Low Tech Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Asomeone, May 21, 2019.

  1. Asomeone Valued Member Member

    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.
    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 wont 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.

    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  2. NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

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

  3. Bama Valued Member Member

    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.
  4. Asomeone Valued Member Member

    They werent in the 5gallon tanks though! Thats 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.
  5. NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

    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 dont 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.
  6. Asomeone Valued Member Member

    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.
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  7. NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

    Try a 40 instead of a 20. You can get a storage container pretty cheap at Walmart thats 40 gallons.