Low Tech Question

Asomeone

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So I was at a fish store today and the employee was rambling on about this low tech heavily planted tank they had on display. It had probably 40 1-2 inch fish and many many plants. it ran on a wet'dry sump with no co2 with a (according to him) coral light, adjust for freshwater, and had absolutely no algae. So basically I'm wondering how this works. I run overkill on my planted shrimp tank. 10 gallons fluval 105, aquaclear 20, sponge filter. I figured even tho bio colony would only meet the needs I could never overfilter a tank. Problem here is I still get algae with a 12 hour low tech cycle. I still have die offs and a at least 20ppm nitrates. My souce is 10ppm nitrates but still, full carpet, anarchis, hornwort, mosses. I never have had a tank that ran at 0ppm nitrates due to my source water but it just bothered me. I try really hard to have good parameters and I don't understand how my lfs would have such better numbers and success if theyre dosing with the same things as me with a wet dry sump and no chemicals.
This carried over to their under 5 gallon displays. Java moss and moss balls with shrimp. They claimed to only ever top of the water despite having various cherry sized shrimp in the tank. It doesn't make any sense to me.
I work my butt off for my moderately planted tank and this shop tells me not to vacuum not to do as many water changes and to let the tank do what it does.
Edit
This just violates everything I know about the planted world and I've kept plants for years. I know java moss will grow in everything but shrimp and cherry barbs won't live in 5 gallons without intervention from us humans. Also, No they did not have a soil layer, just a shrimp stratum....some brand I never heard of with a very sleekly designed label
Second edit
I have 3 tanks
Only my shrimp tank is heavily planted. My shrimp tank is entirely carpeted. Firemouth cichlid tank moderately planted. African cichlid tank has java moss and some floating moss I have yet to identify.
 

NavyChief20

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Well, part of it is their use of a sump. The water volume increase helps a lot and the bioload capability is just amazing.
 

Bama

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Asomeone said:
So I was at a fish store today and the employee was rambling on about this low tech heavily planted tank they had on display. It had probably 40 1-2 inch fish and many many plants. it ran on a wet'dry sump with no co2 with a (according to him) coral light, adjust for freshwater, and had absolutely no algae. So basically I'm wondering how this works. I run overkill on my planted shrimp tank. 10 gallons fluval 105, aquaclear 20, sponge filter. I figured even tho bio colony would only meet the needs I could never overfilter a tank. Problem here is I still get algae with a 12 hour low tech cycle. I still have die offs and a at least 20ppm nitrates. My souce is 10ppm nitrates but still, full carpet, anarchis, hornwort, mosses. I never have had a tank that ran at 0ppm nitrates due to my source water but it just bothered me. I try really hard to have good parameters and I don't understand how my lfs would have such better numbers and success if theyre dosing with the same things as me with a wet dry sump and no chemicals.
This carried over to their under 5 gallon displays. Java moss and moss balls with shrimp. They claimed to only ever top of the water despite having various cherry sized shrimp in the tank. It doesn't make any sense to me.
I work my butt off for my moderately planted tank and this shop tells me not to vacuum not to do as many water changes and to let the tank do what it does.
Edit
This just violates everything I know about the planted world and I've kept plants for years. I know java moss will grow in everything but shrimp and cherry barbs won't live in 5 gallons without intervention from us humans. Also, No they did not have a soil layer, just a shrimp stratum....some brand I never heard of with a very sleekly designed label
Second edit
I have 3 tanks
Only my shrimp tank is heavily planted. My shrimp tank is entirely carpeted. Firemouth cichlid tank moderately planted. African cichlid tank has java moss and some floating moss I have yet to identify.
This sounds like they're using a version of the Walstad tank, although I believe that her method calls for no filtration, just water movement. I don't quite understand it, but I am intrigued by it. There are a lot of resources on the internet about this method, all based on Diana Walstad's book, The Ecology of the Planted Tank.
 
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Asomeone

Asomeone

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Bama said:
This sounds like they're using a version of the Walstad tank, although I believe that her method calls for no filtration, just water movement. I don't quite understand it, but I am intrigued by it. There are a lot of resources on the internet about this method, all based on Diana Walstad's book, The Ecology of the Planted Tank.
They werent in the 5 gallon tanks though! That's why I made this post cause it made no sense to me. I know the Walstad method and they definitely didn't have soil in it.

NavyChief20 said:
Well, part of it is their use of a sump. The water volume increase helps a lot and the bioload capability is just amazing.
it just annoys me since I run a 20 gallon sump on my tanks and still have nitrates.
 

NavyChief20

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Asomeone said:
They werent in the 5 gallon tanks though! That's why I made this post cause it made no sense to me. I know the Walstad method and they definitely didn't have soil in it.


it just annoys me since I run a 20 gallon sump on my tanks and still have nitrates.
Ill tell you that my 350 gallon tank I have not done a water change this year. I have added water but not removed any. It is sand substrate with Amazon sword and some branches from my yard. Has a 10" wolf cichlid and a 17" marble pleco and a 50 gallon trickle tower sump.
NH3 0
NH4 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 3.47
pH 8.3
Conductivity 2.3
TDS 110 ppb
kH 9
SS none visible

I don't add chemicals to any of my tanks except flourish for my plants as a booster to the pleco feces. My other tanks all have similar readings. Some are diffrent based off region. Flow and volume are key.
 
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Asomeone

Asomeone

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NavyChief20 said:
Ill tell you that my 350 gallon tank I have not done a water change this year. I have added water but not removed any. It is sand substrate with Amazon sword and some branches from my yard. Has a 10" wolf cichlid and a 17" marble pleco and a 50 gallon trickle tower sump.
NH3 0
NH4 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 3.47
pH 8.3
Conductivity 2.3
TDS 110 ppb
kH 9
SS none visible

I don't add chemicals to any of my tanks except flourish for my plants as a booster to the pleco feces. My other tanks all have similar readings. Some are diffrent based off region. Flow and volume are key.
I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to say kiss my butt, just kidding. Definitely something for me to think about. I really didn't realize that It was possible to obtain positive levels with minimal maintenance.
Seems to me I need to switch to wet/dry sump and a larger sump size. I'm filtering 90 gallons on a 20 gallon sump, Can't hurt to add a wet dry tower before the overflows hit the wet sump.
 

NavyChief20

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Asomeone said:
I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to say kiss my butt, just kidding. Definitely something for me to think about. I really didn't realize that It was possible to obtain positive levels with minimal maintenance.
Seems to me I need to switch to wet/dry sump and a larger sump size. I'm filtering 90 gallons on a 20 gallon sump, Can't hurt to add a wet dry tower before the overflows hit the wet sump.
Try a 40 instead of a 20. You can get a storage container pretty cheap at Walmart that's 40 gallons.
 

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