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Dawn T

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I never thought I'd be SO grateful for the fact I've gone the live plant, low maintenance route with my tanks. Hubby and I got Covid in August, and I couldn't do tank maintenance for at least 2 weeks (took a while after that to get my energy back). Fish got fed once a day, and that was it! When I finally was able to test, only one tank was out of whack, and the nitrate was hovering around 50. Neocardina shrimp weren't happy (lost some), and it's taken some time to get that tank rebalanced. Other tanks, no issues whatsoever, despite the neglect.

On top of that, I was involved in a craft fair in September that took a LOT of time. I managed to keep up with most of my tank maintenance (except plant trimming) during that time. Same thing this past month. Managed to give everything just enough attention to keep everything stable through all of that.

I shudder to think about the mess I'd have if I was wholly reliant on mechanical filtration like I was YEARS ago before I got into planted tanks. Needless to say, I'm an even stronger advocate for planted tanks now than I was then!

Oh, and I've been able to share with local aquarium keepers how much water a balanced planted tank can save! That's a PRO here in the desert. I've got tanks that haven't needed water changes for MONTHS. They've gotten just water top-offs each week to replenish for normal evaporation. The one tank I've been rebalancing (since I was sick) needed water changes, of course, but since I had other tanks that maintain ZERO nitrates, I used the water I took from THAT tank to top-off the zero-nitrate tanks. That meant needing dechlorinated tap water ONLY for water changes for one tank. What I took out of there that didn't get used for the other tanks went into my houseplants, which have grown like gangbusters. So double water saving there, since I didn't need to use tap water for so much of my houseplant water.

Incidentally, when I don't have water change cast-off for my houseplants, I've taken to dechlorinating the water and adding Easy Green to the tap water I use for them. I've been amazed at what a huge difference that's making for so many of my houseplants, including African violets, Christmas cactus, and a host of others that I've tried other ferts for over the years. Easy Green, good for HOUSEplants, too! Who knew? LOL

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