Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lake Fork, Idaho
Low tech/Low Light Tank definition and Plant Choices
This is a very interesting post and so is the added debate of what is a low tech/low light tank.
I chose to define a low tech/low light tank as having 1-2W/gal, no CO2, and no constant additives required (no Excel or fertilizer). Less $ and work.
My tank is 24 gal with 32W dual daylight bulb that I keep on around 12-14 hrs/day. I used Fluorite black sand and since I came to the concepts of Diane Walstad after my tank had been up for several months I did not start with a soil substrate. Later I used her modified approach to add some substrate to an existing tank (without tearing down my solitary tank). I have the additional problem of pretty basic water with a pH of 8.0 (my kH is 4) so the below list of plants that I chose and that worked for me were chosen with that in mind:
1. Crypt wenditii
2. Crypt ? (Florida Sunset)--this doesn't quite thrive as well.
3. Vallisneria spiralis
4. Java Fern
5. Hemianthus micranthemoides-- forms a dense thick carpet that I have to trim aggressively or it would cover the entire tank bottom. It has however been controllable and I limit it to a focal foreground area. This plant was a hitchhiker to my tank but I thought it might be a good alternative to Java Moss sa the latter has been said to be difficult to control. It might serve for the above post regarding a "carpet" plant.
Its been great as I like the plants as much as the fish