plantbrain
Member (Sr. Member)
Posts: 774
From: Goleta , CA
Registered: APR 2001
posted October 09, 2002 03:51 PM


Rather than saying the same thing over again and again:
For a non CO2 plant tank:
Plant the tank to gills. Use as many plants as you can from the start. Don't wait for them to "grow in".
Add herbivores from the second or third day. Add some floating plants, especially if you have higher or too much lighting. 10-40% coverage)
You'll need deep, rich substrate:
A few sub's that work well:
Soil + peat with a sand cap. Soak soil for about 3 weeks first in water then add.
Peat plus sand, this works well.
Peat+kitty litter+ sand, not bad either.
Flourite and peat, works very well.
Flourite alone works good after 6 months or so.
Add rich mulm organic layer to the bottom 1 inch or so. Mix and then add the other stuff on top.

Refrain from water changes. Top off the tank level only. Trim any algae off etc as needed. Expect some plants not to do so well. Use some Watersprite/Egeria Moneywort/hornwort etc.

Feed fish good daily.

For lighting, generally 1.5 to 3 watts of regular FL's, not the PC's with mirrored reflectors etc is a good range.
For a 55, 2x 40 w works nicely.
For a 20 gallon, 30-60 watts will work well.
Adding CO2 will help both of these tanks though and some folks use the DIY to have their plants "grow in", then they yank it off.

Sand + laterite alone is not a good non CO2 susbtrate unless you add somethin else, like peat, soil, lots of mulm or it's well aged gravel etc.

PC lights tend to add too much light for many non CO2 applications.

Get the nice CO2 rather than the nice lights if you are cheap..........or if you don't wish to be bothered with CO2 try less lighting. More is only going to cause more problems beyond 2watt/gal of reg FL's with a reflector unless the tank is well established and algae free for a long period.

Regards,
Tom Barr

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RTR
Member (Sr. Member)
Posts: 2377
From: Braddock Heights,MD.USA
Registered: OCT 98
posted October 09, 2002 07:21 PM

Not much to argue with there Tom, good post, thanks.
I cannot go with the no changes bit, but that is my thing, and I am not a fan of Ms. Waldstad.

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80gJoe
Member (Sr. Member)
Posts: 582
From: Orlando, FL USA
Registered: JUL 2002
posted October 09, 2002 08:42 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by plantbrain:
Rather than saying the same thing over again and again:
For a non CO2 plant tank: ........
Flourite alone works good after 6 months or so.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom,
Really? Is that how long Flourite lasts?

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plantbrain
Member (Sr. Member)
Posts: 774
From: Goleta , CA
Registered: APR 2001
posted October 09, 2002 08:52 PM

Thanks
Yea, some folks don't like the no water change thing, but they often have more fish/less plants etc.
I cannot reduce down every detail/possible combo in one little post that she put into the book etc, but those are the main points/tenets and they do work consistently again and again.
Even if you want to delete some parts and do the water changes.
But that's part of the point......less work/slower growth etc. Some fish waste balance the plant uptake, if the tank has too many fish to plant mass ratio, then water changes are certainly needed.
There are other things also, but a balanced fish load is key to the non CO2 tank also. That will yield much better results and be much easier than adding too many fish/food and having to do water changes.
Thanks for pointing that out.

Regards,
Tom Barr

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Slappy*McFish
Member (Sr. Member)
Posts: 1060
From: Raleigh, NC
Registered: FEB 2002
posted October 09, 2002 10:04 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by 80gJoe:
Originally posted by plantbrain:
Rather than saying the same thing over again and again:
For a non CO2 plant tank: ........
Flourite alone works good after 6 months or so.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom,
Really? Is that how long Flourite lasts?
I'm sure he meant just that...after 6 months or so is when flourite starts working the best....I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that flourite lasts decades...probably longer than most fish tanks.

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plantbrain
Member (Sr. Member)
Posts: 774
From: Goleta , CA
Registered: APR 2001
posted October 09, 2002 11:06 PM

Yes, I was not clear about that, but after some time and mulm has built up in a very low/absent organic substrate like gravel or gravel/laterite/flourite etc it becomes a much better substrate.
Regards,
Tom Barr