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Old 02-28-2013, 03:43 PM   #1 
Bombalurina
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That's what more plants than water will do

In my 16 gallon, I used to have a lot of plants. Now I'm fairly sure I have more plants than water - it is an absolute jungle. I have java fern, red ludwigia, elodea, and a couple of strands of hornwort. Oh, and a bunch of java moss. It may not sound like much, but it has all grown to the point where my tank is almost entirely green. It doesn't bother my fish, as my cories are bottom dwellers anyway and the rest are so tiny they fit between all the plants. My shrimp love it.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that I haven't cleaned my tank in two weeks (I know, bad!) but my ammonia and nitrite are still at zero, and my nitrate has not gone above 5, which is what it measured after my last water change. I'm going to do a bit of siphoning to get the shrimp poo off the sand, but only because it looks messy. This seems to confirm my theory that, despite not being an NPT (although there is enough crud mixed in with the gravel to *be* dirt), my tank is functioning by itself to the point that I only really need to top up for evaporation. I will keep testing it, of course, and the moment nitrates do anything I'll do a change.

I'll post a photo later. :)
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:18 PM   #2 
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Monthly water changes are still a good idea to remove DOC's, even if the rest of your water tests look good :)
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #3 
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DOCs?

Yeah, I still plan to do some hoovering every month to keep everything tidy. :)
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #4 
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I believe DOC stands for Dissolved Organic Compounds (or Carbon)?
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #5 
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Would love to see a pic of your tank... sounds great!
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:01 AM   #6 
blu the betta
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me too!!!
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #7 
Hadoken Kitty
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I like to say that even if you don't use dirt, if your tank is able to run on it's own you can still call it an NPT.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:46 PM   #8 
Bombalurina
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Huzzah! I'm currently a bit ashamed of how messy it is, but I'll give it a trim today and post a photo later. :) I'll be rescaping as soon as the pond is in, so I may as well enjoy this non-cleaning whilst I can!
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:53 PM   #9 
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The first picture was my neatly manicured tank when it first came into being. The second is about 6 months in, when I added sand and made it a sorority. The third is what more than two years of being owned by a lazy, overworked uni student will do to an aquascape.

I'll go and clean it out now and see what happens.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:03 PM   #10 
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I was imagining something like this xD :

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