Jump to content

Attempt At Natural Planted Tank


Recommended Posts

Copying Betty Harris who was copying Diana Walstead, I've had a go at putting in a natural planted tank.

The principal is that it is self-sufficent, lots of plants and bacteria in the soil take care of the breakdown of waste and provide all the nutrients the plant needs. A whole ecosystem in a bottle... or aquarium. It relies on good bacteria in the soil, plants outdoing algae, plants exchanging at the surface, lots of things really.

So taking my 2ft extra deep (87l) I put down my layer of potting mix and crushed shells and then added plants:

Duckweed

Hygrophila polysperma

Bacopa Caroliniana

Ech. quad

an Ozelot sword

an Anubias

a val or two

java fern

and Utricularia australis (a MEAT eater)

Followed by a layer of gravel and a sponge filter to keep the water moving mainly. I have driftwood with javamoss left to add, and of course the fish.

Already threw in some blackworms (lousy burrowers... they just half burrow!) and a little snail... who I haven't seen since.

I'm not happy with the layout, but lighting is an issue... it is brighter at one end, and I'm hoping it will grow on me (pun intended).

Posted Image

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Already threw in some blackworms (lousy burrowers... they just half burrow!)

They'll probably burrow more once your plants settle in and produce more O2 and/or you add the fish and the worms get their ends bitten off. It always amazes me how many blackworms surface in my planted growouts when I remove the fish and turn off the filter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Half the girls are in there and keeping the cycle working. It was instantly cycled really by using mostly old water and an old filter but still a little dodgy initially. The meat eater plant detached itself from the gravel and now is roving free at the surface but still alive. The hygrophilia is very happy and the other plants look like they might contemplate acceptance of their new home soon. I hope. There is a strange slime in the depressions... supposed to be some mulm but the strange slime is definitely not mulmish. Will vac it out, I think, doesn't look healthy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I meant to test the water again two days ago but haven't got around to it. Got a little blue green algae happening, which is a good sign, altho annoying. Fish seem happy. The anubia and the sword browned on the edges a bit. The only plants which are entirely ecstatic about the new surroundings are the hygrophilia and the duck weed and the system needs fast growing plants to clean out the water so that's good. Still got slimey stuff in the divots. I was expecting mulm, not slimey stuff. I stabbed the substrate with a skewer and bubbles errupted so I presume that means some sort of aerobic bacteria is at work down there. The soil is alive! Mwahahahah! Will take some photos later this week when I put the rest of the big girls in there. How have you set your tank up?

Edited by Bren MacFish
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like there is some interesting stuff happening in there Bren!!

I have set mine up but it has a filter on it, although i never clean the filter, more just there for bacteria. Its not as natural looking as yours, but, i can add to it and change it. I have a few types of plants and also added some duckweed.

Posted Image

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks great! I can imagine the val thickening to a forest of val at the back looking like seaweed against the sand there. Is it square? I love the look of square tanks. Seems more natural based on a square. Is there soil under the sand? I read somewhere that sand suppressed the aerobic ability of the soil which would stop it from growing the good bacteria needed to keep the tank healthy. But smaller gravel than mine was supposed to be used... as long as it keeps the soil on the bottom, I reckon. I'm being a bit slap happy with the NPL principles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhh... I have heard the aquarium masters speak of this mysterious laterite from Werribee... I wasn't sure what kind of substrate it was... or why anyone would travel all the way to Werribee in search of it or if it was legal to steal dirt and if I would be able to steal the right dirt. How do you recognise laterite? Is laterite full of juicy bacterial goodness like potting mix? The Oakleigh dirt is hydrophobic alluvial sand... nothing lives in it. It would probably float.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

oh yeah..... I see her now. You need a nice red boy for her Bren. Why can't you use the same concept on the barracks? Then you wouldn't have to do all those water changes you don't have time for. And you wouldn't have to sell it. How small a tank can this work in? Wonder if it will work in a coke bottle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...