A while ago I had visited a friend who had a wonderful looking aquarium. I grilled him on it, and he told me about the Walstad type tank with live plants. The theory is that the plants take up the nitrogen and other bad things the fish produce while giving off good things the fish need. This means there is less tank maintenance because there is no algae growth (a by product of the fishes nitrogen production). It can also mean you can stock your tank with more fish.
After doing a bit of research I decided to go for it. First I had to find some dirt that had nothing in it except dirt (no fertilizers). Then I had to find a tank to hold my fish temporarily. Then I had to make time to get it done.
When I had the time I transferred water to the borrowed tank and moved my fish over. I completely drained my tank, cleaned it out, then added some topsoil to the bottom. I then cleaned all the gravel I had and put a small covering on top of the topsoil.
After a trip to a fish store I then planted my new plants in the dirt, added some decorative wood, then began the process of filling the tank.
Soon after the tank was full I noticed the discoloured water. I expected this, but it got very dark quite quickly. Nightly for about a week I would flush out 30% – 50% of the water. By this point I was getting tired of this, but I was committed. I kept with it until it seemed to stabilize. It is still coloured, but at least I can see my fish.
A few more google searches later I may have found the culprit of the water colouring. The expensive fancy wood I bought. Grr. I may take it out to see what happens, but I like the look of it. I am not sure what to do about that.
Today I added some more plants and two more yellow Platy’s. I’m hoping this works out. I do like the planted tanks and I am looking forward to less maintenance.