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Old 08-09-2013, 12:31 AM   #1
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need help with semi-ecosystem aquarium design

Wanting to put together a tropical aquarium that is mostly self sufficient. Also looking at using moss for the main plant. Hoping to be able to support up to a pictus catfish. And Im looking at using a 60 gallon tank. I dont know what kind of filters or lights to use, and could use any other suggestions.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:18 AM   #2
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In my opinion to be successful you will need to go more diverse in plant selection and need to select at least one live bearer and one easy egg layer. I would also keep MTS and probably a ramshell snail and some shrimp and select larger fish carefully. Diverse plant selection will allow good cover, control nutrients, and overall promote a healthy environment. For a filter I would leave most of it to the plants and just concentrate on good water movement. Lighting will depend on plant selection but I would keep it on the lower end and stay away from CO2 dosing and regiment regimes. Read up on Walstead tanks. Her book is a good read (minus some things she appears to force into her theory).

Tank mate selection will be critical. Guppies, endlers, and/or a platy would work to help create a food base. With lots of plants it will help protect some of fry to continue into adult hood. The plants will also help protect the shrimp in the same fashion if you select smaller species and will support snails as an additional food source. Larger Amanos can be kept and have little fear of being eaten by other fish based on selection but won't breed. Addition of larger "predatory" fish will typically strip the food base in short order and not leave you with a "mostly self sufficient" tank.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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This was very helpful! I plan to add a bottom dweller last after the system starts to equal out and do plan tonalso breed brine shrimp and blood worms in separate tanks for food for the bottom dweller. Are you sure I wont need a filter, I know the plants will helpf filter stuff out but from what I read it woukdnt be enough that i wouldnt need a filter, and that the fikter would help grow some good bacteria. Though one less part would be nice if it is possible.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #4
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No filter is needed if done correctly. As mentioned Walstad book is a good read and will help understand the concepts and dynamics behind a set up as you are wanting to do. They aren't for everyone as you need to set them up correctly from the start. Feeding a quality flake food may have to be supplemented at times depending on the set up (just varies on systems).

Too many try to nickel and dime everything as they go when it comes to aquariums and end up with bad results. Read up, get everything you need to set the tank up first and avoid trying to add things as you go down the road.

Ecology of the Planted Aquarium: Diana Walstad: 9780967377360: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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Good to know , and i'll definitely give that book a read thanks.
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