as of now, October 4, 2011 I have gone without any filtration, artificial lighting and chemicals of any kind (since November 2010)..........and it's been one full month without a water change (since September 4, 2011)
That's right guys, now I only change the water (40% of the water) once a month and the ammonia is only 0.25 ppm
How can it be done: serious amount of good bacteria in the gravel bed and over 500 trumpet snails
INEXPERIENCED HOBBYISTS DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS
latest chemical liquid test score as of Sunday (10/02/2011):
oxygen: 9 (normal)
In the last 10 months, I have gone from 57 fish of assorted types down to 52 (lost a few cardinal tetra due to ich several months ago (back in January 2011)
I feed mostly human food (chicken, liver (calf and beef), oysters and clams (out of a can), turkey (sliced), peas (out of a can), and once a week, on Wednesday I feed frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp.
Monday: human food
Tuesday: no food
Wednesday: bloodworms and brine shrimp
Thursday: no food
Friday: human food
Sunday: no food...(and periodically prune the plants and clip away any cladaphora (algae) that may envelope itself amongst the plant leaves due to the enormous natural sunlight streaming into the left part of the tank (the other half has a curtain providing shade)
also I never vacuum...the plant side has 3 inches of gravel that is full of good bacteria which keeps the ammonia at zero for the 11th week in a row (and when it did go up it never reached 1.0 ppm, hovered around .25 to .50 ppm)
Thanks for all your comments and compliments...I will give the next update when the tank is in its one year without filtration, lighting and chemicals.
Another Great Milestone
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