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Low Tech - Low Maintenance 40cm Cube

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Hi guys,

It was about time I posted this in the right section. This gives you a good guide of what can be done low tech low maintenance set up. It does not have to be the bees knees and go all out on high tech gear. This is running co2 however could be achieved with the same results without co2 (only running at 1 bubble per two seconds and getting hardcore pearling after two hours anyway). So for those who think it is too hard, too expensive, or cannot be done then you need to think that anything is possible. This tank runs mostly crypts, mosses, needle leaf java fern and anubias. It is the easiest tank to clean and take care of (apart from the huge ass BBA outbreak thanks to Zanes Needle leaf). It does not need weekly or twice weekly trimmings, does not need any care what so ever. Can neglect the ferts for a week or two if you forget or do not want to and the plants do not mind. I have stopped dosing EI and have only been dosing flourish and flourish iron just because I had them left over and they need using and have not noticed any different to the growth. You can keep shrimp, apistogramma pair, and small fish such as my green neons happily in the one small cube so stocking is not limited.




Apistogramma munching on a big cherry (good food source haha)


Green Neon Tetras and Sparkling Gourami;




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Great tank Adam! How do you atatch the moss to your rocks? I use those plastic loofas unwound around stones but it wouldn't work in this application.

Heres mine, I can grow plants great but scaping is not my strong point. I don't add any CO2 or ferts, I've got watts on it and the tank is around 36 litres. The substrate is a mix of garden soil capped with Sand, zeolite and ADA. The pictures always turn out kinda yellow, I need to learn how to fix that. I need something to replace the blyxa aubertii and E. Vesuvious at the back but not sure what with, I was thinking of puttig the limno where they are and adding some other stem there, no idea what though... The tank is home to my CRS, RCS and an unidentified native shrimp.


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Thanks, I really need some help in the scaping department though.

I was told that most of these plants would never grow for me when I set it up, the only plant I have problems with is the mayaca, I think I may be lacking Ca or Mg, its pure rainwater so all the nutrients come from the soil, there is shell grit in the soil but it never put roots down, the new growth is pale and stunted. I've removed it just then and will try to revive it in another tank.

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this is another example of a low-tech, low maintenance tank


the tank is 39x34x31cm and the setup is very low tech with a small Aquaclear HOB filter, a desk lamp with a 11W compact fluorescent bulb, a heater hiding behind the DW, and UP Aquasoil as substrate. no CO2.

the plants are java fern, amazon frogbit, lilaeopsis (not sure which variety), C. wendtii, and a bit of subwasser tang.

there are a few whiteclouds in there and some pond snails to help with the algae.

I use Seachem Flourish Excel when I remember and Seachem Flourish Iron and Trace every 6-8 weeks, some macronutrients in form of a home-made mix maybe once a month.

I am quite happy with the way it turned out and the best thing is that there is hardly any maintenance at all, the only thing to do is to scoop out the excess frogbit once a week.

water changes are done every 6-8 weeks (did it more often in the beginning) and it just needs the occasional top-up because of evaporation in between.

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Filled out great hasn't it? I can see a huge difference :D

Yeah just trying to kill the last of the BBA that came in on the needle leaf that invaded my tank before acting on it. A bit slow response I know but it is a learning curve. Hydrogen peroxide works amazing on algae. Would not bother with excel anymore :)

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