400
>From: Bernard Romano <romano at pathway1_pathcom.com>
>Subject: Fishless possibility?
>Please forgive me from the outset if this is a truly dumb question but
>got to know what the concensus of opinion is on this one. Is it possible
>maintain a fishless planted tank for any reasonable length of time? If DIY
>CO2, proper lighting, Seachem fertilizer and Jobe fern spikes are provided
>would it be lacking phosphorus and nitrogen and perhaps something else?
>Could all be provided?

Not only is it possible to maintain a fishless tank, it's easier than with
fish.  This is because you can add nutrients that the plants need in the
amounts they are needed and when they are needed, without having to worry
about first satisfying the needs of the fish (and possibly providing more
of some nutrients than the plants can use).

It takes about 2 months for a fishless plant tank to come to an equilibrium
that will favor plants over algae (sometimes it will take longer if you use
a fertile substrate).  If you go ahead and add a couple of American Flags,
platies, SAE's, Ottos, etc. you may be able to speed up this process.
Snails also seem to help speed the process.

I have also set up a fishless, emerse-growth plant tank that gets direct
sunlight.  It took over a year to stabilize because of the very rich
substrate I used.  Now that it's stabilized, I'm seeing increased growth in
the tank and will soon have to start pruning.

David W. Webb