so i decided i'm gunna go 'El Natural,' but change a few things up

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Akari_32

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so I'm gunna do this, , but I'm gunna do a few things different. I'm not gunna have a power head, instead i'm just gunna use the filter I already have to move the water around (not sure if I should use the media. I have carbon, sponge and biological media in there. any input on that would be appreciated). and I'm gunna do water changes about every 3 months, instead of every 6 months like the site says (unless you guys think otherwise).
 

LyndaB

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Not sure I'd be brave enough to do water changes only every 6 months.....
 
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Akari_32

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yeah, me niether... that's why I'm thinking every 3-ish months (maybe 2 <.< >.> )
 

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Akari_32

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btate617 said:
There was a similiar post about this not too long ago.




Not sure if you have seen this one yet.

https://naturalaquariums.com/faq.html#na


Brian
thanks ^_^ pretty much the same stuff as in the site I linked, but in Q/A form. as for the other one, I would still use the filter, but I'm not sure about the media..
 

NMfishman

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For the filter take the carbon out and leave the rest in there. I would do the water change every 2 months and keep a close eye on your parameters.
 
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Akari_32

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that's what I was thinking. the tank isnt gunna be completely stocked, so that should be ok.
 

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Best of luck and please keep us posted.

Ken
 
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Akari_32

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aquarist48 said:
Best of luck and please keep us posted.

Ken
I will! my plan isnt in gear yet, tho. my uncles fish are still in my tank (i've been watching them for a few months) so until he gets them, I can't do anything other then get the plans ready, do my research, and maybe stop by home depot to get the soil and PetSmart to get the gravel.

I'm doing this in a 20 long, so hom much soil and gravel do you guys think I'll need?
 

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I use 5 pounds of substrate per 5 gallons of water.
 
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Akari_32

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LyndaB said:
I use 5 pounds of substrate per 5 gallons of water.
so ten pounds of soil, and 10 pounds on gravel? I was thinking more like 15-ish pounds of soil and 5-ish (maybe a bit more, like closer to... 8?) of gravel, but that's why I'm asking lol
 

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Welcome to NPT's!!! I love these set ups and they are the only way I will set up a tank! I've been keeping El Natural's since 2007 so I can really help you out with it! To see some of my tanks both recent and past ones, just check out my albums.

Many people, myself included, use filters to circulate water instead of a powerhead so you're not doing anything different there. Most filters have an adjustable flow whereas powerheads do not. One thing though is the media. If anything, all you would need to keep in your filter is the sponge to collect debris. You do not need the carbon or biological media because the plants remove the ammonia and nitrites. I only use carbon a couple times a year to remove any irritants that may have gotten into the water from my hands but other then that, I just use sponge or filter floss in my filters.

Leaving the biological media in there could harm the plants because they have to compete with the media for the ammonia and nitrites which can cause plants to die off. There is nitrifying bacteria in all soil(minus sterilized soils which is not good to use for these tanks) so ditch the media as you will not need it.

Doing water changes every three months will be fine but if there are no problems with the tank, plants and inhabitants, there is no need for it. I can't remember the last time I changed the water in my betta's tank. A lot of people seem to think that you can't keep a tank healthy and not do frequent water changes on it but it is very possible. One of the many great things about El Natural's is that not only are they very low maintenance but they help the environment too because you conserve water by not doing so many water changes.

As for the gravel and soil, I used about one gallon of soil for my 10 gallon so you should need about two gallons of soil for a 20 gallon long.(I'll be setting up a tank like that sometime this month!) As for the gravel, just get a 10kg bag of natural gravel that's around 2-3mm in size and make it, at the most, an inch thick on top of the soil. I like to make the soil layer an inch thick and the same goes for the gravel. No more, no less.

Here is a link to a subforum that is strictly for El Naturals. I'm a member there(same username) and Diana Walstad herself even posts there to help people out with their questions and concerns. It's worth checking out! You'll get a lot of great information there!
 
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Akari_32

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Red_Rose said:
Welcome to NPT's!!! I love these set ups and they are the only way I will set up a tank! I've been keeping El Natural's since 2007 so I can really help you out with it! To see some of my tanks both recent and past ones, just check out my albums.

Many people, myself included, use filters to circulate water instead of a powerhead so you're not doing anything different there. Most filters have an adjustable flow whereas powerheads do not. One thing though is the media. If anything, all you would need to keep in your filter is the sponge to collect debris. You do not need the carbon or biological media because the plants remove the ammonia and nitrites. I only use carbon a couple times a year to remove any irritants that may have gotten into the water from my hands but other then that, I just use sponge or filter floss in my filters.

Leaving the biological media in there could harm the plants because they have to compete with the media for the ammonia and nitrites which can cause plants to die off. There is nitrifying bacteria in all soil(minus sterilized soils which is not good to use for these tanks) so ditch the media as you will not need it.

Doing water changes every three months will be fine but if there are no problems with the tank, plants and inhabitants, there is no need for it. I can't remember the last time I changed the water in my betta's tank. A lot of people seem to think that you can't keep a tank healthy and not do frequent water changes on it but it is very possible. One of the many great things about El Natural's is that not only are they very low maintenance but they help the environment too because you conserve water by not doing so many water changes.

As for the gravel and soil, I used about one gallon of soil for my 10 gallon so you should need about two gallons of soil for a 20 gallon long.(I'll be setting up a tank like that sometime this month!) As for the gravel, just get a 10kg bag of natural gravel that's around 2-3mm in size and make it, at the most, an inch thick on top of the soil. I like to make the soil layer an inch thick and the same goes for the gravel. No more, no less.

Here is a link to a subforum that is strictly for El Naturals. I'm a member there(same username) and Diana Walstad herself even posts there to help people out with their questions and concerns. It's worth checking out! You'll get a lot of great information there!
thanks Red_Rose! i've seen that forum before, but never really checked it out (this was before I decided to do all this lol). I will now tho! XD
 

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Akari_32 said:
thanks Red_Rose! i've seen that forum before, but never really checked it out (this was before I decided to do all this lol). I will now tho! XD
You're welcome! It's a great forum and I asked many questions there when I first got into the Walstad method. It would also be good to read Diana Walstad's book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. You will learn a lot from that book. You can probably find it at a library if you don't want to buy it.

Good luck!
 
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Akari_32

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Red_Rose said:
You're welcome! It's a great forum and I asked many questions there when I first got into the Walstad method. It would also be good to read Diana Walstad's book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. You will learn a lot from that book. You can probably find it at a library if you don't want to buy it.

Good luck!
thanks, I'll see if I can find it =D
 

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Neat!
 
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