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Old 12-13-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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Need some help on a new tank

So we've had fish for a few years and I've always been quite obsessed with having and watching them. My only issue now is as I'm going to university as of next year I can no longer keep the current tank I have. I want to get one I can take to my apartment next year although my trouble now comes with maintenance. There's going to be a lot of times I'll be very busy or away for a few days or weeks at a time and wont be able to take constant care of the tank. I also have no way of keeping these tanks plugged in for too long as my electricity budget is also quite tight so machine maintenance doesn't seem a viable option. Mine is a tank which I must feed everyday and clean around at least once a week. I've heard of people who have built self sustainable tanks where no work is required or tanks that can be left more than a month without any need to feed or clean. Can anyone give me some advice on a tank I can build with these specifications? I'd really appreciate the help.

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Old 12-16-2013, 07:50 AM   #2
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Location: Newcastle, Australia
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I can't say I have any experience but I've read a bit. The tip to minimising your maintenance/electricity would be a reasonable water volume, heavily planted with low light plants and under stocking how many fish you have.

I'm not entirely sure what you've got to work woth or what you want, or how much electricity is costing you, but is running say a 5-10g betta tank, or something similar, with a HOB going to be viable?

Plants you could look at are water wisteria, amazon swords, java moss, java fern, moneywort, duckweed, anacharis, anubias, water lettuce. amongst many. The fast growing stem plants and floating plans will help a lot (wisteria, moneywort, anacharis, and duckweed and water lettuce) in reducing nitrates,somewhat minimising the need for water changes.

A nitrate reactor is also something you could consider to minimise nitrate build up.

Shrimp or snails could possibly be a welcome addition too, helping detritus clean up, the shrimps being a good source from time to time for the fish. Fish can go a week without being fed ok, months perhaps not.

LEDs would be the way to go for minimising electricity. Or you could have it in partial sunlight, but you'd have to be wary of algae.

An alternative to this, but I'm not sure how well ot works for your plans, is a sump with a refugium. It can house fast growing stem plants to reduce nitrates if you don't like them in the tank, add water volume to dilute chemicals in the water (eg nitrates).

All depends on size constraints really, and what you personally want of your tank. Not sure if this has helped or given you any ideas, but I hope it has.

Edit: just found another recent thread you may be interested in: Self-Sustaining Tank???
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new tank, tan, tank

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