Re: NANFA-- Closed Aquarium System

R. W. Wolff (
Sat, 22 May 2004 01:21:15 -0500

I don't know how you would do this indoors, but outside it is simple.

All but my gar river pond have no pumps or filtration. I rely on sun, wind
and rain - plus my sprinklers etc to get the job done.What differs from
these ponds to most indoor aquariums. Things we can't replicate inside, the
sun. Other than that, it could be done. Generally, water volume. Huge
compared to most tanks. Second, surface area, versus depth. Even a 60 gallon
pond is going to be shallow and wide compared to a 60 gallon tank. So,
shallow wide tanks is the place to start. Next is plants and lighting. Have
enough light to keep enough plants of some kind going. Next is surface area.
Gravel, rocks, driftwood. Look-in-most cool ponds. Put that stuff in a tank,
you might not see any of the fish, and that is not including plants.

I have had tons of success with tanks that have gravel, some rocks, but
usually driftwood, and as many as possible living plants. Indoors this means
java moss, water sprite, crypts. They grow even under 20 watt bulbs. It

I think that keeping it simple is the way to go. Let plants, light, etc do
the work. Don't blow money on expensive filters, systems, chemicals , etc.
Just set up the tank much like your pond, but with plants that work. Keep
them growing, and the system is on its way. With tiny fish like elassoma and
some killis, I can go without feeding for weeks with no ill effects.

Live plants are your friend. For one thing , plastic plants never grow and
spread. Live plants do. Keep trying any you can, some will work for you,
some won't . The ones that do, spread around your fishroom. Green growing
tanks need little work.

One other thing. Algaephobia. Drop it, forget it. Leave the sides and back,
hard surfaces of cover coated with algae. Algae works like plants, and is
the safe harbor of food sources for fry and tiny fish. Pygmy sunfish at
adult size can find enough food in algae to survive. Just think of your
aquarium as a pond inside with a window on the front. What do any ditch,
pond or stream you have seen look like? Never scrubbed clean. Need a text
book. Find the nearest small body of water that has lots of fish. Study it,
with the least effort expended try to replicate it. Then you will have an
aquarium that works.

Ray W.
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