Rhonda Wilson natural aquariums

  1. James95 Well Known Member Member

    Hi everyone,
    I'm sure many of you have heard of Rhonda Wilson. For those of you that don't, Rhonda is a well known planted aquarium enthusiast that writes for Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine on a monthly basis.

    I stumbled across her website the other night. Her methods and choice of equipment are very intriguing. She uses no fertilizers, no filters, no CO2, etc. Only standard fluorescent shop lights, plants, and regular aquarium gravel. Her tanks are beautiful, her fish flourish, and breed regularly. Here is a link to her website. Take a look at her pictures and frequently asked questions.

    My point is, why all the expensive equipment when an aquarist can have equal success with little-to-no equipment? I've always been one to minimize excess cost and complication. I'm very interested in trying out Rhonda's humble and lowly method.

    Let me know your thoughts on this. I'd love to hear your opinions and experiences with minimalist planted aquariums.
  2. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Many times the choices of plants determine how high tech the set ups have to be. Fully planted low tech plants can make beautiful tanks too :)
  3. James95 Well Known Member Member

    I agree.
    But, many of her articles in TFH discuss high light plants that she keeps in her tanks. That's what I'm so interested in. Apparently, you can keep high maintenance plants in such a setup, and she does.
  4. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    I've been a fan of hers for years :)
  5. Gamer Well Known Member Member

    Haven't heard of her, so thanks for making this topic. Her approach while not exactly the same at first reminded me of Diana Walstad and her set ups. Except she uses soil underneath gravel in her tanks and these have regular gravel. Now that I'm aware of this lady I shall read more about her low tech/low maitenance methods for sure as I'm always on the lookout for that sort of stuff!
  6. James95 Well Known Member Member

    You're welcome :)
    I too have heard of the Diana Walstad method. I plan on trying it out on a small tank eventually. There's just something about putting potting soil in an aquarium full of water that turns me off to the idea. Lol
  7. Paintcraze Member Member

    Very interesting. When I was a child (a long time ago) my grandfather was really into breeding angels and always had 10 - 15 tanks going. They were all heavily planted and very lush. He did this with (gasp) incandescent bulbs, no special substrate, no fertilizer, no CO2, and infrequent water changes. It is amazing how much has changed!
  8. James95 Well Known Member Member

    I agree. I've been doing lots of research on water changes and their affect on the aquarium's ecosystem. But that's for another thread :)

    Anyway, don't you wish we could go back to these simpler times? I wish...
  9. Gamer Well Known Member Member

    If you do experiment with this in a set up anytime soon, let me know so I can follow along.

    I'm considering using my 20L for something like this.
  10. James95 Well Known Member Member

    Will do. I may wait until summer when I have more time to put into setting it up. I'll probably start a thread in my blog too.
  11. Easy Initiate Member

    Hi guys I am a long time fish keeper but just made the jump to live plants I used her low tech method only because I was somewhat unaware of the other options. I do have one plant that I don't think is going to make it out of the 5 I got but im fairly confident its because I had to crank the heat up for some ich I got from pet smart. But the rest of my plants are rooting well and growing some already after just a few weeks.

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  12. Easy Initiate Member

    Okay should have clicked the link before opening my mouth. Her tanks are amazing and makes my few plants look like weeds. Lol amazing

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  13. James95 Well Known Member Member

    Just imagine, a sunroom or conservatory full of beautifully planted tanks and flourishing fish with no fancy filters, co2, lighting, or fertilizers.

    Going back to the basics is becoming more and more appealing to me.