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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 115
Question Lots of Questions on Low-Tech Setup Ideas

I have had a 20 gallon community aquarium with only a few anubias and java moss for a year now. The wife approved an upgrade in size and a move to the living room for display, so I want to go for my dream aquarium. Please read below and offer your advice.

Here is what I want:
  • A low-tech, heavily planted, Walstad-esque aquarium
  • Lots of hearty low to mid-light plants and mosses nothing fancy or demanding
  • Infrequent water changes (I know this can be controversial, but I think it can be done)
  • Occasional liquid CO2 or ferts (no DIY or pressurized CO2)
  • Minimal pruning (I kind of like the slightly overgrown and wild look)
  • Slow and steady growth
  • The tanks in the Show and Tell thread are my inspiration.
Here is what I have:
These are my ideas for a setup:
  • Substrate: Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix and Pool Filter Sand
  • Filtration: 20 gallon used as a sump with 2x AC 20s + 1x AC 110 HOB filters
  • Lighting: Odyssea 4X T5 HO (156W 6500K)
These are my questions:
  • What will I need to do/buy to set up a sump with this aquarium? (I know nothing about water pumps, plumbing, overflows, etc.)
  • Is the lighting fixture I want to order going to be too much light for a low tech setup? Would a dual T5 be better? The tank is 24 deep, so I think lighting will be tricky. Could I run it with only 3 bulbs operating? I like the look and features of that particular model a lot.
  • What types of plants would you recommend for me to start out with? I was thinking mostly vals, crypts, java moss, amazon swords, etc. Maybe some mid-ground plant ideas?
Im not too worried about stocking yet, but I will probably shoot for 2 or 3 gourami, a school of microrasboras, a school of pygmy cories, and lots of red cherry shrimp.

Thanks in advance for all of your help.
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