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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I set this 26G bow front tank for my mom a little over a year ago. The reason I am posting it is to show new aquarists that a low maintenance tank is very easy to achieve as long as the basics are covered and the tank gets cycled right. Its pretty easy to have a nice tank. Stability is key to ME so once a month I do a 50% water change. I will list off everything about this tank :) It's due for its cleaning monthly cleaning so I will be back in a few days to work on it.

Since I don't live with my mom but she really wanted a fish tank again I decided why not. I needed to setup this tank to have as little maintenance as possible. I don't go over to my moms a whole lot, so once a month maintenance was my goal. Of course there would be RULES for my mom that she agreed to follow. :) No adding fish, no over feeding, top off tank when the water gets low, leave all maintenance to me.

Cycling the tank: I cycled the tank using the easiest method there is, using already cycled Bio media out of one of my canister filters. Since it was for my mom tank. I bought the right amount of new media to fill her canister filter. I than opened my canister and mixed all my bio media with all of her new bio media. I than split all the media into both canisters. Instantly cycled fish tank.

Filtration: Fluval 304, Aquaclear 150. I used what I have found works the best for me. 2 filters, canister and HOB. The canister filter I use mainly to house all my bio media. All 3 trays are full of bio media. I mainly use Seachem, Eheim and fluval types of biomedia. I have no idea which types work the best. These are just the easiest brands to find. I use the HOB as mainly a water polisher. I don't usually run anything but the foam block in it. Occasionally I will run filter floss but it can clog quickly so I generally don't run it full time. I am also using pre filter on both intake hoses.

Substrate: Eco complete. It has worked well for me. I know others have had good success with it. I Like how its not muddy like some of the other similar substrates out there

Lighting: Coralife double T5 with 1x 6,500k, 1x 10,000k. Lights are on for 8hrs a day from 2pm to 10pm. On a timer of course :)

Additives added: All Im using is Seachem PH neutral and tap water conditioner. I havn't tested the water parameters in awhile. Might be time :)

Plants: I started with a few species but found 1 plant thrived better than the rest and with very little up keep. Hygrophila Polysperma. This plant grows like a weed and has very bright green leaves. Its a stem plant so replanting it is simple. Cut a piece off at the stem. Plant it into the substrate. There is also a sword species but its growth has been minimal. I don't want my mom adding anything so Fertilizers are not being used regularly. When I go by there I add a little fertz to help out.

Fish: In a simple tank the fish must be kept simple. I try to split the tank into levels. I than figure out which fish will live where and buy species based on occupying all levels of the tank.

Bottom: 3 Cory's
Mid Bottom: 5 Rumy nose tetras
Middle: 2 Angel fish
Mid top 3 Dwarf Rainbows, 1 white cloud, 5 Black Tetras
Algae: Male Bristle Nose Pleco

I have recently increased the fish numbers since my mom has done very well with not over feeding and following my rules. I felt the Bio could handle a few more fish so I added more a month ago. So far so good.

Rocks and Wood: I gathered these locally.

MOMTANK3.jpg MOMTANK1.jpg MOMTANK2.jpg
 

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Nice looking tank! I laughed when I read "mom has done very well with not over feeding and following my rules". Every time I go away on a business trip, my daughter (thank goodness) steps in and feeds my fish. If it were my boys....sigh*, they may just give them a weeks worth a food at once as it saves time ;)

Seachem - I still use hagen stuff (old school) but I think it's time to make the switch.
 

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Looking great, healthy plants, clean water, don't see any algae on aquarium glass. So on 26 gal you still running two filters? Thought one canister will be good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. Hopefully you can get the plants growing like this.

Yes I'm running 2 filters on a 26 g. I run 2 on my 25 g as well. Over filtering works well for me and also helps with water movement.
 

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Great looking tank and thanks for sharing an example of a successful low-tech planted tank! It can be done! :)
 
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