Low Tech Set-Up - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Low Tech Set-Up

Good morning everyone! I've not had great success with the high tech approach. Alot of times the tank just gets inundated with algae and usually, it succums to everything melting away due to neglect. Getting plants that needed that high light (which i can provide) and a rather strict schedule of fertz dosing with the ever elusive CO2 injection has pretty much made a dent in my wallet a few times. Also, due to my own neglegence, I plan to just try my hand at the low tech approach and hope that it lasts.

I plan to take out 1 bulb in my 4 x 39watt fixture to keep it down to 117 wpg (I have a 55 gallon).

Here is the list of flora I'd like to introduce to the tank:

3 x Sagittaria, Dwarf (Order comes in 10 plants per order)
3 x Bacopa australis
2 x Hygrophila corymbosa Angustifolia
4 x Anubias, Nana (Anubias Barteri v. Nana
3 x Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)
3 X Telanthera Rosefolia (Alternanthera reineckii)

I'm by no means lazy, it's just that I tend to be impusive when the slightest problem presents itself and if the problem persists, I get incredibly discouraged. I'm working on this, I tried to save my last tank and I endured a few months trying to salvage it; alas, it's gone.

Last word, unrealistic. I just couldn't keep up with it, thats why I want to try my hand at low tech.

Any comments on the list and or any words of encouragement?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 03:28 PM
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Sounds good but I've had no luck with the Alternanthera in low tech scapes.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 04:01 PM
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Sounds good but I've had no luck with the Alternanthera in low tech scapes.


I've had no luck with it either.

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Last edited by GMYukonon24s; 10-25-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: should of said "no luck"
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 05:42 PM
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Good luck!!

How's that??

I have a low tech 20L & while I'm having a bit of an issue w/ algae at the moment I think low tech is the way to go.

Not wanting to spend the $$ on CO2 and having to learn how NOT to gas my fish also plays into it!

3 bulbs sounds like a lot of light to me - but then again I only have 1 little ole T8 on my tank so what do I know?!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zoragen View Post
Good luck!!

How's that??

I have a low tech 20L & while I'm having a bit of an issue w/ algae at the moment I think low tech is the way to go.

Not wanting to spend the $$ on CO2 and having to learn how NOT to gas my fish also plays into it!

3 bulbs sounds like a lot of light to me - but then again I only have 1 little ole T8 on my tank so what do I know?!
I have a 4 bulb T5HO fixture. I would even lower it down to 2 x 39watt bulbs if needed.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 07:42 PM
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I have a 4 bulb T5HO fixture. I would even lower it down to 2 x 39watt bulbs if needed.
Hello fairfax neighbor!

4 T5HO seems like a lot of light.. i dont think the watts per gallon rule applies when dealing with HO bulbs? I may be wrong though..

I have a 55G too and i use just a single T5HO bulb. i even had to use screen mesh on the lid to block out 30% of the light. my plants are all growing fine. Feel free to look at my journal in my signature.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 08:28 PM
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Are 39watt bulbs T5HO bulbs? Google results all show me T5HO bulbs when I search for 39 watt T5.

Btw, you may find the following table helpful. It is just a guideline of course. I'm too lazy to upload it personally so I'm providing a link to it: http://www.fishforums.com/forum/aqua...ur-answer.html

According to the table, 3 or 4 T5HO bulbs on a 55 gallon tank (assuming it is ~20" tall) is too much light. Unless you're hanging it above the tank by a foot. Some other excellent info contained in the discussion of that post. I'd aim for a low or medium light tank for a low tech.

And good luck!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 08:38 PM
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+1 jemminnifener , that is the best table available , Hoppy is the man . use this thread on here instead
PAR vs Distance, T5, T12, PC - New Chart

Why is my tank never big enough
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 11:03 PM
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I definitely wouldn't use more then 2 bulbs in your fixture, 3 is just to much light for what you're wanting to do.

Also, I'm surprised no one brought this up yet, but I would skip the hornwort. It would probably grow under those conditions, but it's an incredibly messy plant that doesn't stay rooted. It will float around, shed needles, and genuinely be a mess. The rest looks like good choices. You could also add some crypts, java fern, or vals to that list, to replace the few species that maybe aren't such a good choice for your plans.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 12:18 AM
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About the plants - I have spiralis & lutea crypts that do great in my tank.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'll definitely use two. My plants are supposedly on its way. In the process set up my 6 gal edge tank that's been out o commission for a while. Can't wait )))!!!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 12:24 AM
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Yes, 2 bulbs would be best, as several others have said.
Try a 7- 8 hour daily lighting period to keep algae at a minimum, and you should do fine.
In a low tech environment I have found that all types of Echinodorus (swords) do well, as well as Crypts, Java Ferns, Anubias, Hygrophilas, Nymphaea (Lotuses), Vals, Sags, Rotalas, Bacopas, Ludwigias, and others.
Your tank is looking real good - bet it looks splendid when you get it fully set up the way you want it !
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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As a precaution, I want circulation as much as possible. I picked up a circulation pump at a LFS. Part of why I got deterred from my last tank was because I believe there was a lack of circulation and that gave way to a lot of algae. Blue Green algae was prevalent in my tank and it basically consumed the HC. The specs rate it for a 55-90 gallon tank, I think it's too strong... It seems like it's causing quite a mess in my tank as i think there is way too much circulation. The next step below is for 30-55 gallons, better suited for my tank I would believe (700 gph). As we're experiencing Hurricane Sandy, my tank is experiencing some sort of tornado catastrophe. I hope to return it tomorrow and get the lower grade. Can anyone confirm? If I get this will it help lower my chances of algae infestation? I've never had one, or needed one, but I suppose having one wouldn't hurt.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 05:35 PM
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Yes, having good circulation at the bottom levels of a tank will go a long way to helping avoid the development of blue-green algae. A water circulation pump, positioned properly, should eliminate any 'dead spots' at the bottom of the tank.
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