Sunday, June 17, 2012

Zero-Maintainence Aquarium Defined.

Its high time, I define what do I mean by "Zero-Maintainence Aquarium". If one reads Diana Walstad's book, 'ECOLOGY of the PLANTED AQUARIUM - A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise for the Home Aquarist', one will be thrilled by the idea of keeping a lush green aquarium with no water changes for probably 6 months and more.

With the limited knowledge, I could get from the Internet and the Diana Walstad's book, I tried my version of Walstad Aquarium. Even though the book is well written, implementing the same has their own problems of their own. 

Anyway, with a few hitches, I am on track towards a Lush Green Zero-Maintainence Walstad Aquarium. 

Pain points in maintaining a High-Tech Planted Aquarium:
  1. Costly Equipments: Lights, CO2, Substrate.
  2. Daily/Weekly monitoring using test kits and feeding fertilizer accordingly.
  3. Weekly Water Changes.
  4. A tightly monitored, controlled and manipulated Eco-system. 
The maintainence work in a Zero-Maintainence Aquarium, should not take more than 20-mins per weekend.

So here is the plan:
  1. Fish feeding will be controlled via DIY Automatic Fish Feeder.
  2. Lights duration will be controlled via Electronic timer.
  3. 20-Minutes Weekend Maintainence time will consist of
    • Gently scraping of minute Algae film from the Aquarium glass.
    • Pruning the plants and propogating them.
    • Refilling the evaporated water in the Aquarium. 
Now since Zero-Maintainence Aquarium has been defined, I will soon be implementing the same and will keep you all updated. :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Walstad Aquarium - 3 Months Later.

Its a major milestone for my tank but here I will restrict myself to the usual update. My learnings in the last 3-months will be published in some other blog.

- Major water change(40%) was performed after pruning. Cutting were propagated.
- No Pruning was performed on Pygmy Grass.
- To add in some Iron, small dried balls of Red garden Soil were insert in substrate at various places. 
- Addition of Potassium Sulphate has facilitated new growth in slow growing plants. Growth of Brown Algae was relatively less.
- Over the period of 3 months, a large portion of white sand had turned brown due to accumulation of brown algae. Some more white sand was added to make the substrate look whiter rather than brown.

Walstad Setup Before Pruning - Full View.
Walstad Setup After Pruning - Full View.
Walstad Setup Before Pruning - Center View.
Walstad Setup After Pruning - Center View.
Baby Swordtail - 7 Weeks Later.
Walstad Setup - Lawn View.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rosy Barbs ate my Plants. :(

I had been keeping a pair of Rozy Barbs in one of my old tank. They are notorious and like to nibble on plants.

I had been on a vacation for a week. So I transferred them in my main tank. I was expecting, with good food being fed through my Automatic Fish Feeder, they may not nibble too much on the plants.

I was disappointed after I came back from my vacation. I soon realized that they have nibbled away two different species of plants and made them extinct.

I no longer have
  • Parrot Feather.
  • Ambolia.
  • Red Cabomba is also almost extinct. Only two stalk have remained.  

Note the changes after adding the Rosy Barbs. 

I have also noticed that my Angels like to feed on duck weed. They seem to like it and I happen to throw a weekly feed of duck weed in the tank.

Before adding Rozy Barbs while going on Vacation.

After 1 Week of Vacation.