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Introduction & Questions


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Hi everyone.

I'm currently living out of a tiny shoebox apartment and have two tanks. One is a Blue Planet 20L (With all the blue planet pump and filter stripped out since it broke - Size 37x33.5x25cm) which is currently drying and another 160L Blue Planet SereneLife Vista (Was gifted without the filter and pump - Size 90x42x59cm) with a variety of fish living inside (Rainbowfish and Tetras mostly). So far things have been going really well but I am curious on starting again as I'm not liking the look of the tank and most of my plants have died again.

I have been browsing various places online to try and find decent setups with some landscaping done to it but I am a little curious on no filter setups, namely how it all works and the substrate required. Eventually I am going to pass my fish onto my sister who has a series of tanks ready for them, so I'm going to do some work on the tanks (cutting the plastic lid off, etc) to make them easier to work with. Browsing places such as reddit tend to not yield much as auto moderations tend to delete the post because I'm new.

I have used a aquarium clay substrate for a long time, but its almost completely disintergrated (not sure if I was meant to put a layer of anything over it, was never told when I purchased it) but reading up people have used generic garden soil. If that could work then I'd be okay with it, but I want to make sure before proceeding.

I was somewhat planning as well to use the 20L tank for either a shrimp tank or for much smaller fish, though I'm still not sure what would work in such a small tank.

I look forward to responses from anyone knowledgable about these things!

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If you were in Melbourne I’d advise you to head to the Aquarium Society of Victoria. There are some very experienced planted tank keepers that would happily help you work through the various options. You should also try to get a copy of Diana Walstad’s book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. 

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