When the hectic schedule is taking a toll over your hobby of fish keeping, having a low tech planted aquarium could become your ultimate option. No matter how enticing a low-tech planted aquarium may sound, people back off from getting it due to lack of essential information on its set up and maintenance.
If you are seriously considering setting a low-tech planted aquarium, we will help in providing you detailed information on the same. Our comprehensive and informative guidance below will give you complete know-how of all the essentialities to work on.
Types of aquarium
An aquarium is a broader term which includes aquariums of different sizes that comprises fish and plants. However, when we look into its classification, there are different variables over which it is categorized. Some of them are:
- On the basis of salinity, there are a freshwater aquarium, marine aquaria, brackish water aquaria, reef aquariums and much more.
- On the basis of the temperature range, there are coldwater aquarium and tropical aquarium.
- On the basis of the species present inside like community tank, aggressive tanks, etc.
- On the basis of their ecotype.
- On the basis of their maintenance that includes low-tech planted aquarium and high-tech planted aquarium.
This broader classification has left people amused by the types of the aquarium they can really create. However, here we are going to discuss one of the easiest out of all that is, a low-tech planted aquarium and its upkeep.
Low tech planted aquarium
How will you react if I tell that you may get an aquarium which requires minimum or almost zero maintenance? Well, alluring enough, right?
A low tech planted aquarium is nothing but a tank which doesn’t require much pampering, unlike the traditional ones. The exciting thing is there will be no compromise on the fish or the plants. Everything resides in a low-tech planted aquarium- right from swirling fish to the lush green live plants.
Advantages of a low tech planted aquarium
The daunting task of changing the water now and then will not be required, and the need to check the level of carbon dioxide will also cease. Apart from all these fascinating features, a low tech planted aquarium looks extremely beautiful as there are fewer wires to accomplish the different technical tasks.
The plants used in such tanks are generally slow growers. They grow so slow that you do not have to worry about regular trimming which is essential in every week in a traditional tank. However, you may need to cut them once in a month to seize them from overgrowing.
Setting a low-tech planted aquarium
So, now that you are interested in having a low-tech planted aquarium keep reading to know how to set it up and run step by step.
Pick the right Substrate
The base of any aquarium is its substrate especially when you want to introduce live plants. It is very important that the substrate is of high-grade so that it eliminates the emergence of any complication further. Less growth and death of the plants and are some of the issues that you might encounter if you have an inferior grade substrate. On the contrary, a good substrate rich in nutrients and has granules will contribute to the proper growth of the plants.
One of the most typical mistake people do is using topsoil with a layer of gravel. Although it can save a significant amount on the substrate, it might cost you the beauty of your aquarium. If ever you need to remove a plant whose roots are established the tank might get muddy making it look messy. Therefore, in such cases using aqua soil instead of topsoil might help.
While choosing the soil for the aquarium, you also need to be cautious of its ammonia level. By now you must know that high level of ammonia results in an algae bloom. It does not make the aquarium look filthy but harms the plants as well. It is the reason why it is recommended to use fertilizers that can overcome such side-effects of soil.
Lighting System needs to be apt
There is nothing fancy about a low-yet planted aquarium. Simplicity with soberness is the keynote behind setting it. Therefore do not go for any fancy or gaudy lighting. It will not only cost you a huge amount but also become more technical for a low-tech planted aquarium. Using normal aquarium LED lights will do the needful as they are considered perfect for such aquariums which do not require many technical complications.
Plants for low-tech planted aquarium
Low-tech planted aquariums do not require plants with special needs. One of the essential requirements should be- low-light plants. You need research the aquatic plants which require less light for their growth and development. Plants like Java Fern, Horn Wart, Guppy Grass, Crypt spiralis, Waterwheel plant, and African water ferns are some of the examples of plants that require low light and are considered perfect for a low-tech planted aquarium.
Once you have planted them in your aquarium, you need to see their growth patterns. It is advised to remove those that grow too fast. The reason behind it is:
- They may outdo the rest of the plants and make the aquarium overcrowded.
- They may take up all the nutrients and become competition for the rest of the plants.
It is important that plants have high biomass so that they may grow adequately. Moreover, keeping the tank algae free is equally important. Just like the fast-growing plants, algae not only take up all the nutrients and pose serious competition to the live plants but also reduce the aesthetics of the aquarium.
The right filtration system.
The market is flooded with different types of aquarium filters, but while choosing one for a low-tech planted aquarium, you need to keep certain things in mind. The foremost thing is ensuring that the filter is easy to maintain. It needs to have a good flow so that it gives an excellent purification result. It is essential that the installation is done aptly for attaining maximum output. If you are planning to use fertilizers get a filter which is free from activated charcoal.
Choose the right fish
Whenever you plan for a planted aquarium, irrespective of the fact of low tech or high tech, you need to choose your creatures wisely. It is important that the needs of the fish, as well as the plants, are almost similar so that they all can thrive well together.
Once you have researched enough about the fish, the next step in introducing them in the aquarium. Make sure that you have cycled the tank before adding them to eliminate the chance of fish encountering the toxicity of ammonia. For small tanks, shrimps make a great choice. Larger tanks have ample options to ponder. No matter, which fish you choose, their compatibility with the aquatic plants is a must.
Angelfish, swordtail fish, rainbow fish are some of the best-suited fish for planted aquariums. However, there are more choices as well which you can get after proper research. Ensure that you don’t overcrowd your aquarium with too many fish. The right selection of fish and plants in the right number make the aquarium look outstanding.
Use the right fertilizers
Generally in a lot tech planted aquarium CO2 supplementation through devices is not recommended. Therefore, you need to supply the right fertilizers so that the growth of the plants do not hamper. Proper research about the right fertilizers and their dosage is important. In general, fertilizing the plants twice a week depending upon the tank size is advised.
Many aquarists avoid using too much fertilizer to allow natural growth of the plants. However, if you use, skipping fertilizing once in a while is still recommended.
Low tech planted aquariums are like a blessing for people who can’t spare too much time for their tank’s maintenance. Once you get detailed know-how of setting it up and the essential equipment required, you can smoothly run it without any hassles. All that you need is the apt choice of plants and fish, a little patience and fewer efforts to set your low-tech planted aquarium and get amazing results.